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Our sorry state

Tuesday, Jan 2, 2018

* Press release

Americans are moving westward, flocking to the Mountain and Pacific West, while the Northeast and Midwest continue to lose residents. In 2017, more residents moved out of Illinois than any other state with 63 percent of moves being outbound. Vermont had the highest percentage of inbound migration in 2017 with nearly 68 percent of moves to and from the state being inbound. Those are the results of the United Van Lines’ 41st Annual National Movers Study, which tracks customers’ state-to-state migration patterns over the past year.

* Top inbound moving states…

1. Vermont
2. Oregon
3. Idaho
4. Nevada
5. South Dakota
6. Washington
7. South Carolina
8. North Carolina
9. Colorado
10. Alabama

New to the 2017 top inbound list are Colorado at No. 9 and Alabama at No. 10 with 56 and 55 percent inbound moves, respectively.

* Top outbound

1. Illinois
2. New Jersey
3. New York
4. Connecticut
5. Kansas
6. Massachusetts
7. Ohio
8. Kentucky
9. Utah
10. Wisconsin

Illinois (63 percent) moved up one spot on the outbound list to No. 1, ranking in the top five for the past nine years. New Jersey previously held the top spot for 5 consecutive years. New additions to the 2017 top outbound list include Massachusetts (56 percent) and Wisconsin (55 percent).

* Tribune editorial

People follow jobs. But billions in debts scare present and prospective residents who know that eventually, they’ll be stuck with the bill — if they’re here.

This population plummet can be halted and reversed. A collapse into used-to-be-great status isn’t preordained. Illinois leaders should be signaling to Amazon and other employers (and employees) that they’re finally ready to address Illinois’ soaring taxes, runaway public pensions, overreaching regulations, high workers’ compensation costs — this state’s increasingly toxic climate for employers.

If Illinois leaders keep pretending all’s well enough on their watch, you’ll keep hearing that the Land of Lincoln is losing population. And you’ll see more forlorn parents watching their children leave.

The new year brings a chance for voters to factor this accelerating decline into their choices come Election Day. The people of Illinois should elect leaders who’ll recognize the crisis, restore the state’s squandered reputation for opportunity, and halt this exodus. The alternative: Return to office pols who’ll rule as they have for decades — while more For Sale signs sprout on lawns and more young people depart for college, many never to return.

* On the other hand

New figures released by the Illinois Department of Employment Security indicate the total number of private-sector, unemployment-insurance-covered jobs in the city grew 168,000, or 16.6 percent, in the seven years ended in March. The expansion was concentrated in the Loop and the Near North, West and South Side areas adjoining it, where the total number of jobs leapt nearly a quarter. But the action also is showing signs of spreading into outlying neighborhoods.

In comparison, private-sector employment rose 13.5 percent in the six-county Chicago metropolitan area as a whole in that period—and just 11.2 percent if you don’t count Chicago. That’s just two-thirds of the city-only expansion rate.

Municipal officials and independent experts are hailing the city turnaround, which after seven years of steady growth appears unprecedented in the post-World War II period, and which continued unabated in the past year.

One other notable tidbit: In 2017, for the first time ever, a majority of jobs in Chicago as a whole were located in the central area of the city.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

67 Comments
  1. - OK - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 2:07 pm:

    A bunch of weed states on that inbound list.

    Just saying…


  2. - NeverPoliticallyCorrect - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 2:07 pm:

    Vermont is an interesting outlier. It is an expensive state to live, like IL, yet people are moving there. So it suggests the argument that people won’t move to high tax states isn’t a complete understanding of the dynamic. I have many relatives in Vermont and I think that apart from the natural beauty the mountains provide and that Illinois can’t hope to compete with it’s the sense of value for their money. My relatives feel they are getting a pretty good bang for their tax buck. I don’t think that is a sentiment shared by those here in Illinois.


  3. - OK - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 2:08 pm:

    Or maybe it is just the mountains…


  4. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 2:12 pm:

    I’d move to the Carolinas… Alabama gulf shores is getting an influx…

    Illinois needs to do better than the thinking of it’s incumbent governor… who thinks Illinois will be better after Janus, RTW Zones, and destroying AF-Scammy… that is the vision people want.


  5. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 2:13 pm:

    ===Or maybe it is just the mountains…===

    There are plenty of mountains in New York, Kentucky and Utah.


