CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Since the COVID-19 pandemic, a trend alarming to some has increased here in Massachusetts; people are moving out of state and new data is backing that trend up.

But, what do those numbers show, and how does it effect the Bay State?

“I’ve known plenty of people who have gone west and down south,” expressed one resident.

The Massachusetts population shrunk by nearly 8,000 people between July 2021 and July 2022, with much of that caused by a migration of tens of thousands out of the state. At the same time, the data shows fewer people are moving to Massachusetts.

Over the past 25 years, the state has been losing an overall population of about 25-30 thousand per year, but this past year over 57,000 fled Massachusetts. And, for residents there’s a variety of reasons as to why.

“I don’t like the winters. I’m a winter baby, but the snow I could deal without. I like the heat and the warmth. Rent is crazy here, affordable living is hard everywhere but here it seems like it’s even more so,” said Lamont Henderson of Springfield.

And while Lamont’s sentiment is becoming more and more common around here not everyone is ready to pack their bags. Some local residents told 22News, that they have considered moving away, but ultimately home is home.

“I did at one point, but it’s the same thing everywhere, no place like home you know? I mean I’m used to it. I don’t wanna live in the country, so this city is where I’ve been and that’s where I wanna stay,” expressed Springfield resident, Teresa.

What’s become worrisome for many, especially when other states are growing though, is that this could put Massachusetts at risk for a loss of a seat in Congress if the trends hold by the 2030 Census. Other concerns include an increasing labor shortage, and other far ranging economic impacts.

Massachusetts last lost a congressional seat in 2010 but this may be a reality once again, and this is a trend that we’re seeing all across the country with a population shift from the Northeast and Midwest to the South and West.