Connecticut’s Exodus Gets its Own Facebook Page

Debra had a question: are people really moving out of Connecticut? And if so, why and to where?

So, she started a Facebook group called “People Who Have Left or are Leaving Connecticut,” to get answers to who, what, why and, most importantly, where Connecticut residents are going.

In just 18 days membership grew to nearly 604 people, all saying they have left, are leaving or want to leave Connecticut. In the two days between Debra’s interview with Yankee Institute and publication of this article, membership had grown to 864.

“It was just a question of mine,” Debra said, who asked that only her first name be used. “But it’s become a part-time job.”

Debra said she tries to keep the conversation limited to the particulars of moving – what moving companies people use, what states they want to move to — but members often venture into politics, saying Connecticut’s government is one of their chief reasons for leaving.

“People are angry,” Debra said. “With all the taxes and tolls and nickle-and-diming. People from other states are writing in and telling others how good it is once they leave.”

Debra says the biggest complaint among members is Connecticut’s cost of living. “They simply can’t afford it,” she said, and she sympathizes. “I may not be able to stay.”

She made the site a closed group because many members don’t want friends, family and employers to see they are thinking of moving.

While Debra may have been shocked by the response to her Facebook page, the history of Connecticut’s population loss goes back to 2013 when the state’s population began declining year after year.

Studies and reports from both the federal government and the State of Connecticut show Connecticut is losing population to states like Florida, North Carolina and Texas which often have no income tax or lower property taxes.

One of the largest groups leaving the state is retirees who, now living on a fixed income, leave for states with fewer taxes and a lower cost of living.

But they aren’t the only group leaving. Young people often leave for college and stay in whatever state they receive their education and working-age people leave for employment as Connecticut’s economy has lagged behind most other states.

United Van’s annual moving study reported that more people were moving out of Connecticut than in and the primary reason was employment. 

The Internal Revenue Service also found that in 2015 Connecticut saw a net loss of $2.6 billion in adjusted gross income as wealthier people left the state and were replaced by those earning less.

Lawmakers have responded by trying to keep pension and social security income tax deductions in place during years in which the state faces budget deficits. The 2019 budget approved by the House and Senate did not raise taxes on retirees.

But the state also instituted a so-called “mansion tax,” which levies a conveyance tax for any property that sells for over $2.5 million – but the tax only takes effect if the seller moves out of state within three years, essentially making it an exit tax for the wealthy.

Connecticut also has to contend with the loss of businesses. Major employers like General Electric and Alexion have moved their headquarters out of state and, with the passage of Connecticut’s new $15 minimum wage, at least one manufacturer in Waterbury says they will have no choice to relocate the business.

Debra says that in the past people often talked of moving but she believes that now “people are actually taking steps to do it.”

“They’re struggling to make ends meet,” Debra said. “It’s not a joke anymore.”

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(20) Comments

  1. Clare O'Lena

    June 17, 2019 1:14 pm

    I weep for my home state. Yet, at the same time, can’t wait to leave it as it’s too expensive to even think about retiring in. :'(

  2. Angelo Pullo

    June 16, 2019 6:49 pm

    Please keep this site alive, send results to Hartford. May not do anything but there’s also nothing to lose!!

    • Ronald DeGregory

      June 18, 2019 12:05 am

      I don’t need a closed site, it is no secret that we will be moving out of this once great state. it will happen next summer as my wife still has approximately 11 more months to work before she can retire. The state taxes and direction that we are heading from tolls, to entitlements for illegals and others is just terrible. Issuing driver licenses, and other items such as college fees waved for illegals. etc. So. we will say goodbye to the taxation state of Connecticut.

  3. JP Walsh

    June 16, 2019 4:44 am

    Can the YI conduct its own investigation into the bizarro Lamont “win” after midnight on Election Night. The entire State Of Connecticut went to bed on Election Night with the knowledge that Bob Stefanowski would be the next governor. But then – surprise – there were batches of ballots that turned up in Bridgeport. CT has the distinction of the most political corruption of any State in the USA. With Stefanowski, there would not have been this very real Connexit.

    • Jeff Z

      June 17, 2019 11:36 am

      Please stop. Stefanowski was an absolute mutt. The Republicans had better candidates and actually promoted one at convention (which ol’ Bob conveniently sidestepped). It was equivalent to a group of people looking at online menu’s before going out to eat. As they arrive at the location a crazy man in the alley starts shouting about free filet mignon & lobster in the dumpster (that would be “no income tax” Bob). The morons in the group fall for it and get food poisoning. There’s your election in a nutshell. 2% of the voting population chose a scam artist in the Republican primary! Blame them!

      • Bill

        June 17, 2019 3:56 pm

        Oh tolls only on trucks yea believed that one did u? We all have to step up a LITTLE, believed that one did u. That stepup led us over a cliff with on return. Hanks democrats now we all have to suffer.

  4. bill

    June 11, 2019 6:52 am

    no more snow!!

  5. Lois A

    June 9, 2019 3:33 pm

    I would definitely move out, as I feel imprisoned, after being born and raised here, having had a family and friends that are still here and have seen the states’ destruction throughout my past years of residing here. It was a much different Connecticut in my earlier years. Pride in our state has diminished greatly. Our tax burden has gotten out of control and is only getting worse with the new rules and regulations. We’re being forced to make a decision to leave that will, hopefully, benefit us in our future.

  6. Chris Wilson

    June 9, 2019 9:15 am

    Looks like Facebook took the group down

  7. Smith Smith

    June 9, 2019 1:22 am


    • Anna Beliveau

      June 17, 2019 8:47 am

      Exactly. The irony of those people who vote for Democrats and then get exactly what was promised…more taxes, tolls, etc. How dare they complain and threaten to move out of state!

      • Pat

        June 17, 2019 7:34 pm

        You really think we all voted for them?

  8. Bruce

    June 8, 2019 10:03 pm

    Left 5 years ago. Can not afford the property taxes and cost of housing. Liberal politics and govt arrogance toward its citizens is right up there with the taxes.

  9. Ray Alexander

    June 8, 2019 6:27 pm

    “The 2019 budget approved by the House and Senate did not raise taxes on retirees.”
    How did you come to this wrong conclusion? There were 25 plus new taxes that will be levied, most of which will affect all CT citizens including retirees. What’s more, the possibility of tolls will affect retirees. Please be honest in your assessment of government actions. These new taxes ARE forcing retirees and others to leave the state. It is drastically increasing income inequality here.. This was the point of this article, correct?

  10. Blair

    June 7, 2019 8:01 pm

    We are leaving ASAP.

  11. Ron

    June 7, 2019 8:01 pm

    Sign me up! Had enough of Dimwitted Democrats!

  12. Lori Fomenko

    June 7, 2019 6:05 pm

    I don’t want to leave CT. But the taxes are too high. I don’t know how Governor Lamont won. I don’t know one person who voted for him.
    I am retiring this year and the cost of living in CT is too high, especially for retirees.

  13. Ted Jeffries

    June 7, 2019 6:00 pm

    Yankee Institute, please make sure our politicians see this. They are the only ones who can fix this, and only if they have the guts and will power to do it

    • Frank Kulick

      June 18, 2019 9:46 am

      Unfortunately these problems are not the politicians but the PEOPLE who voted them in! There will always be bad politicians, it takes wisdom and understanding NOT to vote for such people. The real problem is the people, or at least half the people!

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