Chicago tops list of cities residents are leaving

Chicago tops list of cities residents are leaving

A new report from moving company United Van Lines shows more residents left Chicago during the summer moving months than any other metro area.

Chicago is No. 1 – on a list on where people are moving away.

A new report from moving company United Van Lines showed Chicago as the top city from which residents are leaving. New York City and Nassau-Suffolk, New York came in at second and third on the list of metro areas where residents are fleeing the most. Seattle, Washington; Dallas, Texas and Portland, Oregon were first, second and third, respectively, for top cities people are moving to.

The state of Illinois as a whole was previously listed as the second-worst state for out-migration in a separate 2016 United Van Lines study.

The poor rankings for both Chicago and Illinois should be no surprise. Cook County lost more population than any other county in the United States from July 2015 to July 2016, shrinking by 21,324 people, the result of more than 60,000 people moving to other parts of the United States on net, offsetting any population growth from births or international migration. And even more people want to leave. A 2016 Paul Simon Institute poll found that 47 percent of registered voters in Illinois would like to leave the state and 20 percent said they were likely to leave within the next year. The top reason cited for wanting to move was taxes.

It’s no wonder then that Chicagoans – the most burdened taxpayers in one of the most tax-burdened states – are heading for the exits. Chicagoans pay more than 30 different city-imposed taxes and fees, not including the ever-increasing city property taxes and taxes imposed by the county and state. New taxes imposed by Cook County, such as the wildly unpopular sweetened beverage tax, or the new 32 percent income tax hike imposed by the state, will not help matters.

The high tax burden makes Illinois an outlier in the Midwest in out-migration. Between July 2015 – July 2016, Illinois lost 114,000 people to domestic migration against a total population of 12.8 million people – the equivalent of a loss of nine people per 1,000 residents. The next worst state for domestic migration loss in the Midwest during that time was Michigan, which only lost 2.8 people per 1,000 residents.

Instead of driving out residents with new taxes and fees, city, county and state government should look for ways to lessen the tax burden, and instead reform their own houses before asking for more from Illinois families. If not, Chicago and Illinois will continue to top lists of where people want to leave, rather than be mentioned as destinations to which people want to move.

Want more? Get stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.

Thank you, we'll keep you informed!