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Illinois population down about 6,000 residents since 2008

Friday, Mar 1, 2019 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Illinois Policy Institute last December

Illinois’ people problem is worsening. And it’s driven by residents leaving for greener pastures.

From July 2017 to July 2018, Illinois’ population shrank by more than 45,000 people, behind only New York for the worst raw population decline in the nation, according to data released Dec. 19 by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The largest driver of Illinois’ population decline? More people are leaving for other states than arriving from other states. Over the year, Illinois lost 114,000 people on net to other states, or roughly 313 residents per day.

* That sort of focus is driving pretty much all media coverage. Tribune

Mary Miller lived in Illinois for all of her 44 years until July, when she and her family left their north suburban Wauconda home to resettle in Florida.

“It’s taxes. It’s corruption. It’s politics,” she said. “And I don’t mean Republicans or Democrats, it’s all of them.”

Miller wasn’t alone in her departure from the state. Illinois has declined in population for the fifth year in a row, losing an estimated 45,116 residents from 2017 to 2018, according to the latest Census Bureau data released Wednesday.

That was a greater drop than the previous year, when Illinois lost about 40,000 people — as well as its spot as the fifth-largest state in the nation to Pennsylvania.

* But nobody seems to be looking at the overall growth and decline rates. Pew Charitable Trusts

All but two states—Illinois and West Virginia—gained residents over the past decade, even as population growth nationally continued to slow. Following the long-term trend, the United States in 2018 grew at its weakest pace in more than 80 years, with nine states losing residents. Population trends matter to both state government finances and economic growth. […]

Illinois and West Virginia were the only states with fewer residents in 2018 than a decade earlier. West Virginia lost about 34,500 people since 2008, or the equivalent of 0.19 percent a year, and has recorded population losses for the past six years. Illinois’ growth rate was virtually flat over the same period, shedding about 6,000 residents since 2008 and losing population for the past five years. […]

More recently, population change from July 2017 to July 2018 shows… The nine states that lost population were West Virginia (‑0.62 percent), Illinois (‑0.35 percent), Alaska (‑0.32 percent), Hawaii (‑0.26 percent), New York (-0.25 percent), Louisiana (‑0.23 percent), Wyoming (‑0.21 percent), Mississippi (-0.1 percent), and Connecticut (‑0.03 percent). Losses in each over the past year were driven by people moving out of the state, and West Virginia also had more deaths than births.

The problem is other states are growing while we are staying flat or even shrinking. And that is a real problem. Also, those 2018 numbers are not good.

       

48 Comments
  1. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 11:34 am:

    Horrible. Only West Virginia is worse than Illinois?


  2. - Anon - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 11:39 am:

    Hard to have growth when we’ve pursued policies that actively encourage our talented youth to attend college out of state.


  3. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 11:39 am:

    What was the country’s population growth over that time period?


  4. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 11:40 am:

    Anon, sounds like you unfamiliar with Chicago. We have no problem attracting educated young people.


  5. - @misterjayem - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 11:43 am:

    “The problem is other states are growing while we are staying flat or even shrinking.”

    A necessary but insufficient condition for turning this around is an Illinois governor who doesn’t trash-talk Illinois, so at least we’ve finally got that going for us.

    – MrJM


  6. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 11:45 am:

    –* That sort of focus is driving pretty much all media coverage. Tribune…

    Mary Miller lived in Illinois for all of her 44 years until July, when she and her family left their north suburban Wauconda home to resettle in Florida.

    “It’s taxes. It’s corruption. It’s politics,” she said. “And I don’t mean Republicans or Democrats, it’s all of them.”–

    Yeah, that fits the pre-determined tronc narrative.

    But I’m still waiting for the troncs to wander through Austin and Englewood to interview why folks there are leaving at rates unseen anywhere in the country.

    They’re really missing the big story:

    –After a big drop in the first half of the last decade, the number of white residents in Chicago has grown 9 percent since 2005. Latino growth has slowed significantly, but it’s still up about 5 percent since 2000. Chicago’s Asian population has boomed, growing by 44 percent since 2000.

    But Chicago’s black population, the city’s largest demographic in 2000, has dropped by 24 percent through 2017, going from more than one million in 2000 to just under 800,000 in 2017. The number of whites in Chicago surpassed blacks in 2017, and Latinos will almost certainly pass blacks by the time of the 2020 census.

