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State losing high-earning millennials, study shows

New York is not keeping high-earning millennials in

New York is not keeping high-earning millennials in the state, a new study finds.  Photo Credit: Getty Images/Spencer Platt

Young, well-off, and increasingly elusive: More high-earning millennials are abandoning New York than any other state, according to a recent SmartAsset analysis of IRS tax documents.

New York State had a net loss of 4,867 high-income millennials during this time, twice the amount of the nation’s second greatest loser, Illinois, which lost 2,248 wealthy individuals under the age of 35, the study revealed using the IRS' most recent data from 2015 and 2016. Millennials are defined by the Pew Research Center as those born between 1981 and 1996.  

The Empire State was still the No. 3 destination for millennials with salaries over $100,000, drawing 10,048 wealthy millennials from other states, according to IRS statistics, but the state lost 14,915 others, creating a net loss.

California, which had the highest net gain of young six-figure earners in the SmartAsset study with 3,597, lost nearly as many high-earning millennials as New York, but more than made up for it with the amount of others flowing into the Golden State.

The Northeast did not fare well in the study, with only a few states retaining marginal growth: New Jersey, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont. The West Coast, the Southeast, Texas and Colorado drew the highest number of wealthy millennials, according to the study.

This loss amplifies an overall trend of New York State losses. In 2017, New York had an overall net population loss of 167,328, while states like Texas gained a net 137,895 from other states and Colorado had a net gain of 32,637 interstate migrators, according to 2017 U.S. Census Bureau data.

SmartAsset’s study mirrors a 2019 NextLI survey, which found that 67 percent of Long Island millennials say they plan to move off the Island in the next five years.

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