  6. - Sue - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 2:15 pm:

    Good for Madigan. His folks are all staying


  7. - Finally Out - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 2:16 pm:

    Is this survey just those that used United’s services? Couldn’t find that answer in the United article links or I missed it. If so, not an accurate picture of all moves.


  8. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 2:16 pm:

    ===and Utah===

    Some of the most beautiful mountains in the world, btw.


  9. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 2:19 pm:

    We are looking at North Carolina - Nicer home there with a similar sale price as the one I have here has about $2,000 in property taxes Vs the $11,500 (and climbing) I’m paying now.


  10. - Responsa - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 2:25 pm:

    Several of the most respected and favorite commenters on CapFax have been suggesting for quite some time that people leaving IL is an inconsequential issue. Some have have even said, “so go, already and good riddance.”

    Intelligent people can certainly debate and dispute the causes or reasons that people are leaving Illinois. They may also have varying ideas and assumptions on why out-goers choose the specific places they are moving to. But I can’t understand how, with these statistics, anybody can still reasonably argue that losing population and tax revenue and congressional seats is not a serious problem for the State of Illinois.


  11. - Texas Red - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 2:26 pm:

    This was the topic of the holidays among
    friends/families /neighbors. Question was “Are you planning on staying in Illinois once you retire” Not one person said they were. Destinations of choice were Arizona, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee. The one wildcard was sticking around to take care of elderly parents, or if the Grand-kids are in here.


  12. - flea - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 2:29 pm:

    Rauner has homes in lots of those states so what’s it matter to him


  13. - @misterjayem - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 2:30 pm:

    Q: “Is this survey just those that used United’s services?”

    A: “For 2017, the study is based on household moves handled by United within the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C.”

    For what it’s worth, Illinois ranking was based on 8,157 trips (5,172 from, 2,985 to). By contrast, Vermont’s #1 ranking was based on a mere 254 trips (82 from, and 172 to).

    So while the Movers Study may be informative, I’d classify it as anecdote, rather than data.

    – MrJM


  14. - Not a Billionaire - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 2:34 pm:

    It said moves to midwest are for jobs and moves to south and southwest are retirees. So fans of taxing retirement income might want to rethink it.


  15. - Roman - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 2:35 pm:

    The Northeast and Midwest have been losing population to the South and West since the invention of home air conditioning — just look at the state-by-state allotment of Electoral College votes since 1952. Minnesota and Vermont show cold-weather states can buck the trend on occasion.


  16. - City Zen - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 2:36 pm:

    According to the interactive map that goes back to 1979, Illinois has fallen in the “high outbound” category 34 of 39 years. The other 5 times were “moderate outbound”.

    On the plus side, more people under 55 are coming to Illinois than leaving. The same cannot be said for the southern states.


  17. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 2:37 pm:

    ===But I can’t understand how, with these statistics, anybody can still reasonably argue that losing population and tax revenue and congressional seats is not a serious problem for the State of Illinois.===

    Speaking for myself, I’ve pushed back on a lot of these “U-Haul” threads because they lack any actual substance. Illinois has been losing population relative to other states for almost 70 years. This isn’t a new development.

    I don’t deny that losing population and the economic contributions that are lost when people leave Illinois is a serious issue. I just question those who think they know how to change it. What I push back most is that some believe this out-migration can be attributed to some policy choice or the dominance of one political party (as if). If you think term limits or RTW or WC reform will stop a 70 year demographic shift, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

    And a collection of sales receipts from United Van Lines is hardly the gold standard or the final word in serious demographic and migration research. Allied maybe, but not United.

    U-Haul!


  18. - Williamson County Resident - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 2:39 pm:

    I have been retired 5+ years now. No plans on leaving Illinois. The greener pastures elsewhere narrative is, in many cases, hyperbole.


  19. - City Zen - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 2:42 pm:

    ==So fans of taxing retirement income might want to rethink it.==

    Even without taxing retirement income, more retirees are leaving Illinois than staying. Inbound vs outbound…

    17.35% 55 to 64 24.86%
    17.00% 65 or older 22.33%

    NY has similar numbers but taxes retirement income and a much higher rate.


