New Jersey Move-Outs vs Similar Sized States

Responding to Click-Bait Series

Much is being made in the media about NJ ranking #1 in percentage of people moving out vs percentage of people moving in. See News12, NJ Business Magazine, and USA Today. Journalists are citing the 2018 National Movers Study. The data comes from United Van Lines, the nation’s largest household goods mover, according to their press release.
Topping the list of outbound moves sounds like people are fleeing the state. The actual difference between outbound and inbound moves is 1,488 households. We do not know family size, though we can assume that the total number is 3,000 or more. In a state of 9 million people, the net loss of a few thousand households is a small percentage.
The same study showed New York experienced a net loss of 1,784 household units. Connecticut, a small state, was down 830; Massachusetts -567; Michigan -508. Illinois and California had a greater exodus. Then again, like New York, those are much more populous states than NJ.

To provide a sense of perspective, MCEDC plotted the household shipments in and outbound in states with a similar population to New Jersey.

Household Shipments in Similar Sized States

Virginia differs in population from NJ by half-a-million. United Van Lines had more than twice the number of moves, ~10,000. New Jersey’s moving traffic was more like Michigan (pop. 10K), roughly 4,500 moves. North Carolina and Georgia are slightly saw many more moves.
The National Movers Study is correct in its calculation of percent loss vs gain in the relatively small number of moves that NJ experienced. However, the United Van Line’s press release stating “more residents move out of New Jersey than any other state in 2018”, is misleading.

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