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Americans Fleeing High-Tax States According to National Movers Study

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United Van Lines names South Dakota as the state seeing the highest percentage of incoming moves for 2016.

With the exception of Vermont, states experiencing a high degree of inbound moving vans lie either west of the Mississippi or south of the Mason-Dixon Line. In contrast, states in the Rust Belt and Northeast disproportionately make up those seeing more outbound moving vans.

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The departures tell a more interesting story than the destinations.

“The Northeast continues to experience a moving deficit with New Jersey (63 percent outbound), New York (63 percent) and Connecticut (60 percent) making the list of top outbound states for the second consecutive year,” the National Movers Study notes. “Pennsylvania (56 percent) also joined the top outbound list this year.”

New Jersey, Illinois, and New York see the greatest exoduses. The trio of blue states eschew right-to-work for forced unionism and feature some of the strictest gun laws within their borders. But the big-government policy that sets them apart from many neighbors remains taxes.

Forbes listed New York, the state with the third worst ratio of outgoing-to-incoming movers, as the most harshly taxed state in the U.S. Illinois, second worst on the United Van Lines List, comes in fourth worst on the 2016 Forbes tax list. Forbes ranks New Jersey third worst. United Van Lines? Its list sees the Garden State at the bottom.

People move to escape cold weather, get closer to relatives, and for other reasons unrelated to policy. They also move to obtain employment. Here, tax policy matters. Curiously, three of the states that tax its residents at the highest levels also see the taillights fade on residents’ moving vans more than all the other states.


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