Young professionals flee California, New York and flock to Texas, Florida


High-earning young professionals are fleeing New York and California and flocking to more affordable states led by Texas and Florida. [CNBC]

A survey conducted by SmartAsset tracked the movement of individuals under the age of 35 with an adjusted gross income of at least $100,000. The survey used Internal Revenue Service data to compare tax returns from 2019 and 2020 in order to determine the inflow and outflow of high-earning young professionals in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia.

New York had the highest outflow of wealthy young professionals. The state had a net outflow of 15,788 young professionals making at least $100,000. California trailed with a net outflow of 7,960 well-to-do young professionals.

Texas was the top destination for high-earning young professionals, followed by Florida. Texas had an inflow of 15,024 high-earning young professionals. Factoring in an outflow of 11,200, Texas had a net inflow of 3,823 young professionals. Florida had an inflow 10,258 and a net inflow of 3,411.

No other state had a net inflow of more than 3,000 well-to-do young professionals. Washington, with a net inflow of 2,753, placed third. Colorado, New Jersey, North Carolina and Arizona rounded out the top seven states for attracting high earners under the age of 35.

Analysts attribute much of the movement of young professionals to the high cost of living in New York and California and states like Texas and Florida being more affordable. Texas, Florida and Washington do not have state income tax.

The rise of remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic is also believed to have factored into the movement of young professionals. With numerous professionals given the opportunity to work remotely, many had more flexibility in choosing where to live and could prioritize factors other workplace proximity.