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Illinois’ problem isn’t people moving out, it’s that they’re not moving in

Friday, Sep 8, 2017

* The Center for Tax and Budget Accountability explodes a popular myth

(B)ad net migration numbers can be the result of an unusually high number of people leaving, or an unusually low number of people moving in. And in the case of Illinois, it appears to mostly be the second.

In per capita terms, Illinois’ gross out-migration rate ranks just 29th out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. In other words, Illinois residents are actually less likely to move out than are residents of the median state.

But things don’t look so good when it comes to gross in-migration. Adjusted for population, Illinois attracts fewer newcomers than all but two other states: New York and Michigan.

That means Illinois’ migration problems are mostly about how few people come here, not how many people leave.

There’s lots more to this, so make sure to read the whole thing.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

32 Comments
  1. - DownstateKid - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 9:26 am:

    What’s the myth?


  2. - IllinoisBoi - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 9:30 am:

    Are fewer immigrants to the U.S. coming to Illinois? They’re the people who have caused most of the population increase in Illinois in recent years.


  3. - Arock - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 9:34 am:

    They are no moving to Illinois for a reason, which are numerous, duh. And we are in many cases losing our brightest and best young people especially in the downstate.


  4. - illini97 - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 9:34 am:

    - IllinoisBoi - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 9:30 am:

    “Are fewer immigrants to the U.S. coming to Illinois? They’re the people who have caused most of the population increase in Illinois in recent years.”

    I bet that reading the article will answer your question.


  5. - Yobagoya - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 9:38 am:

    “But generally, researchers find that taxes are relatively low priority factors when people decide to move, falling far below things like being close to family, job markets, and housing costs, which often make a bigger difference in total cost of living than state and local taxes.”

    Job markets and housing are affected by taxes.


  6. - wordslinger - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 9:42 am:

    So those IPI U-Haul “surveys” aren’t the height of big-brain think-tankery research? As a white male, I’m shocked, to be radically candid.


  7. - Robert the 1st - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 9:46 am:

    =What is, then? That’s still up for debate. But hopefully this post will help those of us who care about the future of Illinois ask better questions to get the answers we’re looking for.=

    So in other words, we don’t know what’s causing it, but it can’t be taxes and we don’t need reforms. Would you expect any other answer from The Center for Tax and Budget Accountability?


  8. - Boone's is Back - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 9:49 am:

    I think that this does frame the debate in a new way. (And the source ain’t exactly lefty). I think polling would shed some more light on this but I would imagine that the fears over violence in Chicago does more to detract people moving in than the income tax rate or the loss of FoxConn.


  9. - anon2 - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 9:50 am:

    === What’s the myth? ===

    The myth is the GOP chestnut that hordes of Illinoisans are fleeing the State due to high taxes and Democratic misrule. It turns out it’s not hordes, but an out-migration about average. And those who leave generally cite other reasons than taxes and Madigan.


  10. - @misterjayem - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 9:53 am:

    “Illinois’ migration problems are mostly about how few people come here, not how many people leave.”

    Maybe if Illinois’s governor stopped bad-mouthing his state at every opportunity…

    – MrJM


  11. - Actual Red - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 9:57 am:

    @Yobagoya–
    I don’t think the article was saying reforms aren’t needed. It was just pointing out that the evidence doesn’t really square perfectly with either sides narrative of what reforms are needed. It’s not clear, for example, that people are staying away mostly due to taxes, un-term-limited legislators, or workers comp rules, as Rauner would claim. It’s also not clear that they are staying away mostly due to the budget crisis, ineffective gubernatorial leadership, or generally instability, as Rauner’s critics might claim.

    The point of the article is that the root causes of population loss are far more complicated and varied than either side wants to claim, and we should treat policy proposals and political rhetoric with appropriate skepticism.


  12. - wordslinger - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 10:00 am:

    Boone, tale of two cities.

    Those that can have been moving out of the violent areas of the South and West sides for years, while a residential building boom continues in the greater Loop and North Side.

    Gun violence in Chicago is highly concentrated geographically in certain neighborhoods and the at-risk group is overwhelmingly young men of color.


  13. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 10:05 am:

    It is not just numbers but composition. Naperville is about 10% Asian, with many working in medicine, engineering, or technology. Chicago has attracted a larger share of undocumented immigrants from Latin America. These tend to have less education and a poorer command of the English language than the Asians.


  14. - anon2 - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 10:12 am:

    === The vast majority of new residents, or 70 percent, come to the Chicago metropolitan area: about 44 percent moved to Cook County in 2014, and 26 percent to the collar counties.===

    In other words, 44 percent of new residents move to a county that is run by Democrats. Which conflicts with the GOP narrative about purported Democratic misrule repelling people.


