Why are people leaving Wisconsin? State ranked in top 10 for out-migration

Mike Ivey:

Wisconsin is among the top 10 states for people moving out, according to the annual survey from United Van Lines. Forbes reported the story recently and it has been widely circulated — although probably not by many chambers of commerce.
The moving company United Van Lines has been doing the survey for 36 years and analyzed some 125,000 residential moves in the continental U.S. last year. While not scientific, it does provide a nice snapshot of migration patterns, along with fodder for social media chatter.
“I think people see Wisconsin as a dead end,” says George Dreckmann, longtime city of Madison recycling coordinator. “The paper industry is near death, the auto industry is gone. Our flagship university is closed to most of the state’s kids. The government under both Walker and (former Gov. Jim) Doyle showed no initiative or imagination. If I wasn’t 62, I’d be leaving, too.”
At No. 10 with 55 percent of 2,405 United Van Lines moves considered “outbound,” Wisconsin isn’t alone as a Great Lakes state seeing residents flee. Illinois is No. 2 and Michigan is No. 6. New Jersey was No. 1 with 62 percent of moves outbound. The top 10 also includes West Virginia (No. 3), New York (No. 4); New Mexico (No. 5); Connecticut (No. 7); Maine (No. 8) and Kentucky (No. 9).