News News from America Mov­ing vans leave Illi­nois at over 9‑times rate of oth­er Mid­west­ern states

Mov­ing vans leave Illi­nois at over 9‑times rate of oth­er Mid­west­ern states

Illi­nois suf­fered the largest pop­u­la­tion decline in the Mid­west and of neigh­bor­ing states dur­ing 2021.

Illi­nois suf­fered its 8th con­sec­u­tive year of pop­u­la­tion decline, a record-set­ting year that can be square­ly blamed on peo­ple mov­ing out of the state, accord­ing to esti­mates released Dec. 21 by the U.S. Cen­sus Bureau. 2021 saw the largest num­ber of Illi­noisans leav­ing on net in record­ed history.

Illi­nois’ pop­u­la­tion declined by 113,776 from July 1, 2020, through July 1, 2021. No oth­er Mid­west­ern or neigh­bor state saw a pop­u­la­tion decline of more than 17,000.

Not only was Illi­nois’ expe­ri­ence with over­all pop­u­la­tion decline much more severe than peer states, the sole dri­ver of Illi­nois’ pop­u­la­tion decline also stood out. There were 122,460 Illi­noisans on net flee­ing to oth­er states in 2021, over 9 times the num­ber of res­i­dents who left Min­neso­ta, the next clos­est state in terms of domes­tic outmigration.

Peo­ple leav­ing for oth­er states also hurt pop­u­la­tion totals in Ohio, Nebras­ka, Kansas, North Dako­ta and Michigan.

Inter­na­tion­al migra­tion was a boon to state pop­u­la­tions dur­ing 2021, sev­er­al states saw pop­u­la­tion growth strained by deaths out­pac­ing births dur­ing the year. Ohio, Michi­gan, Ken­tucky, Mis­souri and Wis­con­sin all expe­ri­enced “nat­ur­al decreas­es” in their state population.

While Illi­nois has been for­tu­nate to con­tin­ue to expe­ri­ence “nat­ur­al increas­es” in pop­u­la­tion as births con­tin­ue to out­pace deaths, the gap between the two has been nar­row­ing his­tor­i­cal­ly and inter­na­tion­al migra­tion rates into the state have var­ied wide­ly. Domes­tic migra­tion will be vital­ly impor­tant to revers­ing Illi­nois’ pop­u­la­tion decline.

Tra­di­tion­al­ly, the major rea­sons Illi­noisans are choos­ing to leave the state are for bet­ter hous­ing and employ­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties, both of which have been made worse by poor pub­lic pol­i­cy in Illi­nois. Near­ly half of Illi­noisans have thought about mov­ing away, and they said tax­es were their No. 1 rea­son. Pop­u­la­tion decline also con­tributes to the low­er eco­nom­ic prospects of the state.

It remains unclear to what extent these fac­tors con­tributed to Illi­noisans mov­ing out of state from 2020 – 2021. Oth­er fac­tors such as pan­dem­ic-relat­ed job loss­es, school clo­sures and gov­ern­ment man­dates could also be to blame.

Cen­sus data does con­firm Illi­nois’ out­mi­gra­tion-dri­ven pop­u­la­tion decline has reached record lev­els and is more of a prob­lem now than ever. Regard­less of the cause, the desire to leave Illi­nois needs to go away for the state pop­u­la­tion to one day grow again.

Source: illi​nois​pol​i​cy​.org