    Chicago’s population would be increasing if not for the black exodus. How can it be explained?–

    Maybe the city’s biggest paper wants to take a crack at that.

    https://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/chicagos-black-exodus/Content?oid=66920657


  7. - Trapped in the 'burbs - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 11:45 am:

    I’m guessing the decline in students at state universities is significantly higher than the population as a whole. When you force students to attend college out of state, those students pursue opportunities out of state.


  8. - Not a Billionaire - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 11:46 am:

    US went from 303 to 326. Fast growth of population has stopped in most of the world. China may be shrinking and except for Africa most of the world is at sub replacement fertility. Let’s call Illinois the leader in the end to overpopulatiob.


  9. - Ostrich - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 11:48 am:

    Stop tearing down Illinois you naysayer. /snark


  10. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 11:49 am:

    “All but two states—Illinois and West Virginia—gained residents over the past decade”

    So graduated income tax states didn’t lose populations. Poof, there again goes the IPI/Trib editorial anti-tax, anti-union narrative. California and Minnesota both raised taxes on the wealthy and they gained people.

    It’s great, for starters, to not have a governor put us down and not hold the budget hostage, including not starving out higher ed.


  11. - City Zen - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 11:50 am:

    People are voluntarily leaving Hawaii?


  12. - XonXoff - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 11:52 am:

    – Let’s call Illinois the leader in the end to overpopulatiob. –

    Should be on all state line “Welcome to Illinois” billboards.


  13. - Simple Simon - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 11:55 am:

    CZ, even “paradise” has traffic jams, unemployment, homelessness, drug addiction, racism of all kinds, and economic downturns due to an economy based dominantly on tourism or the military.


  14. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 11:56 am:

    Gosh, at that rate there will be no one here in 25,600 years.


  15. - JS Mill - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 11:58 am:

    =People are voluntarily leaving Hawaii?=

    The cost of living is high and wages are low. with the exception of the weather and the ocean it is like living in Indiana at New York prices.


  16. - Responsa - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 12:04 pm:

    I wish we had a dollar donated to charity for every time a commenter on this site over the years has said “good riddance” when the subject of out-migration comes up. These statistics are what “good riddance” on both a micro and macro level looks like. Clearly there are multiple causes and reasons that prompt individual people and families to leave the state. Whatever the the reasons are, they feel valid to the leavers (even if pooh-poohed by others) and the leavers are taking action. Sadly, I doubt if it’s even possible to have an honest discussion on this topic anymore.


  17. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 12:06 pm:

    “Gosh, at that rate there will be no one here in 25,600 years.”
    In will take over 12,000 years, at a loss of 500 a year, to get down to Indiana’s population of 6.7 million and 14,000 years to get to Wisconsin’s 5.9 million.


  18. - Pick a Name - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 12:12 pm:

    And it’s only going to get worse. More and more baby boomers will relocate.

    And to the posters claiming policies are driving students to out of state colleges, the University of Illinois system has set record enrollment for the past 8 years.


  19. - City Zen - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 12:16 pm:

    ==Gosh, at that rate there will be no one here in 25,600 years.==

    And we’ll still have 5 years to go on the Romulan pension ramp.


  20. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 12:21 pm:

    ===the University of Illinois system has set record enrollment for the past 8 years.===

    And here, “immigration” is our main friend of the trend. International students at UIUC now comprise about 24% of the student population.


  21. - muon - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 12:24 pm:

    If you use last year’s decline of 0.35% and apply it in the future as a constant rate it is different than just subtracting the same number year after year. For example, if Illinois continued losing the same number of people each each at last years pace it would lose half of its population in 142 years. If Illinois lost at the same rate as last year every year in the future, it would take 198 years to lose half of its population. That’s because as the state gets smaller the same rate means fewer people are leaving.


  22. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 12:25 pm:

    Some fiscal naysayers correctly point out that growing tax liabilities and shrinking population is a dangerous combination.


  23. - 47th Ward - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 12:26 pm:

    ===use last year’s decline of 0.35% and apply it in the future as a constant rate===

    I was told there would be no math.


  24. - Rural survivor - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 12:27 pm:

    Rural population is decreasing significantly too. Lack of small town jobs and an aging demographic. Check the county numbers outside the collar counties.


  25. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 12:31 pm:

    –People are voluntarily leaving Hawaii?–

    Very expensive to live there. Takes a lot of money to maintain a Lower 48 lifestyle when there’s 2,500 miles of the Pacific between you and the West Coast.


