Should I Stay Or Should I Go? 41 Percent Of Mass. Residents Would Leave, Poll Finds

Forty-one percent of Massachusetts residents say they'd leave the state if they could, a poll found.

Forty-one percent of Massachusetts residents say they’d leave the state if they could, a poll found.

As if this late April cold front wasn’t enough of a giveaway, 41 percent of Massachusetts residents say they would leave the state if they could, according to a new Gallup poll.

The poll, which was conducted between June and December 2013, found that Massachusetts ranked eighth, in terms of residents who’d like to leave. Illinois and Connecticut ranked first and second, with 50 percent and 49 percent of residents, respectively, saying they’d get out of town if presented with the opportunity. Montana and Hawaii were at the bottom of the list, with only 23 percent of residents in each state saying that they would leave.

Though 41 percent of Massachusetts residents indicated a desire to leave, when asked whether or not they intended to move to a different state within the next 12 months, 87 percent said that it was “not too/not at all likely” they would move within that timeframe.

Nationwide, the most common reason cited for wanting to leave a given state was work/business-related issues, though no specific information was given on the state level for Massachusetts.

This got us thinking, and we’d love to hear from you. In light of the results from this poll, we want to know: What it is that keeps you in Massachusetts?

Let us know in the comments of this post, or tweet at us using the hashtag #WhyIStayMA on Twitter. We’ll continue to update this post with your answers.

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  • Emilia Diamant

    I love MA because it’s where my family, friends, Red Sox, and community are. It’s a place full of diverse opportunity, creativity, and excitement.

  • E. Houde

    Because, despite it being expensive to live here, and cold, I do love this area. Been here 14 years and wouldn’t trade that decision to move back to where I came from for the world.

  • Debbie Blicher

    I love the arts here, especially all the music. I love how the city of Boston feels like a family quarrel. I love how people pull together in adversity, don’t sacrifice humanity for efficiency, make eye contact. I love that everyone reads. That education is highly valued. That you don’t have to watch sports to know what’s going on with the teams.

  • Allison @neversaydiebeauty

    I hate the winter weather here, so if I leave in the future that will be the reason why

  • Anne Meczywor

    Hate the weather, but love the people, the spirit, the history, the sports, the differences between the city, the shore, and the hills all within a couple of hours drive.

  • Sara

    My family, the amazing educational opportunities, the sports teams, the beaches, the Berkshires, the spaghetti streets, the history… these are all elements of why I choose to live here. But at the very top of the list is the fact that I feel safe in my same-sex relationship here, both because of social acceptance and historic legal support. That is simply not the case in most of the country, and I don’t forget that.

  • RickyWW

    As a gay atheist who spent the first half of his life in Louisiana – you couldn’t pry me out of Massachusetts with a crowbar. Relative to other major cities in the US, Boston is a small, clean, and beautiful; with a thriving arts community, a diverse populace, and more educational opportunities than you could shake a stick at. I may eventually retire somewhere cheaper, but that’s a long way off.

    • Vandermeer

      Amen and loved your comment.

  • MeowMix

    Just (as in this month) bought a house here after 20 years of renting. (HOORAY!) I’ve thought about moving before, maybe to Western Mass, but I eventually stopped wanting to leave. This city is my home. I love (most of) the people, the neighborhood shops, the arts and music, I love Keytar Bear, I love my gym, I love Market Basket, I love the subways and the buses and the commuter rail, I love the proximity to the Cape and the mountains of the north, I love that you can see a warbler in the public garden. Sure, sometimes the weather is a drag, sometimes a bus passes you on the street and you hate everything momentarily, but overall it’s a really neat city. Oh, and the Red Sox. How could I move away from them? The only thing I don’t like is driving here. Everyone is in such a rush, and selfish. But then that’s why I ride the T!

  • SpectacledSpectator


  • Crystal Stugard

    It’s home. I moved to Arizona for 3 years and while the warm weather was nice, it just wasn’t new England. I was born and raised in MA and I think it’ll always be part of me.

  • cko8926

    I love Boston and it will always be my home. However, housing is too expensive and despite my youth and high level of education, (Master’s Degree) I have been unable to find a good job. I am considering moving to another blue state with more job opportunities.

  • Laura Bergamini

    I’ll be leaving MA in the near future – although I don’t mind winters here, I actually LOVE being cold and miserable, but I’d rather be cold and miserable on the Rockies or the Alps than on the White Mountains. I’m approaching retirement and looking for a cheaper US state or foreign nation to make my money last longer, go farther. But I won’t sever my ties with Boston/New England, I’ll rent out my house so that I can decide to come back any time. I think I will miss the progressive, forward-thinking air you breathe in Boston anywhere else I end up!

