Illinoisans of every age, income bracket moving out of state
The bulk of those leaving Illinois are aged 26-54 and their dependents.
Data from the Internal Revenue Service shows Illinois in 2021 lost residents of every age and income level, with the majority of them prime working-age adults and earning more than $100,000.
Of the residents who left, 51% made more than $100,000 per year, 25% made less than $50,000 and 24% made $50,000 to $100,000.
Those who left the state between 2020 and 2021 also reported 23% higher income growth than those who moved into the state. That indicates leaving Illinois provided better financial returns than moving here.
Not only did Illinoisans of all income groups leave the state in 2021, Illinoisans from every age group also fled on net during the year.
Particularly troubling is 64% of residents lost on net were from tax filers age 26-54 and their dependents. Those ages 65 and up represented only 14% of Illinoisans who left the state while 5% were below age 26. That contradicts the idea Illinois’ migration problems were solely because high school graduates attended college out of state.
Illinois lost residents from every combined age and every income bracket recorded by the IRS.
The IRS data likely underestimates Illinois’ losses, because 32 million households (18%) nationwide don’t file federal tax returns. Changes in filing activity can prevent matching up tax returns year-to-year.
Despite more and more data confirming Illinois has a serious exodus, Gov. J.B. Pritzker and other Illinois politicians continue to deny there is a problem. In addition to tangible evidence of Illinois’ outmigration crisis from the IRS, new surveys of Illinoisans show 51% would leave the state if given the opportunity. The main reason Illinoisans want to leave the state: high taxes.
The record departures should be an alarm to state leaders. They must adopt policies to make it easier for residents to stay in Illinois. Cut the tax burden, reduce arduous business regulations and maybe Illinois can stop bleeding residents.