People are moving out of New Jersey – But is that a good thing?

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Several studies have shown that many New Jersey residents are moving out of the state at a high rate. New Jerseyans say that the high cost of living in the state is forcing them to move to Pennsylvania and elsewhere.

But as a state with an already high population, and not much open land left, News 12’s Brian Donohue wonders if maybe it’s a good thing.

Donohue spoke with James Hughes of the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. Hughes is the top expert on all things demographic. Donohue asked if there is downside to a decreasing population.

Hughes said that yes, there can be. Tax bases shrink and banks and hospitals may close. But he says that this mostly applies to local areas losing population, which is what is happening in the rural counties like Sussex and Hunterdon.

“The state overall – it’s not a major factor right now,” Hughes says.

But some Hunterdon County residents tell News 12 that they are a little worried about a declining population.

“I don’t like the idea that we are losing population, because I think we’re losing a lot of our young people because they’re not finding jobs opportunities here,” county resident Mary Ruffine says.

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