What's New

Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

April 12, 2000

More Upstate residents may be leaving, study finds

The proportion of Upstate New York residents who expect to move out of the region is more than double that of residents in other states, a study conducted for M&T Bank found. Upstate residents with the most education and relatively high incomes were especially likely to say they expect to leave.

High taxes and better job opportunities elsewhere are the most frequently mentioned reasons for Upstaters' expectation that they may move away, according to the study by Harris Interactive.

Fully 21 percent of Upstate residents over the age of 18 who were surveyed via e-mail said they expect to move out within the next five years. Sixty-six percent of respondents said they expect to stay, while 13 percent said they did not know. Nationwide, 10 percent of respondents said they expect to move to another state within five years.

Individuals aged 18 to 30 were especially likely to see a move in their future, with 40 percent of that age group Upstate saying they expect to go elsewhere. Nationally, 21 percent in the 18-to-30 category expected to move. More than half, 55 percent, of the Upstate residents who said they were full-time students predicted they will move, compared to 25 percent nationwide.

Those with relatively high incomes were much more likely to foresee a move if they live in Upstate New York than in other states. Among Upstate respondents, 30 percent of those with household income of $100,000 to $150,000 and 23 percent of those with income over $150,000 expected to move. The national figures for those income groups were 3 and 2 percent, respectively.

Asked for the primary reason they expect to leave Upstate New York, 29 percent of respondents mentioned high taxes. Twenty-seven percent cited better job opportunities elsewhere, while 25 percent mentioned the weather. In other states, only 2 percent of those who expected to move cited high taxes as a reason.

Among Upstate residents who predicted they will move away, more than half said they would be likely to stay if state taxes were reduced by 25 percent. More than a third said they would stay if taxes were reduced by 10 percent. Personal income taxes, residential property taxes, sales tax and utility tax were rated as high concerns for most respondents.