Mass Exodus: More People Left New Jersey Than Any Other State In 2018

Over the last four decades, United Van Lines has published its National Movers Study, which tracks customers’ state-to-state migration trends over the past year, revealed a mass exodus of residents from New Jersey than any other state in 2018.

Last year, New Jersey displaced Illinois to take the top spot on the list of most-moved from states. According to the study, 66.8% of New Jersey’s moves in 2018 were outbound, the highest rate across the country.

Illinois (65.9%), Connecticut (62%), New York (61.5%), and Kansas (58.7%) were included on the top five most moved-from states.

Among age demographics, New Jersey had a great year in attracting millennials, the state saw 7.97% more moves to the state than moves away. However, baby boomers were leaving the state 10% more often than arrived. 

Americans Are On The Move, But Where Are They Move To And From?

Some of the reasons for moving out of  New Jersey, according to the National Movers Study, were new jobs (34.73%), retirement (34.51%), and family (20.44%), followed by lifestyle (17.36%) and by health (6.15%).

More than two-thirds of the people who moved to New Jersey in 2018 (61.84%) arrived because of new employment 

“As the nation’s largest household goods mover, our study allows us to identify the most and least popular states for residential relocation throughout the country, year after year,” said Eily Cummings, director of corporate communications at United Van Lines. “These findings accurately reflect not only where Americans are moving to and from, but also the reasons why.”

Meanwhile, Ohio, Massachusetts, Iowa, Montana, and Michigan were bumped off the list of the most-moved from states.

Vermont, whose population is the second-smallest in the country, was the only state in the Northeast to see improved inbound migrations.

Four Western states were on the top five moved to list — Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, and Arizona.

The Carolinas, Washington, South Dakota and the District of Columbia were very close in making the top inbound list.

“The data collected by United Van Lines aligns with longer-term migration patterns to southern and western states, trends driven by factors like job growth, lower costs of living, state budgetary challenges and more temperate climates,” said Michael Stoll, economist and professor in the Department of Public Policy at UCLA.

“Unlike a few decades ago, retirees are leaving California, instead choosing other states in the Pacific West and Mountain West. We’re also seeing young professionals migrating to vibrant, metropolitan economies, like Washington, DC, and Seattle,” Stoll said. 

The study coincides with a 2017 report that New Jersey lost population for the first time in a decade. With a historically low birth rate and population growth that is stalling, New Jersey could find itself in economic trouble and the loss of Congressional seats in the coming years. 

US Military Will Test-Fire Next Gen Rifle Prototypes This Summer

For several decades, small arms advocates have urged the Pentagon for a replacement to the standard M16/M4 service weapon and the squad level light machine gun carried by most soldiers, Marines and special forces. Now, prototypes of these new super weapons are expected to be on the firing line in summer 2019.

Multiple Armed Forces intend on fielding the Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle (NGSAR), the first version of the Army’s Next-Generation Weapons System that chambers a round between 6.5mm and 6.8mm, as a replacement of its aging M16/M4 and M249 SAWs starting in 2022, Col. Geoffrey A. Norman, force development division chief at Army HQ, told Task & Purpose in early 2018.

Textron/AAI Next-Generation Weapon 
Textron/AAI Next-Generation Weapon information 

The new weapons will be transferred to close combat Army, Marine, and special operations forces in the early 2020s.

Before the selection of prototypes, government officials asked industry leaders to develop a round that would shoot further, more accurate, and penetrate the world’s most advanced body armor somewhere between 5.56mm and 7.62mm, the current standard NATO rounds.

In October, the Army selected the 6.8mm, next-generation round as the official requirements for the system. The NGSAR will weigh less, shoot farther, and pack more punch than the service’s existing infantry weapons, Norman told Task & Purpose. And more importantly, the platform will incorporate a chamber pressure superior to the current system in soldiers’ arsenals to ensure that the rounds can still penetrate enhanced enemy body armor at up to 600 meters.

“The chamber pressure for the standard assault rifle is around 45 KSI [kilopound per square inch], but we’re looking for between 60 and 80 KSI … the chamber pressure when an M1 Abrams tank fires is on that order,” Norman told Task & Purpose. “We’re looking to reach out around 600 meters and have lethal effects even if the target is protected by body armor.”

Last summer, the Army selected five companies to provide NGSAR prototypes that will be tested in the second half of 2019. 

Those companies are:

  • AAI Corporation Textron Systems
  • FN America LLC
  • General Dynamics-OTS Inc.
  • PCP Tactical, LLC.
  • Sig Sauer Inc.

The reason for the new weapons, according to Norman, is the Pentagon’s current shift from urban warfare in Iraq and Syria to the mountains and open terrain of Afghanistan. While the standard rifles may be well-suited for close combat in cities like Mosul and Raqqa, it lacks the range to kill adversaries in open stretches.

“For the past 10 or 15 years, we’ve been really focused on the requirement of lethal effects against unprotected targets,” Norman said. “Now we’re looking at near-peer threats like Russia and others. We need to have lethal effects against protected targets and we need to have requirements for long-range lethality in places like Afghanistan, where you’re fighting from mountaintop to mountaintop over extended ranges.”

Once the NGSAR is selected, the Army intends to make follow-on production awards for “250,000 total weapons system(s) (NGSW-R, NGSW-AR, or both), 150,000,000 rounds of ammunition, spare parts, tools/gauges/accessories, and engineering support.”

