8 months, 4 weeks ago Lydia Saad, Gallup Economy
Montana, Hawaii, Maine boast lowest rate of residents wanting to leave
From Lydia Saad, Gallup Economy:
Every state has at least some residents who are looking for greener pastures, but nowhere is the desire to move more prevalent than in Illinois and Connecticut. In both of these states, about half of residents say that if given the chance to move to a different state, they would like to do so. Maryland is a close third, at 47%. By contrast, in Montana, Hawaii, and Maine, just 23% say they would like to relocate. Nearly as few -- 24% -- feel this way in Oregon, New Hampshire, and Texas.
These findings are from a 50-state Gallup poll, conducted June-December 2013, which includes at least 600 representative interviews with residents aged 18 and older in each state. Gallup measured residents' interest in moving out of state by asking, "Regardless of whether you will move, if you had the opportunity, would you like to move to another state, or would you rather remain in your current state?"
Thirty-three percent of residents want to move to another state, according to the average of the 50 state responses. Seventeen states come close to that 50-state average. Another 16 are above the average range, including three showing an especially high desire to move. In fact, in these three -- Illinois, Connecticut, and Maryland -- roughly as many residents want to leave as want to stay.
At the other end of the spectrum, 17 states are home to a below-average percentage of residents wanting to leave. This includes the previously mentioned six states -- Montana, Hawaii, Maine, Oregon, New Hampshire, and Texas -- where fewer than one in four want to move, the lowest level recorded. The detailed results for all 50 states are shown on page 2.
In the same poll, Gallup asked state residents how likely it is they will move in the next 12 months. On average across all 50 states, 6% of state residents say it is extremely or very likely they will move in the next year, 8% say it is somewhat likely, 14% not too likely, and 73% not likely at all.
The combined percentages reporting they are extremely, very, or somewhat likely to move out of state ranges from 8% in Maine, Iowa, and Vermont to 20% in Nevada. Although these figures are still high relative to the actual percentage of Americans who move out of state each year, they provide a basis for evaluating each state's risk of losing population that is somewhat stronger than the sheer desire of its residents to move.