Poll Finds Nearly 20 Percent Of Idahoans Plan To Leave The State

May 1, 2014

Here's the Washington border at Oldtown, Idaho.
Credit Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

A new Gallup poll reveals a high rate of Idahoans are planning to leave the state. The poll measures how many people would prefer to be in a different state, given the chance.

Overall, the Northwest has a pretty loyal crowd. Oregonians, in particular, are quite happy where they are.

This June, Cat Wiechmann is finishing up her Master's in wetland ecology at the University of Idaho in Moscow. But instead of staying put, she’s heading to Pueblo, Colo., for a university position there.

“Even though it'd be great to stay in this area -- I really love Idaho -- the position was enough for me to be motivated to move down there," says Wiechmann. "And second, I'm excited to see a new place.”

Gallup found 17 percent of Idahoans have actual plans to leave, a pretty hefty portion compared with other states. Like Wiechmann, most cited work reasons for the move. But aside from those who are already planning a move, the poll suggests Idahoans are generally pretty happy where they are.

When asked If they would leave given the opportunity, only 29 percent took pollsters up on the hypothetical offer. Some of them might be considering Oregon.

Gallup found Oregonians to be some of the most geographically satisfied people in the country -- only a quarter would jump at a hypothetical relocation. Washingtonians were about average with 34 percent saying they'd consider a move.

And be on the lookout for people from Illinois and Connecticut. According to Gallup, half of those states' residents are itching to get out. Don't expect to bump into many people from Montana, Hawaii, or Maine. Those three states have the smallest share of residents wanting to move.

The poll was conducted between June and December of 2013. It was based on interviews with at least 600 adults in each state.

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