Unhappy in Connecticut

We gotta get out of this place

If it's the last thing we ever do

We gotta get out of this place

'Cause girl, there's a better life

For me and you

So sang Eric Burdon of The Animals in their 1965 hit song, "We Gotta Get out of This Place." Unfortunately, it could serve as the theme song for Connecticut.

A Gallup Poll released last week found that roughly half of Connecticut residents, 49 percent to be precise, responded that they would leave the state if they had the opportunity. Only Illinois, with 50 percent wishing they could flee, ranked higher in resident unhappiness.

While one might try to dismiss this number on the premise that Connecticut Yankees are surly by nature, and so likely to respond affirmatively when questioned whether the grass is greener elsewhere, the fact is that there are plenty of Yankees in Maine, too. Yet residents there are among the most satisfied, with only 23 percent saying they would leave.

Many find it just too darn expensive to live in this state. The Gallup pollsters found cost of living was a major factor in why so many residents of Connecticut and New York (41 percent) would just as soon leave. Crowded Connecticut highways, high taxes and struggling cities probably don't help either.

There was no breakdown how residents in different sections of Connecticut responded, but with its mixture of small towns and cities, coastal communities and rural environs, we'd like to think fewer residents of southeastern Connecticut are so unhappy they want to exit, but that thinking may be wishful.

Sixteen percent of state residents say it is likely they will actually move from the state in the next year, also among the higher such numbers.

These are troubling responses. It is not a good sign for the future of the state economy if people want to leave. And the factors driving the negative attitudes cannot be easily turned around. There is reason for concern.

The Day editorial board meets regularly with political, business and community leaders and convenes weekly to formulate editorial viewpoints. It is composed of President and Publisher Tim Dwyer, Editorial Page Editor Paul Choiniere, retired Day editor Lisa McGinley, Managing Editor Tim Cotter and Staff Writer Julia Bergman. However, only the publisher and editorial page editor are responsible for developing the editorial opinions. The board operates independently from the Day newsroom.


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