Illinois Population Shrinking

A year ago, Deep Blue Financial reported on the exodus from Illinois. The United Van Lines’ annual National Movers Study had observed that citizens were leaving the Land of Lincoln for three reasons: taxes, unemployment, and property prices. Crain’s Chicago Business (2014) disagreed citing statistics that showed that more people were moving in to Chicago than ever before!

IL Population is Shrinking

IL Population is Shrinking

This year, Reboot Illinois drives her stake in the matter insisting that “Illinois has suffered the largest population drop in the United States.”

California, Texas, and Florida boomed. In contrast:

New U.S. Census Bureau data shows Illinois had nearly 10,000 fewer residents in 2014 than in the previous year …

Sherrie Taylor, a researcher at Northern Illinois University’s Center for Governmental Studies (CGS), said six states lost population from 2013-2014: Illinois, West Virginia, Connecticut, New Mexico, Alaska and Vermont. Of those, Illinois easily had the largest numerical population decline – 9,972 people – followed by West Virginia with a loss of 3,269 residents.

The regions that have had the largest decline are Cook County and McHenry counties followed by Will County and DeKalb. The latter saw twice as many births as deaths and had a small increase of 660 residents – a bump so tiny that it puts the county in the “no significant change” category. Kendall County accrued an additional 1,825 people. Kane County added 3,029 people— the largest increase for any Illinois region.

The future for Cook County is dreary. The Illinois Department of Public Health anticipates our population to decline through 2025. There has been a small bump in immigration but more people seem to be waving goodbye than saying hello.

Add to this slowing birth rates and an aging population and Taylor paints a gloomy picture of Illinois’ net population growth.

Where are most Illinoisans moving to? Data from 2010 to 2013 show that Indiana, Wisconsin, and Missouri are picking up the tabs. Nearly 300,000 Illinoisans moved to those states during the last four decades. Fewer people are moving to Florida, California, Iowa, and Michigan – in that order.

Reasons for the exodus? Jobs and fleeing the specter of higher and higher taxes.

Article by Leah Zitter, Writer