Gallup: Half of Illinoisans would leave the state if they could
Gallup released a stunning poll that shows 50 percent of Illinoisans want to leave the state, the highest percentage of any state nationally. This comes a week after Illinois’ worst-in-the nation performance in a Gallup poll that showed one in four Illinoisans consider Illinois to be the worst possible place to live. If Illinois government...
Gallup released a stunning poll that shows 50 percent of Illinoisans want to leave the state, the highest percentage of any state nationally. This comes a week after Illinois’ worst-in-the nation performance in a Gallup poll that showed one in four Illinoisans consider Illinois to be the worst possible place to live.
If Illinois government doesn’t change the way it does things, Illinois needs to brace for more out-migration.
The Gallup poll asked:
“Regardless of whether you will move, if you had the opportunity, would you like to move to another state, or would you rather remain in your current state?”
Illinois is the only state in which half the respondents wanted to leave. Illinois is accompanied in the Top 10 with a collection of other high-tax states. Six of the states people most want to leave ranked among the seven worst for the Tax Foundation’s 2014 Tax Freedom Day.
A follow-up question asked respondents how likely it was that they would move in the next 12 months. Nineteen percent of Illinoisans said it was “extremely likely” or “somewhat likely” they would move within the next year.
Finally, respondents were asked to cite the main reason they want to move out. Illinoisans cited the work and business environment as the leading factor. This is no surprise for the state with the third-worst joblessness figures and a reputation for cronyism.
These polls were conducted between July and December of 2013, and so were not influenced by the chilling “polar vortex” Illinois experienced this past winter.
And Illinoisans don’t just talk the talk; they also walk the walk. According to Internal Revenue Service statistics, Illinois lost 50,000 residents to net out-migration in 2010. More recently, Census estimates show that Illinois is losing as many as 70,000 people per year to net out-migration.
The Illinois General Assembly needs to act quickly before the state loses more people. The first action lawmakers can take would be to fulfill their promise to sunset the 2011 tax hikes. Such a move would immediately improve the state’s business environment and improve Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation level of trust in government.