    • Vandermeer

      Good luck to you!

  • anniecameron

    I’m from Cleveland. Why would I ever leave the North Shore?

  • Jeremiah

    I love MA!…. for 3 months of the year. I’ve been here since I’ve been born and I feel like I’ve been spending 2/3 of my life just waiting for summer. From the first bite of frost in October, through the relentless onslaught of January/ February snow, and slogging forward through the slate gray rawness of March and April, I hate the winter here. It’s too long. I’ve got a great job on the North Shore, as well as most of my family, otherwise I’d be in California without a second thought.

  • jad311

    I agreed to move here for 3 years for my husband’s job from CA where I am from and my family lives. 6 years later we are still here as the opportunities for him professionally expanded. My job allows for some flexibility in location so I am eager to leave. My mantra to my husband is to “think Westward young man”. He is looking at an opportunity in WA currently. I do think MA has much going for it, however, it is culturally similar to San Francisco which has much better weather (a temperate fog is much better than the temperature extremes for me).

  • tone

    what percent of MA population are students who plan to be here for 4 years and leave the state? if one quarter (or so?) of the 41% is transient in nature, which is probably far above average, then we’re probably closer to average??

  • Karen Mahon

    I’m from California and lived in WV and Kansas before coming to MA. Why do I stay? Blue state, on the coast, people here are well-read, informed and have opinions, well-educated citizens, lots of cultural events and three great seasons per year. Where else could I find that combination?

  • birdie benaroche

    Ugh. Tough question as we approach May and I’m still wearing gloves!! I stay because it’s home for my husband and children, all of whom were born here. Would I go? In a heartbeat. But despite the angry people, vicious drivers, cost of real estate and lack of community between residents of neighboring towns, I know we are fortunate to be here. But still. Ugh.

  • Citizen James

    My wife and I did leave… in 2005 for Florida. While I miss the culture I would never move back to the gray skies, persistent rain and stick-like vegetation with leaves absent six months out of the year. I am with likeminded people here… Most everyone is from the Northeast. So the question is whether you are a Red Sox fan or a Yankees fan. In that regard it’s a bit like Connecticut… only with palm trees and tans. To stay in touch I listen to WBUR.org ;)

  • Rebecca Hoell

    Because Seasons should be distinct, I love my winter freezing, my summers hot, my fall bright orange and my spring an explosion of green. Because there is something about being a New Englander that sinks into your bones. I grew up hear and I can not bear to live somewhere that does not have Ma’s forests and nature. Boston is wonderful city, walkable and full of culture. Also the values and left leaning politics don’t hurt :P You can keep you 70s year round ill take my ice!!!! :P

    • gotham77

      I agree.

  • FenwaySection35

    I did leave and moved to Florida for work and I regret it almost every day. New England is more than just a place to live. I miss the four seasons, family, friends, emphasis on the importance of education, diversity, culture, and the tolerance for different ideas and people. And although I’m getting close to retirement, I’m tired of those who come here to retire and rail against spending on quality education for our kids, a living wage for teachers, firefighters, and police. They forget that it was the taxpayers of the past who did it for their kids and communities. Before you move, think about what’s important to you and don’t let the thermometer make the decision for you.

  • J~daddy

    I would leave if I could, but my children are here and their mother won’t uproot them. I’m sick of the 5 month long Winters, and the almost total lack of the season called Spring. But the Summers aren’t too bad, and the Fall is excellent. The sports teams are awesome, but Massachusetts accents sound idiotic. Worst drivers EVER. The beaches suck. No one knows how to drive in a rotary. And I have no clue where I would move to, anyway…

    • gotham77

      Kvetch kvetch kvetch…

    • cuvtixo

      The laws of Massachusetts specifically state that the car already in the rotary has the right-of-way, over cars coming from the right. This is not the case in other states. You might want to make sure you are driving in a rotary correctly, it will determine your degree of fault in case of an accident.

  • DanM

    Massachusetts is hostile to middle class wage earners employed in the private sector. The economic, political and social environment here favors the wealthy, the low-income people, the government employees and politically connected cronies. The rest of us are treated like dirt.
    I advise anybody who performs a useful job to get out of here. Writing iPhone apps doesn’t count as useful.
    And Fenway Park is a dump.

    • Vandermeer

      so where are you headed Dan?

      • DanM

        In general, there is no such thing as a good or bad place to live. That can only be determined by the preferences of an individual.

        Marriage prevents my immediate relocation, but eventually I would like to settle in Montana. The Kalispell/Whitefish area.

        The Northeast is rapidly aging and people who perform valuable blue collar jobs are disappearing. I hope you cubicle hamsters can find somebody to help you when you are 80 years old and your heating system breaks down in January.

