New IRS migration data: Illinois the third-biggest loser of people, biggest loser of incomes, to other states in 2019
Wirepoints analysis shows Illinois lost a net 82,000 residents and
$6 billion in income to other states
CHICAGO (June 2, 2021) – A Wirepoints analysis of the Internal Revenue Service’s just-released 2019 migration data shows Illinois lost, on net, 82,000 residents to other states that year. The state ranked third-worst nationally for net resident losses.
Illinois’ tax base also took a hit as a result of that flight, losing a net $6 billion in Adjustable Gross Income (AGI) to other states. That, too, was the third-worst performance in the country. But when measured as a share of total income, Illinois’ losses were the nation’s worst.
Wirepoints’ analysis uses national state-by-state migration data compiled by the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS reviews tax returns annually to track when and where people move. It also aggregates the ages, income brackets and adjusted gross incomes of filers.
Wirepoints President Ted Dabrowski and Founder Mark Glennon are available to comment on the newly released report.
The new IRS data confirms what the recent decennial Census numbers for Illinois showed: the state is a loser in the competition of people and their wealth. The Census reported Illinois was one of just three states nationally to lose population between 2010 and 2020. West Virginia and Mississippi were the other two states.
The key findings of Wirepoints’ report include:
Illinois lost a net 81,770 tax filers and their dependents in 2019. Those losses were the third worst in the country, with only California and New York losing more residents, 165,355 and 152,703, respectively.
On a per capita basis, Illinois also ranked 3rd-worst for net out-migration, with losses of 0.64 percent of its population. Only Alaska and New York fared worse, with losses of 1.02 percent and 0.78 percent of their populations, respectively.
As a result of those net resident losses, Illinois lost a net $6.0 billion in Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) in 2019. Illinois’ losses were the third worst in the country, with only New York and California losing more AGI, $9.0 billion and $8.8 billion, respectively.
Based on a percentage of total income, Illinois ranked worst nationally for income losses. Illinois lost 1.41 percent of its total AGI in 2019. Alaska and New York ranked second and third, with losses of 1.35 percent and 1.15 percent of their AGI, respectively.
The three biggest net gainers nationally of residents and their incomes in 2019 were Florida, Texas and Arizona. Florida was the biggest winner by far, gaining a net 126,789 people and $17.7 billion in AGI. Texas gained 114,194 people and $4.0 billion in AGI. Arizona gained 65,967 people and $3.8 billion in AGI.
The Illinoisans who fled Illinois in 2019 earned, on average, nearly $21,000 more than the residents Illinois gained from other states. That's the biggest gap since 2000. Outgoing residents earned nearly $92,000, while incoming residents made just $71,000.
Ted Dabrowski weighed in on the new numbers, “Illinois continues to be a national outlier when it comes to losing people to other states. We’re chronically losing our residents, their wealth and their productivity. And as more people leave, Illinois’ crushing debt burden rises on those who remain.”
“Unfortunately, the Illinois legislature, as evidenced in its most recent session, shows no signs of pursuing spending and pension reforms needed to make Illinois competitive again. Expect the exodus to continue.”