Illinois loses a resident every 3 minutes, 43 seconds
More Illinoisans fled for other states from July 2021-July 2022 than during any other year in recorded history, driving the state’s record population decline.
Illinois loses a resident every 3 minutes and 43 second to another state, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau released Dec. 22.
Illinois’ population declined by a record 104,437 residents from July 2021-July 2022, the census estimated.
While there were 4,866 more births than deaths in Illinois, and 31,529 net migrants gained from abroad, the state lost 141,656 residents who moved to other states.
Domestic outmigration has been the sole driver of Illinois’ population decline for nine consecutive years. The only state that’s population has been in decline longer, West Virginia, currently is suffering its 10th consecutive year of population decline.
Net outmigration has now hit all-time highs. The 2022 loss of people moving out was nearly the equivalent of losing the entire population of Rockford, Illinois.
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.
The record number of residents who left Illinois this year should be a wake-up call to the state’s leaders, who refuse to adopt policies that would make it easier for residents to stay in Illinois. Reforms that would ease Illinoisans’ tax burden or reduce arduous business regulations are needed to make the state more affordable and send people running to Illinois, rather than away from it.