If it wasn’t for a large number of New Yorkers relocating to Fairfield County then Connecticut’s shrinking population trend line would be even worse.
An estimated 232 people per day settled in Connecticut in 2018, with Fairfield County seeing a greater influx from out of state than any other region in the state, according to STORAGECafé, a nationwide self-storage search platform.
The primary origin of newcomers to Connecticut was New York, which accounted for 27,361 of the 84,718 new Connecticut residents in 2018.
One reason New Yorkers may be fleeing the state is the cost of living there. The average monthly rent for an apartment is almost $3,000 in Brooklyn, $2,170 in Long Island, and more than $4,200 in Manhattan, according to a survey conducted last November by Yardi Matrix, a commercial real estate research and data platform.
Despite the influx of New Yorkers crossing the border to Connecticut over 114,000 people moved away from the state causing Connecticut’s population to decline by almost 30,000 in 2018.
Those moving from Connecticut primarily chose Florida as their relocation destination, with 18,291 of them moving to the Sunshine State in 2018.
After New Yorkers, the state with the most people moving to Connecticut in 2018 was Massachusetts, with 7,630; then New Jersey with 4,573; Florida with 4,563 and Texas with 4,064.
On the other side, after Florida, those moving out of Connecticut in 2018 chose New York as their primary relocation site with 14,420 moving there; Massachusetts saw 14,224 new Nutmeggers, South Carolina saw 6,800 and California saw 6,366.
Overall, the national trend is for people to move south, targeting the warm weather, lower taxes, less expensive housing.
Connecticut was one of 10 states where the population shrank from July 2018 to July 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Connecticut lost 6,233 residents during that time period.
The Census Bureau estimated that there were 34,567 births in Connecticut, and 31,149 deaths, during the 12-month period.
Another study by United Van Lines, a moving company that tracks customers’ state-to-state migration habits, says Connecticut ranked fourth in 2019 for the highest percentage of outbound migration among states recording over 250 moves.
In total, 63 percent of 1,971 moves last year were outbound trips and 37 percent were inbound trips, according to the company’s 43rd annual National Movers Study.
That follows a similar trend in the Northeast as several states are facing an exodus of those ages 55 to 74 years old. In addition to Connecticut, New Jersey and New York ranked first and third, respectively, in outbound trips.
The top reasons people cited for leaving the Northeast included retirement and jobs. Connecticut residents cited jobs (37.3 percent), retirement (34.8 percent), family (23.8 percent) and lifestyle (18.4 percent) as their top reasons for leaving the state.
On the opposite end, people said jobs (59 percent), family (24.6 percent) and lifestyle (9.6 percent) were the top three reasons they chose to relocate to Connecticut.
“Key factors like the Baby Boomer generation relocating upon reaching retirement age as well as states’ economic performances and housing costs drove these 2019 moving patterns,” said Michael A. Stoll, economist and professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. “United Van Lines’ study encompasses data consistent with the broader migration trends to western and southern regions that we’ve been seeing for several years now.”
Nationwide, mobility is actually at its lowest point since the government started keeping track. According to the Census Bureau, only about 9.8% of Americans moved in 2018.
That’s the lowest share of movers since 1947, when the Census Bureau started gathering data, and the first time that the percentage has dropped under 10%.
Losing more residents is costing Connecticut money.
Connecticut ranked sixth (from the bottom) in the nation for loss of wealth to other states in 2018, with a net loss of $1.1 billion in adjusted gross income as people moved out, according to figures recently released by the Internal Revenue Service.
Benefiting most from those moving – at least financially – from Connecticut and other states is Florida.
The Sunshine State attracted nearly $32 billion in Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) from people moving into the state in 2018. In contrast, it lost about $15.7 billion in income from those who left Florida, leaving the state with a net gain of nearly $16 billion in new taxable income.
That’s a total gain of about 2.8 percent of the state’s total AGI in 2018.