CRI Focus Areas

Thank goodness for the beaches!


The latest interstate migration data from the IRS for Delaware (2009-10) confirms once again that households vote with their feet. Statewide, Delaware had a net gain of households from the surrounding higher property tax states, bringing a net gain in personal income as well. The leading contributing states to Delaware in terms of net Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) between 2009-10 were: New Jersey (plus $44 million of net AGI into Delaware), Maryland ($42 million), Pennsylvania ($25 million), and New York ($15 million). The net migrating households into Delaware generally had above average reported AGI. While the average AGI for non-migrating Delaware households was $59 thousand, the average AGI for net in-migrating households from Maryland was $122 thousand, $68 thousand for New York, and $66 thousand for New Jersey.       At the same time there was net out-migration from Delaware to states with lower taxes, especially lower personal income taxes, and warmer weather. The leading destination states included: Florida (a net loss of $15 million of AGI), and Texas, Georgia and North Carolina ($4 million each). Almost $5 million net was lost in the flow of households to and from Delaware and foreign countries. Delaware’s net gain of $54 million in AGI during 2009-10 was entirely due to retirees moving from other states into Sussex County. During that year the net in-migration of households into Sussex County generated a net gain in AGI of $103 million. Over the same time period New Castle County had a net loss of $35 million of AGI and Kent County $9 million. The average AGI of net migrating households from New Castle County was $190 thousand. The state of Delaware is pursuing conflicting tax policies_OLD with regard to household migration. The increase of the top personal income tax to almost 7% and the reinstatement of the estate tax on higher income individuals are driving wealthier residents out of Delaware. Alternatively, the very low property taxes and the absence of a sales tax are drawing retiree households into the coastal areas of southern Delaware. Thank goodness for the beaches!   Dr. John E. Stapleford, Director Center for Economic Policy & Analysis  


Subscribe to receive CRI Policy analysis, updates, and event notifications!

Send a Comment To the Author

Our Mission Statement

The Caesar Rodney Institute is Delaware's Only General Public Policy Organization Committed to Protecting Individual Liberties and Preserving Fiscally Responsible and Efficient Government for the Common Good.