17 States Americans No Longer Want to Live In

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By Darryl Henderson

The preferences of US citizens when it comes to choosing where to live are changing. Certain states are experiencing an exodus of residents looking for a better quality of life elsewhere, much to the disappointment of these 17 states that Americans no longer want to live in.


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Unfortunately, the Golden State of California has a high cost of living, which is driving residents away. Quality of life has declined due to homelessness, as well as increasing taxes and regulatory burdens pushing out businesses and individuals. Who knows, perhaps things will change…

New York

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Skyrocketing housing prices in New York make it unaffordable for many, so it’s unsurprising that Forbes reports it saw its biggest population drop in the past three years, with 2.6% of its residents relocating! Crime rates are also on the rise, especially in urban areas, which has put many people off living here.


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Financial mismanagement has led to budget crises in Illinois, and high property taxes have driven homeowners out in huge numbers. The ongoing decline in public services and infrastructure has also contributed to dissatisfaction among residents, which is sad to see.


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Connecticut has recently experienced an exodus of high-income earners due to high taxes, declining job opportunities in manufacturing, and poor fiscal management. Unfortunately, all of this has accumulated to cause budget deficits, and many residents are looking towards greener pastures.


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Hurricanes, high crime rates, and a general lack of opportunities drive residents away from Louisiana. Hurricanes are expected to hit the state every year, with Hurricane Katrina, which Britannica says claimed 1,800 lives, being the costliest natural disaster in U.S history.


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Sadly, Michigan has experienced a major decline in its previously thriving auto industry, leading to thousands of job losses. Urban decay in cities like Detroit, high levels of pollution, and environmental concerns have all caused residents to move to a new state—and we can’t blame them!


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Maryland has a seriously high cost of living, especially in suburban areas near D.C. Traffic congestion, inadequate public transportation, and rising crime rates in certain areas mean residents are starting to relocate to other areas. It’s truly an unfortunate state of affairs.


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Massachusetts’ affordability crisis, particularly in Boston, includes high taxes and an unaffordable cost of living that is driving residents to relocate. There has also been a significant decline in public education quality in some districts, particularly causing families with young children to leave.

Rhode Island

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Rhode Island has high taxes and a high cost of living relative to income levels, which is causing a mass migration of young professionals and graduates and, therefore, a reduction in the workforce. According to U.S. News, unaffordable healthcare has also led Senate leaders to take action, but so far, it hasn’t succeeded.


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While many see it as paradise, Hawaii locals are starting to find it completely unaffordable. Very high housing costs and an overdependence on tourism have caused economic vulnerability across the state. Natural disasters like volcano eruptions and hurricanes are also increasing concerns. It’s a fantastic vacation spot, though!

New Jersey

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CNBC claims that New Jersey has the highest property taxes in the nation, with the average effective tax rate being 2.23%—the highest in all 50 states! This lack of affordability in the housing market has, naturally, caused a large number of New Jersey residents to leave.


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The Nevada housing market has inflated dramatically due to speculative investment, which has driven out many residents. This has been worsened by a lack of diversity in job opportunities outside of the tourism industry and concerns over water scarcity and environmental sustainability. Yikes.

West Virginia

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West Virginia’s coal industry has declined, leading to economic struggles as the state moves away from fossil fuels. Limited access to healthcare and other essential services has also led to a mass exodus of young people in search of better opportunities.


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Due to its remote location, Alaska has a high cost of living, yet it also has a strong economic dependence on the oil industry, leading to instability. This is a very similar situation to West Virginia’s reliance on coal, made worse by the state’s harsh climate and isolation.


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Low educational attainment rates and limited job opportunities have caused many people to leave the state of Mississippi. Child poverty rates are among the highest in the nation, and racial tensions and lack of diversity are significantly impacting social cohesion. The state needs to change fast!


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Sadly, Oklahoma ranks second on U.S. News‘ “10 Cities Most At-Risk For Natural Disasters” list, a vulnerability that has led to many residents leaving in search of safer states. The decline in the oil and gas industry has also impacted the economy, as has limited access to healthcare and education.


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Last and sadly least, the economic struggles of Kentucky in rural areas due to the decline of the coal industry make it our number one state Americans no longer want to live in. High rates of opioid addiction are also a huge problem, and limited investment in infrastructure and public services only makes things more troublesome for Kentucky.