HARTFORD- A new Gallup poll shows almost half of Connecticut residents want to move out of the state.
Connecticut ranked second-highest in a recent Gallup 50-state poll surveying residents about their desire to move to another state. Forty-nine percent of residents surveyed say they would leave Connecticut if they could — well above the average of 33 percent across the U.S., according to the survey.
Illinois showed the highest percentage of residents wanting to move out, at 50 percent. Maryland (47 percent), Nevada (43 percent) and Rhode Island (42 percent) rounded out the top five.
Carlene Quinn is the owner of A.S. Labieniec Inc., a family-run farm and pet supply store in Kensington that’s been open for 125 years. Quinn says high taxes and the state’s restrictive business climate make it harder to stay in business.
Quinn says she would move out of state if she could.
“I do have ties here, so the only other option is closing business down,” Quinn said.
Local economist Ron Van Winkle attributes brutal winters like the one we all just lived through, and high cost of living along with stagnant job growth as reasons people are looking to leave.
The biggest reason in the poll for people wanting to leave was work/business-related (21 percent) , followed by family/friends (13 percent), quality of life/change (12 percent) and cost of living (12 percent).
Van Winkle says he doesn’t expect the state’s economy to pick up anytime soon.
“We’re not going to see more jobs. We’re not going to see lower taxes. So Connecticut is basically in this slow growth mode that I think we’ll see for the next decade,” said Van Winkle.
Connecticut’s AARP chapter says it has heard from concerned seniors who would like to retire in Connecticut.
The chapter has lobbied lawmakers to help pass legislation to and to make it easier for people working in the state to save for retirement.
“Those are some things that can go a long way to making more people feeling more financially secure and, hopefully, keeping people here in Connecticut,” said Jennifer Millea, associate state director of communications for AARP.
When Connecticut residents do leave, they tend to head toward warmer climates.
According to recent U.S. population data, Florida has seen the greatest migration of Connecticut residents in the past year.
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?”