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Dwindling away

Monday, Nov 23, 2015

* Sigh…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - 47th Ward - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 4:06 pm:

    I blame demography and long winters.

  2. - Appalled - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 4:08 pm:

    Just hang on. The “Turnaround Agenda” will fix this and bring all those people back any minute now…

  3. - lake county democrat - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 4:11 pm:

    Give global warming a chance to heat up those southern states.

  4. - Ahoy! - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 4:12 pm:

    But everything in Illinois is fine, we should just stay the course.

  5. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 4:12 pm:

    Well that’s perfect, I was counting on a seat being added…

    To the Post,

    - 47th Ward - is on it;

    Weather is a huge factor for me.

  6. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 4:14 pm:

    We need to welcome people with open arms, not closes minds.

  7. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 4:16 pm:

    The “We Don’t Want No One Nobody Sent” campaign worked a lil too well…

  8. - Steve - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 4:18 pm:

    This is almost not a story. Did anyone expect Illinois to gain or keep the same number of seats? Illinois has competition, there are other places to live. Other places have schools and bridges and you can have packages delivered to you when you buy from Amazon. Not everyone is into cold weather, corruption , and the Chicago Public School system.

  9. - Secret Square - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 4:19 pm:

    “I blame demography and long winters”

    Then why are other states with winters comparable to or worse than ours (Dakotas, NE, KS, IA, etc.) not losing seats?

  10. - thunderspirit - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 4:19 pm:

    Weather is a key factor here. Michigan, Ohio, and Minnesota each projected to lose a seat as well; and gaining states are largely South (AZ, FL, TX) and East (NC, VA).

    Small consolation, but the projected 17 does still tie IL for 5th place (with PA), and the next highest states would have 14 with this projection.

  11. - The Muse - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 4:23 pm:

    Everyone I know who has moved states, never listed “corruption, the school system, or the bad business climate” as the reason they’re leaving. “Chicago/Illinois winters suck” are 95% of the reason.

  12. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 4:24 pm:

    In considering weather as a factor, note that a better winter is offset by a worse summer when moving from north to south - the southern states have miserable summers due to their much higher heat indexes. Further down the blog, is an article titled “Voting with their feet?” Seems to me that title would be more appropriate for this subject.

  13. - The middle - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 4:25 pm:

    Illinois has lost an electoral vote after every census since the end of World War II, when we had 28. This is primarily due to the invention of air conditioning and the deindustrialization of the U.S. economy, not illinois’ (relatively low) tax rates and (relatively high) workers comp insurance rates.

  14. - GraduatedCollegeStudent - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 4:27 pm:

    ===Then why are other states with winters comparable to or worse than ours (Dakotas, NE, KS, IA, etc.) not losing seats? ===

    They have fewer to lose nowadays. Dakotas are down to the at large, Nebraska is down to 3, Kansas and Iowa are down to 4.

    More importantly, Illinois has lost on average one seat a census for each reapportionment cycle since 1940 (didn’t lose any in 1970, but lost 2 in 1980 and 1990).

    If you’re scoring at home, Iowa has lost 5 seats in that time, Kansas 3, Nebraska 2, and the Dakotas 1 apiece.

    That’s not to say Illinois losing representation is a good thing, but just that this has been such a long term trend it’s well beyond casting blame and probably beyond anything more than mitigation.

  15. - 47th Ward - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 4:28 pm:

    ===Then why are other states with winters comparable to or worse than ours (Dakotas, NE, KS, IA, etc.) not losing seats?===

    Well, the Dakotas only have one Rep each, so it’s impossible to lose any. If it was up to me, I’d let them split one Rep for both states, but that’s not how it works.

  16. - Almost the Weekend - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 4:33 pm:

    And downstate districts get bigger

  17. - burbanite - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 4:35 pm:

    The great baby boom migration.

  18. - Wensicia - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 4:37 pm:

    More Rust Belt casualties.

  19. - A guy - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 4:37 pm:

    Truthfully we’d probably lose a seat if no one else left. It’s about population growth elsewhere. I’m a little surprised Rhode Island has one to lose? I didn’t realize they had 2. Those would have to be geographically Rosty sized districts.

  20. - Bogey Golfer - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 4:39 pm:

    At least the Dakotas, NE, KS and IA don’t have any district remap issues. Weather and lower taxes (real or perceived) are why boomers are relocating.

  21. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 4:41 pm:

    Illinois’ population growth was competitive, in spite of the weather, from 1818 to the 70s. Something has changed, and it not the weather.