  15. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 10:20 am:

    What’s really interesting is to overlay this report and the one yesterday about 72,000 fewer kids in IL colleges. So essentially the problem is not taxes (and my experience with people leaving confirms this) but with the dysfunction created by Rauner. No budget for 2 1/2 years has done real and lasting damage to our state.


  16. - DuPage - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 10:25 am:

    A lot of immigrants are not counted accurately, (undocumented). Aurora, West Chicago, Elgin (AKA “Little Mexico City”), Addison, Villa Park, Cicero, the “Little Village” neighborhood in Chicago, Rockford, and many other areas have a lot of people who came here to work but are in fear of being deported. They try to NOT be counted when the census taker comes around. The recent statements from Trump are not going to help with getting accurate numbers, it makes them even more cautious about keeping a low profile.


  17. - AnonymousOne - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 10:34 am:

    I am astonished by the trashing and bashing of our state by our (cheer)leader some call Governor. After listening to the doom and gloom from the one who knows the details about our state, what thinking person would want to come here?


  18. - Robert the 1st - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 10:39 am:

    =So essentially the problem is… the dysfunction created by Rauner.=

    Maybe take another look at those charts and the date ranges in the link…


  19. - City Zen - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 10:39 am:

    Inbound/outbound migration is secondary to the real population issue: age.

    Since 2010, Illinois’ fastest growing segment of the population is over 65 (persons under 5 and 18 both decreased since that time). This also happens to be the same folks who are exempt from paying state income taxes on their #1 revenue source: retirement income.

    You don’t have to leave Illinois to impact its revenue. Just retire.


  20. - Dan Johnson - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 10:43 am:

    City Zen with the winner.

    Next sacred cow to tackle for civic (and then political) Illinois: the retirement income giveaway. I think it’s just shy of $2B annual loss. Imagine if we ended the giveaway and put that revenue stream into the pension funds. Would that solve a third or so of the unfunded liability? Maybe more? (I don’t know how to do net present value calculations over 50 years very well).


  21. - City Zen - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 10:48 am:

    ==So in other words, we don’t know what’s causing it, but it can’t be taxes and we don’t need reforms. Would you expect any other answer from The Center for Tax and Budget Accountability?==

    CTBA advocates for reforms that cost money. Six Sigma black belt not required.


  22. - Steve - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 10:54 am:

    City Zen

    Is saying a lot of important facts here. However, Mike Madigan understands what happens once you start taxing retirement income (you’ll get a lot less seniors). Under our current Illinois constitution… if retirement income is taxed the rate would have to be 4.95%.


  23. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 11:17 am:

    Do those who advocate for taxing retirement income understand that means all retirement income for everyone? Even yours.


  24. - City Zen - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 11:29 am:

    ==Do those who advocate for taxing retirement income understand that means all retirement income for everyone? Even yours.==

    If I’m still alive by then.


  25. - IllinoisBoi - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 11:45 am:

    “But Census figures suggest that around 2014, Illinois’ net outmigration numbers suddenly jumped far above recent “normal” levels. In the years between the 2001 and 2008 recessions, Illinois lost, on average, a little over 35,000 people to migration annually. But in 2014, that number reached more than 66,000 people —close to double the pre-recession average — and grew to 83,000 in 2016. Over a decade, the 2016 level would reduce Illinois’ population by close to half a million people, compared to the old “normal.”

    So I wonder, what happened in 2014? Who was elected that year?

    (No, I don’t think Rauner is to blame here, but he hasn’t done much to improve the situation.)


  26. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 11:46 am:

    City, I’m sure you’ll make it. But right now you need to adjust upward your current savings for retirement, since should taxation occur, your current plan won’t be enough. Lucky for you, you can still do that. Current retirees can’t.


  27. - City Zen - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 12:21 pm:

    ==But right now you need to adjust upward your current savings for retirement==

    “Just deal with it” is pretty flippant take on my working families’ ability to shoulder the tax burden of this state.

    ==Current retirees can’t.==

    Based on that argument, then why raise any tax on retirees? Let’s just hand out tax freeze cards with every AARP membership.


  28. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 12:27 pm:

    City

    Are you really AZ BOB?


  29. - City Zen - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 12:33 pm:

    I am not Arizona Bob, although I play him on this blog.


  30. - Read em - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 12:37 pm:

    ==So in other words, we don’t know what’s causing it, but it can’t be taxes and we don’t need reforms. Would you expect any other answer from The Center for Tax and Budget Accountability?==

    Lol. Too real.


  31. - Name Withheld - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 1:50 pm:

    Sometimes it helps to show what *isn’t* the problem so as to help focus attention on other things that *could* be the problem. You have to rule out some things before you can know where to start looking, or you’re just shooting in the dark.


  32. - Boone's is Back - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 3:18 pm:

    Wordslinger-

    I don’t disagree with you at all. But once you travel outside of IL and you tell people you’re from here all they can think of is the violence. It’s one of the first things I hear any time I tell someone I’m from here.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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