Ocean State Exodus: We Are Losing Productive People


No single indicator should be of more importance to lawmakers and civic leaders than whether or not our state is retaining and attracting talented and productive people.

The opportunity for prosperity is a primary factor in the migration of families from state to state. In this regard, our Ocean State is more than just losing the race. Far too many Rhode Islanders are fleeing our state, leaving a swath of empty chairs at our family dinner tables. We are seeing a full on exodus out of our beloved home state.


Why are things this way? Rhode Island is merely maintaining its overall ranking of 47th worst in the country on the Jobs & Opportunity Index (JOI) developed by our Center.

With the eighth highest property taxes in the country, a major encumbrance within an overall anti-taxpayer and anti-business climate that has dropped Rhode Island into bottom-10 rankings in a number of critical national indexes, the excessive costs of collectively bargained government services can be directly linked to this statewide problem. Rhode Island taxpayers may be paying up to $1.1 billion too much for collectively bargained government services.

Read more now on RIFreedom.org about the excessive costs of collective bargaining that are driving people from our state. Remember, things do not have to be this way in Rhode Island, but it is up to each of us to change them.

  • Rhett Hardwick

    Why move? I was just sent this ad for a house in Tenn. 530K, furnished, swimming pool, basement workshop with 12 ft ceilings, car lift and “professional” car wash” https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2e11996188f32be904af1788ad90296cc99d36d407c21f83633735151857411a.jpg

    • Joe Smith

      Rhett – where? I have scouted in the Franklin TN area for my eventual landing spot..

      • Rhett Hardwick


        If that doesn’t get you there, search Hemmings Motor News, it was in their daily email about a week ago. It got there because it features garage parking (Under)for 11 cars. This seems to be in Athens, no idea of location of Franklin.

        • Joe Smith

          Franklin is just south of Nashville. Athens is near the boarder with NC – I’ve scouted there (Asheville, NC to eastern TN border), just not Athens per se. Guarantee the property taxes on that house are lower than in RI!

          The ocean is the only thing in the long run keeping me from pulling the trigger when the time comes..but maybe I’ll be one of those 6 months and a day folks in a state outside RI.

          Or maybe like a couple I ran into at Disney who lived in RI; they worked at Disney for 7 months (Nov to May) and lived in an RV (Disney had/has an employee RV lot) and in their RI house for the summer/fall.

          • Rhett Hardwick

            Have a look at the shore in NC. Waterfront houses for $350. New Bern is a nice little town, sort of like Bristol RI. My relatives refer to Asheville as the “swish alps”.

          • Joe Smith

            Yeah, the only thing about NC shore is the fear on Hurricanes. Too funny on Asheville – I can understand that moniker – kind of like Bisbee, AZ – sticks out from the rest of the area.

            Then again, I used to say that about Burlington, VT and the dang progressives started spreading out all over the state instead of staying in their own little corner they could run into the ground.

      • Rhett Hardwick

        This caught my eye because of the price. locally I just sold a house lot at a substantial discount because of proximity of Route 95. The buyer is building a so-so 3 bedroom colonial on it, and looking for 450K. I notice in the picture above, the Tenn house almost has the look of an architects rendition.