There isn’t a house in Connecticut more than about an hour’s drive from a neighboring state. But in a recent Gallup poll, nearly half of us said we pine for those borders, saying we’d pack up the U-Haul and put Connecticut in the rear-view mirror, if only we could.
Connecticut was second only to Illinois in the percentage of state residents who answered “yes” to the question: “Regardless of whether you will move, if you had the opportunity, would you like to move to another state?” Fifty percent of Illinois residents wanted to run for the border, one percentage point higher than Connecticut.
But while statistically either you or the person next to you right now doesn’t want to be here, the percentage of us actually planning to disconnect the cable and wrap up the dishes is far lower, with 16 percent reporting they were “extremely,” “very” or “somewhat” likely to move in the next year. That was only slightly higher than the national average of 14 percent.
But don’t believe those figures either. Census data show that Americans don’t abandon their states in numbers anywhere near those levels. The most recent Census stats show that an estimated 2.3 percent of U.S. residents lived in a different state a year ago – and Connecticut’s numbers were at that very same percentage.
So the Gallup poll and the Census figures suggest that we grouse more than our fellow Americans, but don’t actually follow through on our disdain for the state.
Joining Connecticut in the Hate-My-State Club were Maryland, Nevada, Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Louisiana. In each of those states, at least 40 percent of residents said they would like to swap out their license plates.
The happiest campers: Those in Montana, Hawaii, Maine, Oregon, New Hampshire, Texas, Colorado and Minnesota – where no more than a quarter of residents wish they were someplace else. Nationally, one in three survey respondents said they would move if they could.
Among those who long to get out of Connecticut, one in five cited work or business issues as the main reason – although that figure was still lower than in many other states. Cost of living, on the other hand, was cited far more often by Connecticut residents than those living elsewhere.
The map below shows the Gallup poll figures for each state. Residents of bluer states were the happiest staying put; states that hue orange were populated with those most eager to leave. Click on the map to find the numbers for each state. A data caveat: Gallup says the figures have a margin of error of +/- 5 percentage points.