They conducted a poll during the second half of 2013, asking a random sample of about 600 adults in each state if they would like to leave their state if they could, or simply stay put.
Sadly, 50% of those in Illinois said they’d get the heck out of there if they could, making it the least desirable state in the union.
The feeling was mutual in Connecticut, where 49% indicated a willingness to move to a different state. Maryland ranked third in terms of getting out at 47%, followed by Nevada (43%) and Rhode Island (42%).
Conversely, the fewest residents would leave even if they could in the grand state of Montana. There, only 23% said they’d take off if given the opportunity.
Other popular states included Hawaii (23%), Maine (23%), Oregon (24%), and New Hampshire (24%). Less than a quarter of residents in those states would choose another state to call home.
Overall, 33% of residents nationwide indicated a willingness to move to another state.
What About the States Where Residents Will Actually Move?
Gallup’s first question was just hypothetical, which allowed respondents to romanticize a potential move. They also asked residents how likely it was that they’d actually move in the next 12 months.
On average, just six percent said it was very likely or extremely likely that they’d they move in the next year. Another eight percent said somewhat likely, 14% said not too likely, and 73% said not likely at all.
In other words, most individuals plan to stay put, whether they like their lousy states or not.
But a whopping 20% of Nevada residents are extremely/very/somewhat likely to move in the next 12 months, which leads the nation in terms of potential mobility.
For 30% of Nevadans, work/business was cited as the top reason to depart, followed by family/friends, then weather.
Illinois was second, with 19% saying they’d potentially move in the next year, with work once again the main reason and weather a close second. In case you didn’t know, it’s really, really cold in Illinois.
Arizona was third at 19% as well, with work the top concern, followed by family/friends, and then weather. In Phoenix, temps rise above 100 degrees for much of the summer. Fortunately, everyone has A/C.
Maryland and Louisiana rounded out the top five, with 17% of respondents in both states indicating a likely move for the same reasons mentioned.
Meanwhile, very few people in Maine have plans to move, with just eight percent saying a move was extremely/very/somewhat likely in the next 12 months.
Iowa (8%) and Vermont (8%) also had the smallest proportion of residents planning a move, followed by Minnesota (9%) and West Virginia (9%).
While the sample size is small, it can provide clues regarding which states may see an influx of residents, and vice versa.
In the more popular states, home prices and rents may increase as time goes on, which could make it more attractive to buy in those areas.
If everyone is leaving, or wants to leave, buying a property, especially to rent out, could be a losing endeavor, especially if home prices have appreciated strongly in recent years.
Of course, many residents want to move because the overall cost of living in their state is too high, so that doesn’t necessarily mean real estate won’t be a good investment there either. It’s just harder to live the dream.
Some particularly strong, heavily populated states based on the map above include Texas, Oregon, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Colorado.