Illinois has lost more residents than any other state for the third year in a row, putting the state’s population at its lowest level in 10 years, according to U.S. Census data released Tuesday.
Illinois lost 37,508 people in 2016, putting its population at 12,801,539 — its lowest level since 2009, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Illinois’ population first started to go down in 2014, when the state lost 11,961 people. The state lost even more people the following year: 28,497 people.
The loss in population is attributed mostly to the 114,144 people who moved out of the state to other states.
The Tribune surveyed several people who left Illinois in the past five years, and all respondents offered different reasons why they left.
Some of those reasons included high taxes, the state budget stalemate, crime, the unemployment rate, and the weather.
Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration blamed the decline on people leaving the state for more economic opportunities and lower tax rates.
“In order to reverse this trend, we need structural reforms to create more jobs, lower property taxes, improve our schools, and enact term limits to fix our broken political system,” Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said in a statement to the Chicago Sun Times. “The longer the majority party stalls and refuses to compromise, backing the status quo, trends like this will continue.”
Illinois wasn’t the only state that went down in population.
Eight other states went down in population between July 1, 2015 and July 1, 2016, including Pennsylvania, Wyoming, and New York, the Associated Press reported.