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California and New York Saw Exodus of High Earners in the Pandemic

New York saw a net loss of roughly 19,800 residents earning more than $200,000 annually in 2021, while California saw a net loss of 27,300 high-earners.

(Bloomberg) -- New York and California saw a big exodus of people with high salaries in the pandemic. 

Those states lost the most high-earning residents in 2021, according to a new study from SmartAsset, a financial information provider. And, not shockingly, Florida and Texas led the list of states seeing an influx of people earning at least $200,000 a year before taxes. 

The outflow of residents from New York and California has been a big story since the pandemic unleashed remote work and set off a real estate frenzy, with many Americans relocating to lower-cost states.

“There’s a correlation between cost of living and migration,” said Jaclyn DeJohn, managing editor of economic analysis at SmartAsset. “High-income earners tend to have more flexibility for how and where they operate.”

SmartAsset analyzed Internal Revenue Services data to track the movement of workers. New York saw a net loss of roughly 19,800 residents earning more than $200,000 annually in 2021, after losing roughly the same number the year prior, SmartAsset found.

California saw a net loss of 27,300 high-earners, up from about 19,200. Florida saw by far the biggest inflow of high-earners in 2021, with a net increase of roughly 27,600 in 2021, up from 20,300 a year earlier. 

To contact the authors of this story:
Paulina Cachero in New York at [email protected]
Jo Constantz in New York at [email protected]

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