by J. Scott Moody, M.A. and Wendy P. Warcholik, Ph.D
When Americans think they can find a better job and higher quality of life somewhere else, they move. Migration
between the states is the ultimate expression of “voting with your feet.” Some states have growing populations due to
in-migration, while others are losing residents to other states. Connecticut is one of the states that is losing population.
This study looks at Connecticut migration trends and how peoples’ decisions to move out of and into the state affect tax revenue.
Key findings include:
• Connecticut lost a net of 325,526 residents to other states between 1991 and 2008, or about one in ten residents.
• The top states that people from Connecticut move to are Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, and South
• The top states that people move into Connecticut from are New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Illinois, and
• The total net income leaving the state was nearly $5 billion between 1995-2006. Had this income stayed in
Connecticut, state and local governments would have collected an estimated $566,520,000 in additional tax
• Of course, when someone leaves, state and local governments don’t just lose income and taxes for one year, but
rather for all future years as well. Compounding these figures over the twelve years assessed in this study, the
state has lost $31.2 billion in net income and $3.7 billion in state and local tax revenue due to out-migration.
• People move to states where the weather is warmer, taxes are lower, union membership is lower, population density is lower, and the cost of housing is lower.
• The number one destination state for former Connecticut residents is Florida, a state with no income tax and no inheritance tax.
• An August, 2009 poll conducted by The Yankee Institute found that 45 percent of state residents have considered
moving out of Connecticut due to high taxes.