Thanks for everything, but I really must be going!

A new survey finds a high number of New Jersey residents say they'd move out of the Garden State in the not-too-distant future.

“Nearly half of New Jerseyans are thinking about leaving the state altogether. Tthat’s 44%. But about a quarter are thinking about doing that in the next five years -- 28%,” said Peter Woolley, director of FDU’s School of Public and Global Affairs.

And he said the youngest demographic polled shows "even more alarming" results.

"40% of people under 30 think that they will leave the state within five years," Woolley said.

The poll, conducted for the Fairleigh Dickinson University’s School of Public & Global Affairs and Garden State Initiative, found people have clear reasons why they want to head to greener pastures.

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“When you ask people why they’re willing to leave, it’s really because of quality of life and high prices -- so property taxes lead the list of people’s complaints," Wooley said.

But Woolley was quick to point out there are other concerns about living in the Garden State as well, including corruption, crime, threats to the environment and a weak infrastructure.

“New Jerseyans are thinking about getting out," Wolley said. It is somewhat disturbing that so many people are thinking about that in their future.”

He said complaints about New Jersey’s high cost of living and sky high property taxes “are very serious political problems that need to be solved with a broad consensus and need to be focused on in a sustained way, and New Jersey has not really been able to do that in many years."

Poll respondents also said they were concerned about employment prospects, the weather, schools, public transportation and race relations.
On the plus side, Woolley said, the poll finds New Jerseyans appreciate “its access to beaches, its access to big cities like New York and Philadelphia, and access to some good services like schools.”

The survey was conducted between Sept. 26 and Oct. 2 on cell phones and landlines, and included a random sampling of 801 New Jersey adults.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at

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