  26. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 12:31 pm:

    Residents of other states where graduated income taxes are in place can generally be assured of receiving value from their state governments in services provided. Illinois residents can only be assured of continued crumbling infrastructure, cans continued to be kicked down the road on pensions,continued annual budget deficits, and the low quality state services they already receive. I have no philosophical opposition to a graduated income tax. I just know that with the malignant political culture that permeates this state, there will be no desire to do anything other than stick with the things that have driven the state into the ground. I have kids approaching college age. My hope for them is that they put Illinois and its ridiculous political culture in their rear view mirror for good.


  27. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 12:37 pm:

    “And to the posters claiming policies are driving students to out of state colleges, the University of Illinois system has set record enrollment for the past 8 years.”

    Schools lost students overall, and enrollment plunged during the budget crisis. It’s one of the reasons why Republican GA members broke with Bruce and ended his budget sabotage.

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-met-fall-enrollment-2018-20180912-story,amp.html

    Bruce caused so much damage trying to bust unions, didn’t he?


  28. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 12:37 pm:

    One of the main reasons people leave Hawaii is the lack of educational opportunity combined with the lack of jobs that are not related to tourism.

    Perhaps that is the main takeaway for Illinois: provide a good education and help the Chicagoland area drive our economy to create jobs. We need to get our fiscal house in order so that investors will have confidence that we will not be a fiscal basket case forever. Taxing sufficiently to fund services and infrastructure as well as pay debts is key. We’ve never actually tried that, you know.


  29. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 12:44 pm:

    There are obvious good reasons to relocate to Florida, but lack of corruption and good government ain’t one of them. That state’s politics is as wack-a-doo as they come.


  30. - Pick a Name - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 12:46 pm:

    Grandson, the SIU-C’s, EIU’s, Western’s and the Chicago States lost enrollment mau=inly due to terrible recruitment and marketing and overall bad leadership.

    ISU is doing fine, SIU-E is doing fine, the U of I system is doing fine.


  31. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 12:52 pm:

    I’m not sure you can call it terrible marketing when your product is inferior to that of another state or institution (relative to price paid). Students also left because they didn’t know whether their university would be around for all 4 years to get that degree in the end. Uncertainty is bad for both business and universities.


  32. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 12:54 pm:

    Meanwhile, the residential building boom in the Greater Loop continues.

    https://www.chicagobusiness.com/commercial-real-estate/downtown-apartment-glut-never-mind


  33. - Big Jer - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 1:00 pm:

    In the Pew study the 50 state median is .63% growth and 0,38% median in loss of population. And people want to draw sweeping generalizations from that?? Sigh.

    A different study I posted on Capitol Fax before shows many young people leaving the major cities for other areas due to the high cost. It’s not just Illinois/Chicago that lost but Los Angeles and New York City as well. And according to the Pew study New York state was one of nine states to lose population last year.

    https://www.brookings.edu/research/how-migration-of-millennials-and-seniors-has-shifted-since-the-great-recession/

    But what ever fits your ideology or narrative. That applies to me as well as bias is human unfortunately.


  34. - Father Ferguson asking a Q - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 1:08 pm:

    Could it be the family size is decreasing? You don’t say. I’m from a family of seven and the largest family I and my siblings have is 4. The largest family in the next generation is 3. My wife is from a family of 4. The next generation on her side had two kids per family. Factor that Illinois sooner and gloomed.


  35. - PublicServant - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 1:14 pm:

    As I’ve said in the past, every university ought to have a co-op program in as many subject areas as possible to move students from the ivory towers of higher ed to the high tech economy of today’s workforce. That means an entire department of professionals that engage and nurture relationships with national as well as area businesses to utilize their students year round, not just over the summer. Students aren’t attending college for an education for its own sake. They want a good job after graduation, and colleges that don’t do that will slowly die. Are you listening U of I? Your job fairs aren’t helpful. At all. Recruit companies and show them the value of employing your co-op students, and give your students the opportunity to learn from real opportunities off campus, and take those experiences back to their professors ensconced in those ivory towers to keep them current with the latest developments in industry.


  36. - Jibba - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 1:27 pm:

    The residential college is in decline in Illinois due to the diminishing lack of results it provides to those not going into lucrative jobs. Leaving college with a large debt and no good job prospects is not beneficial, and students know this, shifting to part time learning, commuting, community colleges, etc.

