graduation caps flying from a slab of stone into the air.Millennials are leaving New Jersey more frequently than any other generation, and the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA) supports legislation to find out why.

The bill, S-518 (Kean, R-21, Cunningham, D-31), was approved Thursday by the Senate.

“We invest on average more than $20,000 per pupil per year for K-12 education. When students leave the state for college and never return to pursue a career here, it results in a negative return on investment for New Jersey taxpayers,” said NJBIA Chief Government Affairs Officer Chrissy Buteas. “That in turn impacts businesses’ ability to find the qualified, skilled workers they need.

“We cannot effectively solve this problem until we ascertain empirical evidence to know what is causing New Jersey students to stay or leave for postsecondary education,” Buteas said. “This bill is a first step in the process.”

Under the bill, high school seniors would be surveyed about their plans after graduation. The Secretary of Higher Education would also review academic and socio-economic characteristics between those who chose in-state institutions and those who go out of state. The bill would also require an analysis of the extent to which the outmigration is impacted by the state’s small size and the desire of college students to experience independent living at a distance from their families.

According to NJBIA’s report on millennial outmigration, 1,050,097 millennials migrated out of New Jersey between 2007 and 2016 while 866,506 millennials migrated into the state for a net outmigration of 183,591. High school seniors and young adults (aged 18-24) accounted for 58 percent of the millennial outmigration during the same time span.

“NJBIA believes further analysis of why students are leaving is critical to addressing millennial outmigration moving forward,” Buteas said. “We, along with stakeholders from academia, business and government, will continue to evaluate and recommend additional measures to address the outmigration.”

17 responses to “Understanding Outmigration of High School Graduates”

  1. Manfred Mann says:

    What a moronic study. Any halfwit with a 6th grade education can tell you that outward migration is caused by high taxes, unreliable transportation, unaffordable housing, lack of good jobs, and cities plagued by urban decay. Maybe our illustrious legislature can take time out from investing millions in defending and educating illegal aliens and get their priorities straight. Makes you yearn for the days of Chris Christie.

    • 2xl says:

      Manfred Man nailed it

    • JD says:


    • Howard rossman says:

      The true reason is that very many Nj students wanted to go away to college which meant going more than 100 miles away. Rutgers was never considered an away school particularly among the top 30 pct of socio economic advantaged zip code school districts. Nj is a bedroom commuter state to the finance insurance legal medical arts entertainment and tech economies. My own family history of now 3 generations of college grads. Myself Canadian Mcgill undergrad Nj MBA Nj resident returned to Nj 58 years ago. My wife Nj girl Nj college stayed in Nj 2 sons NYC bs degrees 2 NYC law degrees. Both work in NYC. One lives in Nj one lives in NYC. 4th son bs Maryland left Nj married Canadian girl lives and works in Canada. 3rd son Nj man through and through Rutgers grads lives works as Nj cop 1st grand child Nj resident at u Delaware. Second Nj grandchild at Nj tcnj. Wait and see. Nj is a great state for families education jobs health religion don’t underestimate or put down Nj for natural wanderlust

    • Tea Tottler says:

      Manfred hit the nail on the head, but left out political corruption. When Trenton politicians pass bills they don’t comply with, make promises they don’t keep and use resources (pension and, transportation funds) which should be kept in trust, a sacred trust is violated. I don’t blame these young adults for getting out. I wish I had done it sooner

  2. What if we invested less dollars per pupil and they stayed?

    What if Rutgers and Rowan had more LEED-certified facilities?

    What if New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority had a more reasonable application deadline than 1 December for its NJBEST 529 College Savings Plan Scholarship? And did not restrict its scholarship to only Freshman Year?

