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Annual Massachusetts Outmigration Hits 39,000, Up 1,100% Over The Last Decade: BU Study

Annual net outmigration from Massachusetts has soared by a stunning 1,100 percent to 39,000 people since 2013, according to a new Boston University Questrom School of Business study. If the trend continues, the researchers found, the state's net outmigration could reach 96,000 by 2030.

Outmigration cost Massachusetts $4.3 billion in adjusted gross income (AGI) and $213.7 million in tax revenue during the 2020-21 tax year. The majority of that money went to Florida ($1.77 billion), New Hampshire ($1.1 billion), and Maine ($393 million.) Those numbers could rise to $19.2 billion in AGI and $961 million in lost tax revenue by 2030.

"To make matters worse, those who are leaving tend to be younger and earn more than state averages," said Boston University Questrom School of Business primary researcher and lecturer Mark Williams. "These are the people the Commonwealth needs to bolster its future workforce."

The age group leaving in the largest numbers is 26-34, although most of the lost AGI comes from the departures of those aged 55-64. More than half of people who exited Massachusetts earn well over the state average.

Income tax, housing costs, and costs of health care are the largest drivers of outmigration, according to the study. The 11 states to which Massachusetts lost the bulk of its departing residents all scored better in those categories. Eight of the 11 states scored better in housing burden (the proportion of household income allocated to housing costs).

"This isn't just retirees leaving Massachusetts for warmer weather," Professor Williams said. "Over half the residents who leave stay in New England."

The top five destination states are Florida, New Hampshire, Maine, North Carolina, and Texas.

About Mark Williams
Mark Williams is a faculty member in the Finance Department at Boston University's Questrom School of Business and the former President of the Boston Economic Club.

About Boston University
Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education and research. With nearly 37,000 students, it is one of the largest private residential universities in the United States. BU consists of 17 schools and colleges, along with the Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences and a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes integral to the University's research and teaching mission. In 2012, BU joined the Association of American Universities (AAU), a consortium of leading research universities in the United States and Canada.

About Boston University Questrom School of Business
Founded in 1913, the Boston University Questrom School of Business is a global top-tier academic research business school. Led by Allen Questrom Professor and Dean, Susan Fournier, Questrom develops business leaders who create value for the world. Questrom redefines transformational business programs, strengthens partnerships with the business community, advances the impact of research on business, and manages the school as a high-performing enterprise committed to excellence with a service mindset. Comprising a renowned full-time faculty of 165 researchers, teaching faculty, and accomplished practitioners, Questrom generates insights to address today's business challenges and prepares students with the tools they need to succeed from Day 1 in their professional lives. Questrom's portfolio of academic programs is robust and includes a Top 20 undergraduate program of over 2,200 students; distinctive MBA offerings including 900 students in a full- and part-time MBA, the affordable Online MBA and specialty MBAs in social impact, health, and digital technology; several thriving specialized masters programs in areas including business analytics, mathematical finance, and management studies; and a rigorous PhD program. More than 50,000 Questrom alumni form a powerful global network of leaders driving value creation that changes the world.

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