  20. - Anon - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 2:54 pm:

    According to United Van Lines website there are zero affiliates in Vermont (12 in IL), and less than 3 companies in 6 of the top 10 states.
    Doesn’t it stand to reason that of course moving out numbers are higher in states where there are more affiliates, because you higher movers from where you are moving from, not moving to?


  21. - SmartiePants - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 2:57 pm:

    If the state of Illinois taxes retirement, the net migration will top 50,000 in the first year alone.

    We are a broken state and a national joke.


  22. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 2:58 pm:

    ===We are a broken state===

    lol, is that you Gov. Rauner?

    “We are a ‘pineapple’ state”


  23. - Telly - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 2:59 pm:

    The Chicago employment trends are pretty impressive — and that’s based on statistically relevant data, not anecdotes (hat tip, @MrJM.)

    That report shows Chicago is actually bucking the post-war demographic trend @Roman and @47th Ward have referred to. Downstate is where Illinois is really hurting. Automation of farm and factory jobs (as well as off-shoring of the latter) over the last several years is what hurts most.


  24. - Bigtwich - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:02 pm:

    “In per capita terms, Illinois’ gross out-migration rate ranks just 29th out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.”

    https://budgetblog.ctbaonline.org/illinois-is-a-low-outmigration-state-and-other-things-you-probably-didnt-know-about-people-moving-ce3f0cd6ab4c


  25. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:07 pm:

    1) If high taxes are driving an exodus, how do you explain Kansas?

    2) I’d bet a substantial percentage of the VT gain are the same people that left NY/NJ.


  26. - Ron - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:20 pm:

    I’ve said this before, if it weren’t for the City of Chicago, Illinois would be like West Virginia.

    Economically backward and aging at a scary rate while losing good people.


  27. - City Zen - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:22 pm:

    ==1) If high taxes are driving an exodus, how do you explain Kansas?==

    Kansas raised their rates in 2017 and will again in 2018. And their Brownback effective tax rate was higher than Illinois before the latest tax hike. In other words, it’s not cut and dry.


  28. - Shemp - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:23 pm:

    “…Illinois can’t hope to compete with it’s the sense of value for their money. My relatives feel they are getting a pretty good bang for their tax buck. I don’t think that is a sentiment shared by those here in Illinois.”

    I think there is way more truth to this than many want to believe.


  29. - cdog - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:38 pm:

    Making plans. It will take a few years to unwind but the wheels are in motion.


  30. - Sputnik - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:44 pm:

    One concern is the loss of educated millennials. Luckily, we have a very cool urban city that stacks up well compared to cities in the top 10 inbound list.


  31. - A guy - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:47 pm:

    Most of those states have tracts of inexpensive land, many are low taxers, nearly all have a lower cost of living…but it may just be bottled water. We cut off the fresh water supply, and they’ll come back. /s


  32. - Former State Worker - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:56 pm:

    I would move if I could find a comparable home for a similar price elsewhere in a place I wanted to live.

    I’m single and don’t have any kids. A 3 BR 2 BA house that I bought for $130,000 (in Springfield) is really all I need. I’ve looked in South Dakota and Minnesota but comparable houses are much more expensive. The Real Estate taxes are much lower but it’s not worth the move *Shrug*

    I wish more could be done to fix downstate and create a more diverse work forces. However, the cost of living here is pretty low. If I owned a home in Cook Country or the Suburban Collar Counties, then yeah, I’d get out ASAP.


  33. - Deadbeat Conservative - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:59 pm:

    ==Even without taxing retirement income, more retirees are leaving Illinois than staying. Inbound vs outbound…

    17.35% 55 to 64 24.86%
    17.00% 65 or older 22.33%

    NY has similar numbers but taxes retirement income and a much higher rate.==

    No state has ever beaten Illinois on service taxes at 0%. The logic here is that we need to favor the service sector above all else to continue to get the trickle-down from our rich folks.


  34. - Original Rambler - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 4:00 pm:

    Texas Red, I’m getting close to retirement age and the absolute primary factor for my wife and I will be family and friends. Then I’d say climate and senior citizen friendly location. I’m going to move to save a few dollars but have to start a new social circle while adding transportation expenses to visit the family and friends I left behind? I don’t think so. I don’t understand people who think like that.