  3. greg labelle says:

    Wow, really? How out of touch are the legislators in NJ. After years of the tax the rich mentality, the rich are leaving. The young can not afford rent in the state and home ownership is all but a thing of the past. So really, why would anyone stay? At least the younger can leave before they grow independent roots. I was a NJ business owner and had to close my mfg. business as ot became oprresively expensive for insurance and my local school district told me flat out why they no longer teach machinists in votech. They said that was a job of the past and we could not be competitive in NJ. Well if the K-12 crowd gets it, I wonder why Trenton is confused?

  4. Joe Olivo says:

    As someone that just had 3 children leave to attend college out of state I can provide all evidence they need. A state university system that is inefficient and unresponsive. The NJ schools my kids applied to all were the last to respond to their applications. They had already accepted out of state before evening receiving their in-state acceptance letters. In-state tuition costs that are not even competitive with private universities outside the state. Financial aid favors those with the very lowest of incomes. And lastly, a state that is among the most heavily taxed and regulated in the nation. Why are we wasting money on a study?

    • Lisa says:

      Joe is correct! NJ legislators listen up….don’t waste OUR money on this study. Apply it towards meaningful expenditures.

  5. John Johnson says:

    Agree with the previous respondents. It is a chore to live in New Jersey with the
    high cost of EVERYTHING. Property taxes, traffic, etc. Politicians can talk all they
    want but the tax payer and business owners get lip service only.

  6. Kurt says:

    Politicians commission expensive studies to gather information that they all ready know but are too cowardly to admit, the liberal and social policies of the past have failed. But what the hell, let’s raise the taxes on the successful people in the state. I’m sure that will help, let’s increase the minimum wage to $15 dollars per hour. I’m sure that will fix everything. It’s not just the college graduates that are leaving, so are the businesses, the retirees, and the successful.

  7. Gerald P. LaBruzza says:

    too unfriendly to small business owners. More benefits given to unwed mothers, drug abusers – by choice and other minority interest groups. Funny thing is that Minority people that have families and jobs are as oppressed as the rest of us while the people who can abuse the system have no such problems. ie Free or subsidized housing , children with multiple siblings – with different FATHERS who are not made to pay any support for these children……Free medical etc very simply we reward those who have used our resources to cheat us out of assistance needed by the work force to be able to improve our socio-economic positioning so that social programs can be operated in a manner to benefit all. The righteous people are punished and the other segments are rewarded hansomely for their destructive behaviors.

  8. Capt. Obvious Jr. says:

    We should look at Rutgers declining admission to excellent in state prospective students ratios, versus potential favorable process to out of state prospects (higher tuition), as well as, possibly adhering to statistical political agendas in the admissions process.

  9. Stephen Brasco says:

    The real problem is the the middle to upper middle class (myself and peers) facebook following sheep and there spoiled rotten kids who have to go out of state to schools for better facebook bragging rights .If you ask any of the graduates why they are going to a particular school it nothing to do with money or curriculum , it only has to to with location and notority . Don’t underestimate NJ colleges they are are great just like our state .

  10. Paul says:

    The democrat party is EVIL

  11. Jill T says:

    My son was offered tuition at an out of state college for less than HALF of what the cost of Rutgers is. Rutgers offered him nothing, other than an athletic scholarship which was still less than any other college that he was offered from.
    We own our own business. My husband grew up in NJ. He just recently said we cannot afford to retire in NJ (which I have known for a long time). Who can afford the taxes? We hired an employee and are still no further ahead bc of all the additional taxes we have to pay!
    The fact that they have to commission a study (more money) to find out why our high schoolers are leaving the state just goes to show the stupidity of our elected officials. Hopefully they were not educated in NJ (supposedly one of the best systems in the country!) Quite laughable.

  12. Kevin brooks says:

    It’s comical they need to study this.

    Houses unaffordable, taxes too high. A lot of the state has lost to many small businesses to big corporations. The place lacks the culture it had during the 90s.

    You can’t blame us for not wanting to stuff a family into a cramped one bedroom apartment for 1800 a month when we could rent a whole house down south for cheaper.