  22. - Anon - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 4:43 pm:

    ===The “We Don’t Want No One Nobody Sent” campaign worked a lil too well…===

    No kidding — I still hear people use that phrase like it’s an actual rule that should be used in hiring.

    I’m a talented and educated young professional and I have no interest in remaining in the state because of what I have witnessed since I moved here 4 years ago.

  23. - illini - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 4:43 pm:

    This being the probable result of the final census results in a few years, it will be interesting to see how redistricting will work for or against sitting, incumbent Congressmen/women. Or will John Shimkus ( who promised to serve 4 terms and is now going on 20 years in Congress ) be given yet another safe seat? Too early to tell.

  24. - Anon - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 4:48 pm:


    ===If it wasn’t for all the illegal immigration we’d probably lose 2 seats. Viva Mexico, Central America!===

    Don’t be racist. A significant number of illegal immigrants in this country come from Europe, Africa and Asia and over stay visas. The population decline isn’t just relative to states bordering Mexico, it’s relative to coastal states that have welcoming policies and attitudes towards immigrants and first generation Americans in general.

    There are a lot of reasons why folks wouldn’t want to make Illinois their home, but we’re too shooting ourselves in the foot to address actual concerns.

  25. - GraduatedCollegeStudent - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 4:48 pm:

    ===Illinois’ population growth was competitive, in spite of the weather, from 1818 to the 70s. Something has changed, and it not the weather.===

    And that’s why we’ve lost seats going back to the 1940s.

  26. - HL - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 4:56 pm:

    Gee—the ones we are sending to Washington are such outstanding legislators it would be a crime to lose one of them.

  27. - JS Mill - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 4:57 pm:

    =Illinois’ population growth was competitive, in spite of the weather, from 1818 to the 70s.=

    Manifest destiny /s

  28. - Jimmy CrackCorn - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 5:05 pm:

    ===Illinois’ population growth was competitive, in spite of the weather, from 1818 to the 70s. Something has changed, and it not the weather.===

    Yes, something has changed. It is called air conditioning.

    “As late as 1965, just 10 percent of U.S. homes had it, according to the Carrier Corporation. Families in the South made do by sleeping on the porch or even putting their underwear in the icebox. By 2007, however, the number was 86 percent. As cool air spread across the country, Sun Belt cities that had been unbearable in the summer became more attractive places to live and work, facilitating a long-term shift in U.S. population.”

  29. - Clark the Cubbie Bear - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 5:10 pm:

    Hmm… Didn’t Governor Rauner just say no thanks to a large group of people looking for a new home?

  30. - Daniel Plainview - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 5:18 pm:

    - Something has changed, and it not the weather. -

    Namely affordable home air conditioning.

  31. - Ugh - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 5:20 pm:

    “Mama - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 5:09 pm:

    IL is losing a seat! Is it in the House or the Senate or both? Does this mean Durbin is out?”

    According to the Constitution, Every State must have 1 seat in the House as a minimum and 2 in the Senate. So if you ever hear that Illinois is losing a seat after a census, it is always a House seat and never a Senate seat.

  32. - Anonymouth - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 5:21 pm:

    === Then why are other states with winters comparable to or worse than ours (Dakotas, NE, KS, IA, etc.) not losing seats? ===

    Well, for starters, the Dakotas only have one seat each. Can’t really take away their lone representatives. Iowa currently only has 4 after they lost one after the 2010 census. Nebraska has 3. Kansas has 4. So Illinois still has more seats (18) than all of those states that you mentioned combined.

  33. - Juvenal - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 5:30 pm:

    The population losses are downstate, I believe, not in the Chicago MSA.

  34. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 5:32 pm:

    I guess if we don’t want to enact policies to encourage businesses to locate here ante hire our citizens we will lose population and taxes will go up for those that are still here.

    Illinois has always had cold weather but we used to have a thriving economy when our government was run better.

  35. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 5:53 pm:

    Juvenal- last time IL lost a seat, they basically got rid of David Phelps’ district when much of it was consolidated into John Shimkus’. The 14th District (where much of the last decade’s state growth was) shrunk in size but not in population due to the reapportionment. So yes, that is the long term trend.

  36. - VanillaMan - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 6:00 pm:


  37. - LTSW - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 6:02 pm:

    The size of the US House has not increased since 1905 I think. At some point with population growth California, Texas, Florida and new York may have close to a majority. What we have now is districts in the larger states with 750,000 to 800,000 population and the at-large states like Wyoming with less total population than those districts.

  38. - illini - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 6:04 pm:

    Mama - if you are going to post on this site you should at least know that each state has 2, repeat that 2, Senators. You are not going to get rid of Dick Durbin that easily!

