Dean James W. Hughes and University Professor Joseph J. Seneca in October issued a new Rutgers Regional Report, Where Have All the Dollars Gone? An Analysis of New Jersey Migration Patterns, that documented an acceleration in the number of New Jersey residents moving to other states, reducing the growth in personal income and state tax revenues.
The report generated substantial media coverage and editorial commentaryand prompted a followup survey by the Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey Poll that reinforced the study results.
Utilizing U.S. Census Bureau and Internal Revenue Service data, the study found New Jersey’s net migration loss to other states more than tripled between 2002 and 2006. As a result, the state could experience an overall decline in population starting in 2008 if those trends continue, according to the study.
“The population outflow is real, is approaching worrisome dimensions, and is exerting a small, but increasingly negative impact on the New Jersey economy.” Hughes and Seneca concluded. “Less clear are the reasons behind the out- migration and whether there are feasible policy options for significantly changing it.”
In an editorial, “A State Losing its Appeal,” The Star-Ledger said, “More than anything, the Hughes-Seneca report is proof that papering over problems from one election to another doesn't work. Eventually, steps must be taken to make New Jersey a place where businesses want to locate and ordinary people can afford to live.”