BREAKING: Illinois no longer fifth-largest state in the nation

December 20, 2017

Illinois suffered from the steepest population decline in the nation according to U.S. Census Report.

CHICAGO (Dec. 20, 2017) – This morning the U.S. Census Bureau released new data on national population trends and reported that Illinois’ estimated population is no longer the fifth-largest in the nation. That title now belongs to Pennsylvania.

Illinois shrank by 33,700 people – the largest decline in the nation in raw terms, and the third-largest in percentage terms – while Pennsylvania saw modest population growth.

From July 2016 to July of this year, Illinois lost nearly 115,000 residents to other states on net. This exodus to other states caused Illinois’ overall population to decline by 33,700 people, the U.S. Census reported.

If these trends continue, the state is projected to lose another seat from its 18-member House delegation following the 2020 census.

According to IRS data, those who leave Illinois earn on average $14,200 more than those who move in.

The data reveal the following highlights:

  • Illinois’ population shrank by 33,703 people
  • 114,779 Illinoisans left for other states on net
  • Illinois ranks first in population loss among 50 states
  • None of Illinois’ neighboring states saw population losses

Illinois Policy Institute Chief Economist Orphe Divounguy explains why this is a problem:

“Illinois’ tax base is eroding. The state suffers from low wage growth and a lack of opportunities. These problems are all due to the state’s high-tax environment.

“Illinois’ economy has failed to keep pace with the rest of the nation for the past 50 years. Property taxes are too high. It’s too expensive to do business here. As 2018 approaches, lawmakers should focus on bringing prosperity to Illinois by enacting growth policies that will benefit everyone in the state.”

The following experts from the Illinois Policy Institute are available to comment in Chicago:

Orphe Divounguy, chief economist
Austin Berg, director of content strategy