Poll finds many hoping to leave New Jersey behind Associated Press October 17, 2007 TRENTON, N.J. - While one recent study found more than 231,000 people have left New Jersey since 2002, a poll released Wednesday found many more would like to follow. The Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey Poll found 49 percent of New Jersey adults would like to move out of the state, compared to 44 percent who would prefer to stay and 7 percent who are unsure. The poll found 51 percent of those who want to leave say they're very likely to make good on that wish, with most of the those who want to leave adults less than 50 years of age and earning between $50,000 and $100,000 per year. "The poll points to a real possibility that active working adults and higher-earning retirees will leave the state in greater numbers, leaving behind a generally low-income senior population," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. "This could put added demand on public services, but with a diminished tax base to carry the costs." A Rutgers University study, released last week, found New Jersey's accelerating population loss is starting to have significant economic and fiscal consequences. The report found the state lost 231,565 people between 2002 and 2006, including 72,547 people last year. The latter was the fourth highest loss in the nation behind only California, Louisiana and New York. When lost income and sales taxes from the people who left New Jersey are considered, the population drain is estimated to have cost the state $680 million in tax revenue last year, the report found. The latest poll found 28 percent of people wanting to leave citing America's highest property taxes as the leading reason; 19 percent mentioned the state's generally high cost-of-living, with 6 percent citing housing costs and 5 percent citing state taxes. Other top reasons for wanting to leave New Jersey include the weather, environment, longing for a change of scenery, overdevelopment, congestion and government corruption. Half of those wanting to leave want to move to the Southeast, with Florida and North Carolina the most popular choices, the poll found. "Many say that the most pressing issues in New Jersey will not change unless the public takes a stand," Murray said. "Well, it appears that the public has decided to vote with their feet." The telphone poll conducted of 801 New Jersey adults was conducted from Sept. 27-30 and has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.