High property taxes, a dismal business climate, and the biggest budget deficit of any state: Illinois is losing families and businesses as a result of the poor management of the last dozen years.
As the Democrats in charge of the Legislature continue to push for another status-quo budget without major reforms to the way it does business, it’s worth calling attention to the consequences.
Families leaving Illinois
- Last year, Illinois led the country in state population loss. No other state lost as many residents as Illinois did in 2014.
- The population declined by 9,972 people, more than three times the second-largest decline (West Virginia, 3,269).
- This was the first year that Illinois has lost population as a whole since 1987-1988.
- Illinois was one of only six states that lost population compared to the previous year, and the only Midwestern state to do so. (Illinois, West Virginia, Connecticut, New Mexico, Alaska, Vermont).
- Of those who haven’t already left Illinois, half say they want to.
- A Gallup poll in 2014 found than 50 percent of Illinois residents said they “would leave if they could” – the highest of any state in the country.
- This is not a one-year trend. From 2010 to 2013, Illinois added only 42,000 people.
- Over the same period, Indiana (with half the population) gained 80,000.
- Over the same period, California added nearly 1 million, and Texas grew by 1.2 million.
- From 2013 to 2014, only 17 out of 102 counties in Illinois experienced population growth.
Over the last five years, Illinois has lagged behind our neighbors and the rest of the country for population growth.
Population growth percentage from 2010 to 2014:
- Illinois: 0.4%
- U.S. 3.3%
- Indiana 1.7%
- Iowa 2.0%
- Kentucky 1.7%
- Missouri 1.2%
- Wisconsin 1.2%
The primary beneficiary of Illinois’ outbound moves? It’s our neighbors, not just Florida.
Top destination states for Illinois outbound moves 2010-2013:
- Indiana (110,075 from IL)
- Wisconsin (93,469 from IL)
- Missouri (87,782 from IL)
- Texas (83,805 from IL)
- Florida (79,122 from IL)
Moving companies: Migration patterns
Illinois has trailed the rest of the country in recent years in the percentage of moves that were outbound – people moving away from Illinois – compared to inbound moves.
Allied Van Lines, 2014:
- Illinois #1 in percentage of outbound moves – 60% of moves were outbound in 2014.
Atlas Van Lines, 2014:
- Illinois #2 in percentage of outbound moves – 60% of moves were outbound in 2014.
United Van Lines, 2014:
- Illinois #3 in percentage of outbound moves – 63% of moves were outbound in 2014.
Jobs leaving Illinois
From anecdotal evidence of companies leaving Illinois (Office Depot, Noark Electric, Modern Drop Forge, etc.) to empirical evidence, Illinois is failing to keep up with national or regional job growth.
- Illinois has 91,800 fewer jobs today than it did in 2000.
- Illinois still has 74,800 fewer jobs today than it did before the recession.
- Manufacturing has been particularly hard-hit
- Illinois has more than 300,000 fewer manufacturing jobs today than it did in 2000.
Effect on the middle class
That job loss has had a painful effect on Illinois’ middle class.
According to a Pew study:
- Median income in Illinois dropped from $64,210 in 2000 (inflation-adjusted) to $56,201 today – a drop of 12.4 percent, or $7,991.
The share of Illinois households that are defined as middle class has shrunk by four percentage points:
- 45.8% in 2013
- 49.8% in 2000