SPRINGFIELD – Illinois is in a steep population tailspin, census data shows – and there are multiple reasons why it's happening.
Illinois is in second place for the most people moving to other states in the past year. That’s according to estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau earlier this week. Domestic migration data from July of 2014 to July of 2015 has more than 105,200 people fleeing Illinois for other states. That exceeded the number of people coming to Illinois from other countries, which was over 37,600.
The Land of Lincoln welcomed over 156,400 newborns but had over 104,200 deaths. When all factors are combined Illinois saw a total population loss of nearly 22,200 people over the past year, leading all other states that saw population declines. Meanwhile New York led the country with nearly 158,000 people leaving for other states in the past year.
With a second year in a row of large numbers of Illinois residents leaving the state, a political observer says Illinois will have a hard time pulling out a population tailspin.
Governor Bruce Rauner’s office said the data is another indication that shows Illinois needs to grow its economy and create jobs through structural reforms. House Speaker Michael Madigan Spokesman Steve Brown said the raw data offers no analysis and he didn’t feel confident in provided any reaction.
Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Director David Yepsen says weather is one contributing factor with people in retirement leaving for warmer climates and there’s a trend of people moving from more rural areas to more urban areas. Another major factor to outbound migration is the state’s business climate and growing financial uncertainty.
Yepsen says that Illinois’ uncertain fiscal picture is not attractive to businesses looking for growth or expansion and the prospect of increased taxes and spending cuts doesn’t add to the state’s charm.