    A co-op program slots students into good jobs but also helps them pay bills by earning real money during college, greatly diminishing college debt and loans. This is an excellent idea that might save the directional schools, who need some kind of change or they will close sooner rather than later. UI is not in danger, but already has an engineering co-op program that can be expanded.


  37. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 1:38 pm:

    6000 over a ten year period? For all the wailing about this issue, the number is 6000? I had assumed from all the noise that the overall number would show losses in the tens - if not hundreds - of thousands. What happened to the repeated claims that Illinois will lose two or three congressional seats? Does that still occur with a population loss of 6000?


  38. - Scamp640 - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 1:51 pm:

    @ Pick a name. You don’t seem to understand why UIUC and ISU grew while the regional universities struggled. In order to make up for lost revenue caused by the Rauner budget impasse, UIUC and ISU lowered their entrance standards to generate more tuition revenue to offset the lack of state financial support. Kids who would ordinarily attend WIU, EIU or SIUC, could now attend UIUC. UIUC’s gain was a loss to the regional public universities. This was a zero-sum game.

    I am not saying there is no blame to be placed on local leadership. However, it is willful ignorance to ignore the devastating impact of the Rauner budget impasse on Illinois higher education.


  39. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 1:58 pm:

    Haven’t heard from Vman the last couple days, is he one of the 6000?


  40. - City Zen - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 2:07 pm:

    ==That state’s politics is as wack-a-doo as they come.==

    Not just the politics. Follow Florida Man on Twitter for great insights such as “Security Camera Catches Florida Man Licking Doorbell”
    and “Florida Woman Chases Parents With 12” Knife Because They Wouldn’t Take Her to Outback Steakhouse”


  41. - Anon - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 2:11 pm:

    We are currently projected to lose 2 seats in congress after the 2020 census due to population loss.

    Maybe that will finally make some of the “nothing to see” here crowd snap out of it in terms of how detrimental the continued out migration is.


  42. - Responsa - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 2:13 pm:

    ==What happened to the repeated claims that Illinois will lose two or three congressional seats? Does that still occur with a population loss of 6000?==

    In a word, yes it’s possible. There are only 435 total congressional districts in the USA and they are not permanently apportioned by state. Other states which have grown in population will gain seats and when they do some states will have to lose seats.

    https://www.wsj.com/graphics/reapportionment-2018/


  43. - IllinoisBoi - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 2:15 pm:

    A decline of 6000 people over an 11 year period in a state with a population of 12.8 million is pretty minimal. The state still has more people now than it did in 2006. Much of the decline has happened since 2013, when the state population peaked at about 12.9 million.


  44. - truthteller - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 2:16 pm:

    How many “lost” residents are retirees moving south? I just wonder how many of the 10’s of thousands Illinois residents who retire each year are moving. I like to see that in numbers game, if we want to have honest discussion


  45. - Doug - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 2:18 pm:

    So the population of Chicago in the 2017 Census estimate is 2,716,450, meanwhile since 2008, Texas has gained 4,400,000 in population.

    So Texas added nearly the population of Chicago….twice… in that 10 year span.

    Put that into perspective…..4.4 million growth, versus 6,000 people lost. It isn’t that Illinois is stagnant, it is that states like Utah, Texas and Florida are growing at huge rates.


  46. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 2:21 pm:

    It is a feeling of hopelessness. That things are only going to get worse. That it is the same old politicians, doing what has not worked in the past. The feeling is, get out before the ship sinks.


  47. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 2:32 pm:

    CZ, Florida Man is a cautionary revelation. So is this guy:

    –The mayor of a Florida town was arrested Thursday after he opened fire on deputies who were trying to serve a search warrant for allegedly operating an illegal medical practice at his home.–

    Check out the mug shot: Not a care in the world.

    https://www.foxnews.com/us/florida-mayor-shot-at-deputies-serving-warrant-for-illegal-medical-practice-police


  48. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 1, 19 @ 3:55 pm:

    –I wish we had a dollar donated to charity for every time a commenter on this site over the years has said “good riddance” when the subject of out-migration comes up.–

    How much would you make today?

    –Sadly, I doubt if it’s even possible to have an honest discussion on this topic anymore.–

    Really? Have you read the comments today? What do you find dishonest about them?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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