Connecticut is a state that has been struggling to retain its population and attract new residents. According to a new study by United Van Lines, more people left Connecticut than moved in during 2021, making it one of the top outbound states in the nation. The study also revealed that the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk metropolitan area was among the top 25 places that people are fleeing. What are the reasons behind this mass exodus, and what are the implications for the state’s economy and future?
High Taxes and Cost of Living
One of the main factors that drive people away from Connecticut is the high tax burden and cost of living. Connecticut has the highest per capita state and local tax collections in the country, according to the Tax Foundation. The state also has the second-highest property tax rate and the fourth-highest income tax rate in the nation. Additionally, Connecticut has the seventh-highest cost of living index, according to the Council for Community and Economic Research. These factors make it difficult for many residents to afford housing, transportation, health care, and other necessities.
Lack of Job Opportunities and Economic Growth
Another factor that discourages people from staying or moving to Connecticut is the lack of job opportunities and economic growth. Connecticut has one of the lowest labor force participation rates and one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The state also has one of the slowest GDP growth rates and one of the worst business climates in the nation, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the CNBC Top States for Business rankings . These factors indicate that Connecticut is not a competitive or attractive place for workers and entrepreneurs.
Aging Population and Outmigration of Young People
A third factor that contributes to the population decline in Connecticut is the aging of the population and the outmigration of young people. Connecticut has the sixth-highest median age and the fourth-lowest percentage of population under 18 in the country, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The state also has a negative net migration rate for people aged 18 to 34, according to the Connecticut Data Collaborative. These factors suggest that Connecticut is not a vibrant or appealing place for young people and families.
Connecticut is facing a mass exodus of residents who are leaving the state for various reasons, such as high taxes and cost of living, lack of job opportunities and economic growth, and aging population and outmigration of young people. These trends pose serious challenges for the state’s economy and future, as they reduce the tax base, the labor force, the consumer demand, and the innovation potential. To reverse this situation, Connecticut needs to implement policies and strategies that will lower the tax burden and the cost of living, create more job opportunities and economic growth, and attract and retain more young people and families. Otherwise, Connecticut will continue to lose its population and its competitiveness.