Mass. exodus: More people are moving out of the Bay State, report says

BOSTON — If you’ve thought about moving out of the Bay State to another part of the country, you’re not alone.

Each year, tens of thousands more individuals are moving out of Massachusetts than are moving into the state, according to a new report released this month.

The report released by Boston Indicators, the research center at the Boston Foundation, analyzes the outmigration from Massachusetts over the last two decades to other areas in the United States.

The analysis found that over a two-year average of 2021 and 2022, people who left Massachusetts were predominantly white, middle- and high-income earners, and college-educated.

And most concerning, researchers found, is that Massachusetts is losing more working-age adults, with higher numbers of people ages 25 to 44 leaving than any other age group.

“They are recent graduates, young professionals, folks looking to start a family or buy a home. But for reasons we’ve discussed previously, many of these individuals are simply leaving, likely due in part to high housing costs,” researchers wrote.

Since about 2009, Massachusetts has been losing individuals at all income levels, researchers wrote. These losses are more concentrated among middle- and high-income earners, whose paths diverged markedly from low-income earners around 2017. Since then, the loss of low-income earners plateaued for a few years and ticked less negative in 2022.

One reason at play here may be high housing costs, the report found.

“These have grown precipitously from 2018, with prices for typical homes increasing 20 percent in 2021 and 33 percent in 2022,” researchers wrote. “The availability of lower cost housing elsewhere, combined with remote work opportunities brought on by the pandemic may have had a hand in drawing away Massachusetts residents.”

The result? People are likely driven out of Massachusetts for financial reasons to live elsewhere in the country, according to researchers.

“White or a person of color, low-, middle- or high-income, college educated or not, for many Massachusetts residents, it may be cheaper and easier to build a life somewhere else,” researchers wrote. “And this loss of talent, creativity, and capital compounds on those remaining; in diminished services, less political representation, and reduced vibrancy.”

“If Massachusetts wants to improve the value proposition, then we must find a way to tackle the issues that are driving people from the state,” researchers wrote.

To view the report, visit the Boston Indicators website.

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