  • gotham77

    If they could? Why can’t they? Of course they can. They stay anyway. What does that tell you?

    • J~daddy

      Maybe an indicator that they can’t…

  • gotham77

    I get it, it gets cold and snowy for a few months. I don’t get why people work themselves up about it.

  • rockhauler

    having lived in other states in different parts of the country, i’m happy to be back in MA. i’m liberal in politics and religion, proletarian in class, an open-minded skeptic, and an activist for community improvement. from working sales in other nearby states, i appreciate our enlightened tax policy that does not tax necessities (compare vermont and new york). i appreciate the state participation in funding education to promote equality across districts. the variety in weather keeps me entertained. the only thing i really hate about this state is the elitisim based on zip code, street address, or size of house. fluidity of population means that community can be hard come by, and an educated low-income person may not be welcomed in many places. i guess that implies a bit of hypocrisy.

  • http://www.countonamerica.info/ Ellery

    Interesting that people are talking about the weather. It’s the price of housing that’s killing us here. I keep thinking about my hometown friends in Ohio that are raising their kids in a 4 bedroom house, for $175,000. And Cincinnati has great beer, culture and a beautiful riverfront to boot.

  • Vandermeer

    Having grown up in the San Francisco and Lost Angeles areas, I’m happy life circumstances sent me to the North Shore of Boston. I love the little towns, the changing seasons, the cultural opportunities of living near Boston but not in an urban environment…heck, there is a horse paddock across the street and a huge meadow behind my house. I enjoy my town’s beach… one of the prettiest in the Northeast. I miss the friendly, openness of Californians and great dry warm weather. As others have mentioned, I enjoy living in a commonwealth that is represented by progressives like Elizabeth Warren, Deval Patrick, John Tierneyn and I’m so proud of our new Secretary of State John Kerry who is also from here. I could not live in a state like North or South Carolina where tea party bigots and Republican union busters are in power.

  • lilybeth12

    I love living here. I love the city, the neighborhood we call home(Roslindale), availability of public transport (trust me there’s worse), the history, my job, and the amazing healthcare at our fingertips. I also love the fact that we’re a progressive state, I couldnt imagine moving somewhere that didnt recognize gay marriage, even though my marriage isnt dependent on those rules. Having grown up in the south, I do wish the winters were shorter, but it’s not a hard trade off.

  • agreaney

    I’m a transplant from overseas with a (too long) detour here via upstate N.Y. I would ‘nevah, evah’ leave Mass. I feel very at home here, and value the open minds and the sense that history really matters and has something to teach us in the 21st century.

  • db

    pretty biased comments…I mean Mass is great for it’s progressive thinking…it has amazing history and the city of Boston is beautiful – one of the best ‘walking/biking cities I’ve ever been in and the sports teams are exciting and top notch. Resteraunts are kick ass and there is a lot to do here…But let’s be real; the darker side is the weather, redic taxes, and the cost of buying a home is pretty outrageous – almost untouchable…and yes you can cut segregation with a knife. There is a lot of ‘noses in the air’ in Mass depending on where you live, how you live and whom you associate with. Institutional racism doesn’t escape Mass, just like anywhere else and it has it’s huge share of rednecks…So, when talking about the state in which you live, please be real and give it it’s due criticisms as well as it’s kudos! And it’s not YOUR state because you either live here or were born here – it’s a state belonging to people. People who live, work and pay the exorbitant amount of real estate and property/business taxes and leave their blood sweat and tears out to dry.

  • wareinparis

    I love Massachusetts, with all of its quirks. We have the best medical care, seasons, great schools, open minded people, culture, and it is my home.

  • X-Ray

    Kind of amazing that MA has the highest desire to move whereas ME has the lowest.

    • EastCoastElitist

      Whether there’s a high fraction who wants to stay or wants to leave the question is, “Who wants to stay and who wants to go?” My bet is that the characteristics of each group vary a lot from state to state. Everyone wants to get out of CT. (Can’t say I blame them.) But would they want to move to TX? (Where apparently everyone wants to stay.) In my fantasy world I’d leave metro Boston for western MA or VT (or northern NM or Downeast ME or Paris) but I have no idea how I’d earn a living there so I stay put.

  • Vandermeer

    And we have Cranes Beach on the northshore

  • TK

    The cost of living in MA is horrendous; I graduated from undergrad 4 years ago, and just recently accepted a decent job that will relocate me to Philadelphia. I don’t love Mass. enough to pay the outrages rent prices only to live in a dump. I accepted the fact a long time ago that I will never own a house here. I’m very happy to leave Mass. behind.

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