A recent report by Boston Indicators found that Massachusetts lost a population about the size of Winchester. The staggering cost of housing in the Commonwealth is driving people out, and younger residents are feeling the squeeze.

“For younger buyers who want to get out of their rental apartment or maybe they're starting a family, they need more space. …They're going to look to communities where it's more affordable,” said Boston Globe Business Columnist Shirley Leung on Boston Public Radio Thursday.

The concerning amount of people moving out across 2021 and 2022 — almost 23,000 — were between the ages 25 to 44. They were predominantly white, middle- and high-income earners and college-educated.

The cost of housing in Massachusetts, especially in the Boston area, ranks among the highest in the nation, placing immense pressure on younger residents and making it challenging for them to transition to homeownership or accommodate growing families.

Despite the desire of many to settle in Massachusetts, the state's housing challenges, coupled with the influx of migrant families, have hindered their ability to do so.

“We have to figure out our immigration policy, because immigrants want to be in Massachusetts. They want to settle in Massachusetts,” Leung said.

A recent GBH News/CommonWealth Beacon poll showed that a majority of the state's voters view immigration as either a major problem or a crisis.

“We've got to find a way to welcome more immigrants,” she said.

In response to these challenges, Governor Maura Healey introduced a $4 billion housing bond bill aimed at addressing the housing crisis. Despite progress in the House, the bill has yet to be finalized.

Leung acknowledged that any policy changes would take years to yield results.

“Even if Healey's big bond bill passes, it'll probably be at least five years before we see some of the gains of that,” said Leung.

With the legislative session winding down next July, lawmakers face a critical deadline to act on Healey's housing bill.

“People actually want to be here,” she said. “They just can't afford to stay here.”