FILE - United Van Lines moving truck Uhaul

(The Center Square) – People are ditching New Jersey for other locations, as the Garden State topped a list of states where residents are leaving.

The findings were part of United Van Lines’ 45th Annual National Movers Study, which found of all moves to or from New Jersey, 70.5% were outbound.

Reasons for leaving New Jersey included retirement (32.6%), family (27.4%), lifestyle (25.5%), job (19.8%) and cost (16.4%).

“This new data from United Van Lines is indicative of COVID-19’s impact on domestic migration patterns, with 2021 bringing an acceleration of moves to smaller, midsized towns and cities,” Michael A. Stoll, economist and professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles, said in a news release. “We’re seeing this not only occur because of Americans’ desire to leave high density areas due to risk of infection, but also due to the transformation of how we’re able to work, with more flexibility to work remote.”

New Jersey edged out Illinois, New York, Connecticut and California to top the list of outbound states. Nationally, Vermont, South Dakota, South Carolina, West Virginia and Florida topped the states for inbound residents.

“As the pandemic continues to impact our day-to-day, we’re seeing that lifestyle changes – including the increased ability to work from home – and wanting to be closer to family are key factors in why Americans are moving today,” Eily Cummings, United Van Lines’ director of corporate communications, said in a news release.