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Dissatisfied by the high cost of living, about half of Connecticut residents would leave the state if they had the opportunity, according to a Gallup Poll released this week.
Among the 50 states, only Illinois ranked higher in terms of the percentage of residents interested in moving on to greener pastures. Residents of Montana, Hawaii, Maine, Oregon, New Hampshire and Texas are about half as likely to want to leave their states, according to the poll results.
Connecticut residents' willingness to move out of state, however, does not match perfectly with the likelihood that they will do so immediately. Only 16 percent of Connecticut residents say it is likely they will move out of state in the next year, which places it in a four-way tie for eighth place among all the United States.
"A growing population usually means more commerce, more economic vitality, and a bigger tax base to pay for state services," according to a Gallup commentary. "A shrinking population not only hurts government coffers, but can weaken a state politically by virtue of the potential loss of U.S. House members through redistricting every 10 years."
Connecticut lost representation in the House after the 2000 Census, with the previous six districts reduced to five. There is some concern that Connecticut could lose another representative after the 2020 Census if current population trends continue, though many think a loss likely wouldn't occur until a decade or two later.
"Every state has at least some residents who are looking for greener pastures, but nowhere is the desire to move more prevalent than in Illinois and Connecticut," the Gallup said in releasing its poll results Wednesday. "The cost of living is a greater relative factor for residents in Connecticut."
In Illinois, 50 percent of residents said they would move if given a chance, while 49 percent of Connecticut residents agreed. Maryland came in third, with 47 percent of residents agreeing with the statement that, if given the opportunity, they would move.
The poll, conducted in the latter half of last year, involved at least 600 adult residents of each state. On average, about a third of residents in each state want to move elsewhere.
Gallup noted that residents' willingness to move from their home states appear tied to other dissatisfaction measures that it has reported on within the past month, including concerns about the level of taxation, in which Connecticut had the third highest level of angst, after New York and New Jersey. Connecticut also ranked among the bottom 10 in residents' belief that it was among the best states in which to live.
Poll results are available at www.gallup.com.