Report: Illinois Loses Residents for Fifth Straight Year

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson listens as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks about Chicago's weekend of gun violence during a news conference at the Chicago Police Department 6th District station August 6, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. Chicago experienced one of it's most violent weekends of the year, after more then …
Joshua Lott/Getty

Illinois has lost residents for its fifth year in a row, reporting the second largest decline in population among the 50 states, according to recently released data from the Census Bureau.

The Census Bureau data released Wednesday showed that Illinois lost 45,116 residents between 2017 and 2018, an increase from the previous year where the state lost 40,699 residents.

Only New York reported a greater population loss than Illinois. The Empire State lost 48,510 residents from 2017 to 2018, according to the Census data.

But the population drain in the sixth-largest U.S. state is nothing new. Approximately 157,000 residents have fled Illinois over the past five years, and of residents who remain, fewer people are giving birth and more people are dying off.

Using the data from the Census Bureau, here is how many people have left Illinois since 2014:

2014: 9,307
2015: 24,620
2016: 37,447
2017: 40,699
2018: 45,116

Residents, when asked why they left Illinois, said they left the state mainly because of high taxes and corruption in state politics. Illinois has historically had some of the highest property taxes in the nation.

“It’s taxes. It’s corruption. It’s politics,” former Illinois resident Mary Miller, who moved out of the state in July to settle in Florida, told the Chicago Tribune. “And I don’t mean Republicans or Democrats; it’s all of them.”

Experts say there is something to this pattern of people fleeing states because of taxes. Several states which reported population growth over the past year—including Nevada and Florida—have no income taxes.

The state has also struggled to retain younger people because of slow job creation compared to other areas of the country with more growth-friendly policies, such as Texas and Florida.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.