Why are a surprising number of Massachusetts residents making this bold change?
From Pittsfield to North Adams, Springfield to Amherst, Worcester to Boston, people in Massachusetts are doing this at a high rate. In fact, Massachusetts ranks in the top 10 in this category in numerous studies and polls, from Forbes to WalletHub. However, this is not a list you want to rank high on.
So, what are people in Massachusetts doing at a high rate?
They’re leaving Massachusetts.
As a native of Massachusetts, and as someone who’s lived in this state my entire life, it’s easy to get defensive at first. After all, Massachusetts is a great state! Our economy is solid (especially compared to other states), our education system from grade school through college is top notch, we have access to some of the best healthcare in the nation, there are countless trails and outdoor opportunities, we lead the way on important social issues, there’s a great arts scene, heck even our sports teams are good! And that’s just a few reasons why Massachusetts is a great state.
Massachusetts is universally ranked as one of the best states to live in.
Massachusetts is also universally ranked as one of the top outbound states.
So, what’s the deal? Why are people leaving to go to another state?
A few of the big reasons are just what you’d expect:
-Retirement. As the baby boomer generation retires, many are choosing to flee the state for a variety of reasons. It could be because of the weather (our harsh winters are a factor), it could be for financial reasons, it could be for family…but many retirees are choosing to move elsewhere.
-It’s expensive. Money is a major factor in people leaving the state. We have some of the highest housing and rental costs in the nation, and that’s not going to let-up anytime soon. Berkshire County is generally regarded as one of the most affordable areas in the state, but good luck getting a home. South County prices are outrageous, and even in North County, home prices are averaging above the $200k mark.
-Jobs. About 1 in 3 people said they’re leaving the Bay State because of a better job opportunity or transfer. I can’t speak to the Eastern part of the state, but it’s no secret one of the major reasons the younger generation leaves Berkshire County is job opportunities, especially pertaining to a career path (or lack thereof).
-Population Density. More of an issue in the tightly packed Eastern part of the state, but with Covid still around, people are looking to move to more rural areas. We’re a small state with one of the highest overall populations, and you can feel it, especially in Boston and the surrounding suburbs.
Other reasons include family issues, lifestyle changes, and health reasons. And certainly, you can talk to a hundred different people why they’re leaving, and get a hundred different answers.
Maybe once Covid settles down, and the housing market settles down (if either even happen), Massachusetts will turn back into an inbound state. And, lots of people are still coming here, fueled in part by Massachusetts having a high number of immigrants landing here each year. But, for now, Massachusetts is an outbound state. How about you? Have you ever thought of leaving, or is Massachusetts home no matter what?