  35. - AnonymousOne - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 4:01 pm:

    It would seem that our way out of this decline would not be to necessarily tax everyone more or tax retirees but rather to concentrate on attracting more industry, more bright young workers to expand our economy. Cutting off our educational institutions doesn’t seem a great way towards that end. So many really bright products of our K-12 system are leaving for out of state universities and never returning. If you tax more for those here now, they’ll leave if they can. Our governing bodies are looking at how to fix this all wrong.


  36. - lost in the weeds - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 4:08 pm:

    Young people want travel. Take selfies on Canyon rims and in front of mountains. There is two imprisoned governor and one talking down the state. Expensive schools through college graduation located in cornfields. Saying that is it really taxes that is the issue? Go to small rural towns in this town. In the last 40 years they are left with a shiney bank building, if that. Water out west and air conditioning opened up a lot areas for Midwesterners to migrate to.


  37. - AnonymousOne - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 4:16 pm:

    ==Young people want travel==

    They might but if you give them jobs that pay them well enough to do so, and convenient access to that airport, combined with a reasonable cost of living while home, they’ll travel. My young adult does, living in a midsize city that most wouldn’t consider glamorous. But 5 minutes to the airport, no delays…..on the road easily and often. Young people might want travel, but they also want convenience.


  38. - illinois manufacturer - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 4:18 pm:

    Downstate is not W VA. It is still larger than most comparable outstate areas. Take the 80 corridor out of Iowa…..Madison and Milwaukee out of WI and so on . One study posted here in fact showed downstate metros have some of the higher disposable incomes in the region. The truth is non of the economy outside health care and high finance have grown at all. Chicago is a world financial center.


  39. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 4:23 pm:

    The tronc edit head reads: “Reversing the Illinois Exodus”

    Did I miss the payoff somewhere? Is there going to be a sequel or something where they get beyond their one-size-fits-all tantrum points?

    The only growth areas outside of Chicago metro have been in public university counties. Yet not a mention of the willful starving of universities the last few years or a plea to turn that around.

    And are the troncs not allowed to look out the windows in their short-term rental offices? Do they not see what’s happening in their own neighborhood when it comes to growth and jobs?


  40. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 4:41 pm:

    Everyone’s fleeing high-tax Illinois for Vermont?

    Illinois flat tax: 4.95%
    Vermont graduated tax: top rate 8.95%


  41. - anon2 - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 4:55 pm:

    4.95% vs a graduated tax with a top rate of 8.95%

    Yet when Pritzker proposes a graduated tax with a rate closer to Wisconsin’s than Vermont’s, the GOP says the sky is falling.


  42. - anon2 - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 4:58 pm:

    === the number of private-sector jobs grew by 168,000 in the last seven years ==

    That kind of growth suggests a vibrant City economy. Despite one-party Democratic rule.


  43. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 4:58 pm:

    So the takeaway is that Illinois policies should be more like Vermont’s?

    U-Haul Science has spoken.


  44. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 5:00 pm:

    === the number of private-sector jobs grew by 168,000 in the last seven years ==

    That kind of growth suggests a vibrant City economy. Despite one-party Democratic rule.–

    By tronc/Rauner/IPI logic, that job growth means the rest of the state should adopt the politics of the city.


  45. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 5:04 pm:

    Does the Trib farm out their editorial page to the Illinois Policy Institute?


  46. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 5:09 pm:

    I think people from Illinois are moving to red states to affect the electoral college. Might work. We could start a colony in Alabama.


  47. - Ron - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 5:24 pm:

    Chicago is seeing a large turn from lower middle class to high earning, highly educated people.


  48. - Ron - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 5:25 pm:

    Chicago is experiencing a massive brain gain.


  49. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 5:27 pm:

    –Chicago is seeing a large turn from lower middle class to high earning, highly educated people.–

    By your own logic, stated endlessly, along with that of the troncs/Rauner/IPI, that must be due to the politics.

    Correct?


  50. - Blue dog dem - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 6:09 pm:

    Ron. Help me out. What is ‘brain gain’?


  51. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 6:12 pm:

    ===What is ‘brain gain’?===

    It’s not something you’ll ever need worry about.


  52. - dbk - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 6:43 pm:

    Since most (all?) of us are interested primarily in why Illinois is losing population, I’d like to see more fine-grained data.

