Illinois leads U.S. for people moving out: 8th year of loss

Illinois leads U.S. for people moving out: 8th year of loss

Illinois reported the largest outmigration of residents of any state during 2021, marking the 8th consecutive year of population decline in Illinois. Chicago similarly saw more residents move away than any metropolitan area in the nation.

Illinois saw the largest departure of state residents in the nation during 2021, with 68% of Illinoisans who moved saying goodbye and heading for more affordable locales, a new study found. 

The annual migration report from Allied Van Lines and Zillow found this trend was reflected in the state’s largest city, Chicago, which reported the most outbound moves of any metropolitan area in the nation.  

The 2021 report marks a record-setting 8th consecutive year of population decline for Illinois. 

Most residents leaving Illinois traveled to states with warmer climates where housing prices were significantly cheaper. South Carolina, Tennessee and North Carolina ranked highest for inbound moves nationally. 

The report found most Chicagoans leaving the state were most likely to take up residence in Phoenix, Los Angeles or Houston. 

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

The major reasons Illinoisans have chosen 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, citing high taxes as their No. 1 reason. Population decline also contributes to the lower economic prospects of the state, as working-age families leave and fewer residents are left to shoulder increasing tax burdens.

The United Van Lines 2020 state migration report showed the majority of those residents leaving were the Illinoisans in the highest income brackets. The study also indicated the number of residents leaving has gradually increased with time. 

Census data confirms Illinois’ outmigration-driven population decline reached record levels in 2021, meaning more Illinoisans than ever were voting with their feet against policies raising costs on residents.

Boasting the nation’s highest tax rates, second-highest property taxes, second-highest gas tax and nation-leading pension debt, it is little wonder why Illinois also leads the nation is losing residents.

As bad as it is, if public unions get their way and voters Nov. 8 approve Amendment 1, property taxes and other taxes will be farther out of control. The change to the Illinois Constitution would protect union power and prevent it from being diminished, meaning union demands for a wide range of subjects could lead to strikes as state and local governments turn to taxpayers to try to satisfy those demands.

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