* A recent Gallup poll is getting a lot of play…
The phrase “if you don’t like it, then you can leave” might be a dangerous thing to say in Illinois.
According to a recent Gallup poll, the state would lose a quarter of its population if every resident who didn’t like it decided to leave it. The poll asked survey-takers to rate their state as a place to live, and Illinois had the highest percentage of people who said it is the worst place to live, at 25 percent.
Illinois was followed by Connecticut and Rhode Island, 17 percent of whose residents rated their states as the worst place to live.
The states with the highest rates in the “best possible state to live in” category were Texas (28 percent), Alaska (27 percent), Hawaii (25 percent) and Montana (24 percent). Only 3 percent of Illinoisans put their state in the same category.
* From Gallup…
Illinois has the unfortunate distinction of being the state with the highest percentage of residents who say it is the worst possible place to live. One in four Illinois residents (25%) say the state is the worst place to live, followed by 17% each in Rhode Island and Connecticut.
Throughout its history, Illinois has been rocked by high-profile scandals, investigations, and resignations from Chicago to Springfield and elsewhere throughout the state. Such scandals may explain why Illinois residents have the least trust in their state government across all 50 states. Additionally, they are among the most resentful about the amount they pay in state taxes. These factors may contribute to an overall low morale for the state’s residents.
* Some state residents are, indeed, just bursting with local pride…
When asked to rate their state as a place to live, three in four Montanans (77%) and Alaskans (77%) say their state is the best or one of the best places to live. […]
Residents of Western and Midwestern states are generally more positive about their states as places to live. With the exception of the New England states of New Hampshire and Vermont, all of the top 10 rated states are west of the Mississippi River. In addition to Montana and Alaska, Utah (70%), Wyoming (69%), and Colorado (65%) are among the 10 states that residents are most likely to say their state is among the best places to reside. Most of these states have relatively low populations, including Wyoming, Vermont, North Dakota, and Alaska — the four states with the smallest populations in the nation. Texas, the second most populated state, is the major exception to this population relationship. Although it is difficult to discern what the causal relationship is between terrain and climate and positive attitudes, many of the top 10 states are mountainous with cold winters. In fact, the two states most highly rated by their residents — Montana and Alaska — are among not only the nation’s coldest states but also both border Canada.
* But Gallup didn’t publish results from another poll question it posed in that survey. When asked to describe their state, one option was “As good a state as any to live in in the United States.”
I asked the company for the responses to that question and they sent it to me late yesterday. Read all responses to all questions in all states by clicking here.
* According to the document, 54 percent of Illinoisans said their state was as good a place to live as any other state. Another 16 percent said Illinois was “One of the best possible states to live in in the United States.” And 3 percent said it was the best possible state to live in.
So, 73 percent had basically positive or neutral things to say about Illinois.
* Do not get me wrong here. We are obviously a messed up place if a quarter of all Illinoisans believe their state is the armpit of the universe. I just thought you’d like to see the rest of the poll.
* Meanwhile, Gallup released another national poll result earlier this month. Respondents were asked if they believed their state taxes were too high.
71 percent of Illinoisans said their taxes were too high, while only 26 percent said they weren’t too high.
Illinois ranked fourth, behind New York (77-21), New Jersey (77-22) and Connecticut (76-23).
Wisconsin residents, which pay higher personal income tax rates than Illinoisans, were way down the list at 51-46. That’s slightly above the 50-47 national state average.
Also, 51 percent of Hoosiers, who have high state rates, say their taxes are not too high, compared to 48 percent who said they were too high.
* The takeaway? The income tax hike is hugely unpopular and in the media almost daily. And the state government appears inept and floundering. It’s not hard to see why residents feel this way.