The awards could be worth $10 million the first year and $150 million per year at the higher production rates.

The bottom line is that long-awaited replacement to the standard service rifle is almost here. The Pentagon is in the last stretch of testing and by the end of 2019, could select one of the five companies above to produce the new weapon. This is all happening as the world has moved into a new and unsettling geopolitical phase.

US To Hold “First-Ever” Missile Drill On Japan’s Okinawa

The US Military will conduct its first-ever missile drill on the Japanese Island of Okinawa, located in the East China Sea, as Washington attempts to counter an increasingly aggressive China. Japan Times reported on Thursday that the US military had notified Japan’s government that it would deploy anti-ship missile systems around the strategically important island this year, the original story was released by Sankei Shimbun.

The war exercise would fortify the island with possible truck-mounted anti-ship cruise missile systems seen as a countermeasure to potential attacks from Chinese surface-to-sea ballistic rockets, the paper said.

China has repeatedly railed against US military expansion in Asia and the Pacific, describing the presence as a source of regional instability. In the last several years, Chinese warships have navigated near Okinawa, where roughly half of the 54,000 American troops are stationed, in an attempt to curb US military dominance in the East China Sea.

To counter the treat, Japan, has, in turn, postured its military along the Japanese archipelago, a group of 6,852 islands that extends over 1,850 miles from the Sea of Okhotsk northeast to the Philippine Sea south along the northeastern coast of the Eurasia continent.

Some military strategists believe Beijing seeks to end US military dominance in the western Pacific by exerting control of the second island chain that links Japan’s southern Ogasawara islands, the US territory of Guam, and Indonesia, said The Japan Times.

China’s rapid military build-up in the South China Sea has frightened its Asian neighbors, with Japan’s defense chief last year indicating China had been “unilaterally escalating” its military war drills in the previous year.

Okinawa’s strategic location between the Philippine, East China and South China Seas makes it a critical military outpost to preserve freedom of navigation of US warships and defend American security interests in the region. Okinawa’s proximity to China, Taiwan, the Korean Peninsula, and Japan supports rapid deployment of US marines to anywhere in the Eastern Hemisphere.

America’s presence on the island is also a critical component of its strategy to preserve peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Washington remains massively invested in Okinawa as a means of policing Asia and supporting Japan in its national defense, an obligation that started when the US signed the Security Treaty with Japan in 1960.

While America has hundreds of military bases around the world, the Okinawa base with future missile drills this year could be an indication that conflict with China is nearing in the East China Sea. 

Record Numbers Of Women And Poor Americans Want To Leave The U.S.

While Donald Trump has spent much of his presidency focused on the number of people who want to get into the U.S., since he took office, record numbers of Americans have wanted to get out according to a recent Gallup poll.

Though relatively average by global standards, the 16% of Americans overall who said in 2017 and again in 2018 that they would like to permanently move to another country – if they could – is higher than the average levels during either the George W. Bush (11%) or Barack Obama administration (10%).

While Gallup’s World Poll does not ask people about their political leanings, most of the recent surge in Americans’ desire to migrate has come among groups that typically lean Democratic and that have disapproved of Trump’s job performance so far in his presidency: women, young Americans and people in lower-income groups.

During the first two years of the Trump administration, a record-high one in five U.S. women (20%) said they would like to move to another country permanently if they could. This is twice the average for women during the Obama (10%) or Bush years (11%) and almost twice the level among men (13%) under Trump. Before the Trump years, there was no difference between men’s and women’s desires to move.

The 30% of Americans younger than 30 who would like to move also represents a new high – and it is also the group in which the gender gap is the largest. Forty percent of women younger than 30 said they would like to move, compared with 20% of men in this age group. These gender gaps narrow with age and eventually disappear after age 50.

Desire to migrate among the poorest 20% of Americans during Trump’s first two years is also at record levels. It is more than twice as high as the average during Obama’s two terms. So far under Trump, three in 10 Americans (30%) in the poorest 20% say they would like to migrate if they could, compared with an average of 13% under Obama.

But more than anything else, Trump himself may be the primary motivator. Regression analysis shows that regardless of differences by gender, age or income — if Americans disapprove of the job Trump is doing as president, they are more likely to want to leave the U.S. Overall, 22% of Americans who disapproved of Trump’s job performance during his first two years said they would like to move, compared with 7% who approved.

Destination Canada?

Before and after Trump’s election, many Americans — particularly Democrats — threatened to move to Canada (as Republicans did after Obama was elected). Canada always has been one of the top desired destinations for Americans, but that desire has only increased since Trump’s election. In 2018, more than one in four Americans (26%) who would like to move named Canada as the place they would like to go, up from 12% in 2016.

It’s important to note that people’s desire to migrate is typically much higher than their intention to do so — as such, it is unlikely that Americans will be flocking to the Canadian border. In fact, since Trump’s election, Canadian statistics show only a modest uptick in the number of Americans who have moved to Canada.

Bottom Line

After years of remaining flat, the number of Americans – particularly young women – who desire to leave the U.S. permanently is on the rise. This increase is concerning, but none of this suggests that the U.S. is going to suddenly see a mass migration in which it could lose as many as 40% of its young women.

However, the “Trump effect” on Americans’ desire to migrate is a new manifestation of the increasing political polarization in the U.S. Before Trump took office, Americans’ approval or disapproval of the president was not a push factor in their desire to migrate.