    1) Age groups that are leaving in highest nos.
    2) Counties/towns that are losing the most people
    3) Reasons cited by those departing

    Retirees leaving is understandable - the level of social services for the elderly has been falling, and heating bills and property taxes for those on fixed incomes are high. Can nothing be done about this?

    Younger, working-age folks are I would imagine leaving downstate counties in search of better jobs. There’s only one way to reverse this trend, and it’s going to require real innovation to re-develop downstate in the post-industrial age.


  53. - Ron - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 7:06 pm:

    Chicago is a bargain for a large globally connected economic power and it’s taxes are not particularly high. The rest of illinois has very little appeal.

    Where is the brain drain? Downstate. Educated millennials are puring into Chicago while downstate implodes on decades of union “protection” of a nearly non existent workforce at this point.


  54. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 7:37 pm:

    Sad about Illinois but glad to see Oregon, Washington and Colorado in the top 10 of gains—three states after me own heart.


  55. - blue dog dem - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 7:46 pm:

    47th. That was clever. Mean but clever.


  56. - blue dog dem - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 7:53 pm:

    Ron. Are you really Rahm?


  57. - City Zen - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 8:25 pm:

    ==Yet when Pritzker proposes a graduated tax with a rate closer to Wisconsin’s than Vermont’s, the GOP says the sky is falling.==

    ==Everyone’s fleeing high-tax Illinois for Vermont?==

    Vermont taxes retirement income, including social security. Wisconsin also taxes retirement income but not Social Security. They sky may fall…on gramps.

    While you’re out in Vermont tapping maple trees and collecting tax rates, don’t forget to bring Vermont’s lower property tax rates. We’ll need it.


  58. - Jibba - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 9:45 pm:

    I’m not a big Ron fan, but he is spot on here. See this link for Ron’s brain gain idea. Illinois is almost the only non coastal, non southern state gaining college graduates. They get educated elsewhere but come to Chicago, the only urban area large enough to rival the coastal big cities. We need to encourage this via state policies to the extent possible. Downstate (my home) is not going to gain population much, especially outside of the college towns.

    ttps://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/22/upshot/the-states-that-college-graduates-are-most-likely-to-leave.html


  59. - Jibba - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 10:02 pm:

    Here’s the flip side to having college graduates come to Illinois: from article above

    “One reason that inland states have a reasonable case for disappointment at not keeping their young college graduates: They’re helping to pay to educate them…if states are losing more college graduates than they are holding or bringing in, they’re effectively subsidizing other states’ skilled labor forces.”

    Puts another perspective on the idea that high school graduates going to school elsewhere is always bad.


  60. - cannon649 - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 10:28 pm:

    It has been previously mentioned - who is leaving and where are leaving from?

    The loss is one thing - but losing the the upper middle class families - the ones who have children who go to college - and replacing them with? is a very important issue -

    Knowing a bit about Vermont - many of these people just want to stay in the NE - Vermont is the cheapest way


  61. - TinyDancer(FKAsue) - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 1:02 am:

    =While you’re out in Vermont tapping maple trees and collecting tax rates, don’t forget to bring Vermont’s lower property tax rates.=

    If we had Vermont’s graduated income tax with an 8.95% top rate we could also have Vermont’s lower property tax rates.


  62. - City Zen - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 9:02 am:

    ==If we had Vermont’s graduated income tax with an 8.95% top rate we could also have Vermont’s lower property tax rates.==

    That will be a great selling point for the retirees who will now be paying state income tax.


  63. - Ron - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 10:08 am:

    People leaving are primarily retirees and lower income folks with no job prospects.


  64. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 10:36 am:

    =That will be a great selling point for the retirees who will now be paying state income tax.=

    It’s a graduated tax, so unlike our regressive flat tax, those earning less pay less or pay nothing.
    No tax up to $37,650 single or $62,850 married.


  65. - Ron - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 10:43 am:

    There is nothing regressive about a flat income tax. It’s a percentage of income.

    Sales taxes are regressive.


  66. - Ron - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 10:44 am:

    Illinois dems really don’t care about progress. They just like coddled unionized workers to keep them on the gravy train.


  67. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:52 am:

    =Illinois dems really don’t care about progress. They just like coddled unionized workers to keep them on the gravy train.=

    So yeah, Ron, when you run out of facts you can always go to your default IPI demagoguery Chatty-Cathy talking points.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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