  39. - Filmmaker Professor - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 6:06 pm:

    I volunteer Rodney Davis as the give back.

  40. - Angry Chicagoan - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 6:12 pm:

    Not a single new Midwestern congressional seat since Michigan and Ohio each gained a seat after the 1960 census. The only Midwestern state since then not to have lost a seat is Minnesota, which now looks likely to lose one as it was right at the bottom of the range for eight seats already and its population growth rate, the fastest in the Midwest, just trails the national average. Illinois’ last two new seats took effect with the 1912 elections.

    We are, to put it mildly, a demographically mature region. Unless America finally gives up on this arbitrary limit of 435 seats nationally, one of the smallest legislative bodies for a major country, we’re going to continue to lose seats.

  41. - illini - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 6:16 pm:

    Filmmaker - wishing it could be that easy - I would suggest his former employer, John Shimkus. By the way, he was trained in the George Ryan School of Politics as were many of Shimkus original ( and some are still there ) staffers.

    Anonymous@6:07 - not certain I understand the intent or the meaning of this post.

  42. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 6:23 pm:

    I blame increased taxes!

  43. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 6:36 pm:

    Just think how our state would have multiplied if our ancestors hadn’t run the Mormons out of Nauvoo.

  44. - Honest Abe - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 6:40 pm:

    If ya think people are leaving Illinois now just wait until the Legislatures decide to tax retirement income.

  45. - CapnCrunch - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 7:00 pm:

    “….. Sun Belt cities that had been unbearable in the summer became more attractive places to live and work, …..”

    Careful now, that comment doesn’t the narrative here; most of those cities are in RTW states.

  46. - CapnCrunch - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 7:05 pm:

    doesn’t fit ;-)

  47. - Wordslinger - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 7:08 pm:

    Not exactly a mystery. From the New Deal on it was national policy to accelerate integration into an industrial economy and promote population growth in the South and West.

    TVA, water projects, hydro-electric projects, interstate highway system….. It was all part of the plan to open up the country.

    After the 1940 census, Illinois population was still larger than either California or Texas and nearly four times that of Florida.

    As late as the 1950 census, the populations of Iowa and Florida were about the same.

    Over the last 70 years, the biggest proportional gainers have been, by far, California, Texas and Florida.

    The biggest proportional losers, by far, have been New York and Pennsylvania.

  48. - CapnCrunch - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 7:19 pm:

    Also, the median age has risen from 30 in 1980 to 38 in 2014. Older people prefer warmer climates when they retire.

  49. - Just Me - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 7:30 pm:

    As the baby boomers reach retirement they head south, so it is no surprise that the list of losers are all northern-ish states.

  50. - ChicagoVinny - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 7:46 pm:

    I wonder if water shortages in a lot of sun belt cities will affect this trend away from the Great Lakes region. It’s not just desert cities like LA having troubles, cities like Atlanta also have outgrown their watershed.

  51. - Blue dog dem - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 7:47 pm:

    All this, and the corporations heading to the Windy City in the last 3-5 years has been impressive to say the least. Somebody at one of our fine state universities should be able to figure this correlation out.

  52. - AJ_yooper - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 8:14 pm:

    AC and cheaper housing. And, a lot of older people like warmer climates.

  53. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 9:02 pm:

    There was a time when Illinois was an Electoral College heavyweight. We had so many Members of Congress that the two were elected at large, so as not to mess up the district map.

  54. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 10:34 pm:

    On the other hand, we did get rid of Aruzona Bob. Kinda.

  55. - See the forest - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 6:05 am:

    Agree with Vinnie - as water shortages increase, the midwest will look better and better. Just remember to keep the water in municipal, accountable hands, and not handed over to Nestle, et al. Also, the southwest has more severe weather, and poor soils.

  56. - Present - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 7:51 am:

    Our story. My husband lost his job. I am a state worker on the postponed layoff list. My daughter wants to be a special ed teacher. I hate winter. Why wouldn’t I move? That’s just my 2 cents.

  57. - Moby - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 8:58 am:

    Among other things, Illinois has been hit especially hard with declining births rates since 2007. It’s just now starting to level off.

  58. - Name Change? - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 9:02 am:

    It appears Land of Lincoln is now Land of Loser.

  59. - GraduatedCollegeStudent - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:42 am:

    ===There was a time when Illinois was an Electoral College heavyweight. We had so many Members of Congress that the two were elected at large, so as not to mess up the district map. ===

    That’s one way of looking at it. The other way views it as a way to artificially inflate rural power at the expense of urban power.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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