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Illinois losing residents at a rate of 1 person every 10 minutes

9 months, 2 weeks ago by Scott Hardy

Since 1996, more than 34,000 people have jumped the border to Missouri alone

More than 850,000 people have moved out of Illinois since 1995, which comes out to a rate of 1 resident leaving every 10 minutes, according to a new report from the nonpartisan Illinois Policy Institute.

This figure is calculated after counting all people who have moved into Illinois. In this new report, brand new data from the IRS and U.S. Census Bureau shows the dramatic effect of years of high taxes and powerful government unions; for more than a decade, Illinois has lost hundreds of thousands of residents to almost every other state in the nation.

“Illinois is bleeding residents to other states at a rate of 1 person every 10 minutes, and that’s after you take into consideration all the people who have moved into the state,” said Michael Lucci, director of jobs and growth at the Illinois Policy Institute. "We can't ignore that high taxes play a major role in encouraging people to jump the border. The latest Census Bureau data, for example, shows the pace at which people leave Illinois accelerating since the 2011 state tax increase. If Illinois wants to stop the bleeding, it must abandon its tax-and-spend policies and look at pro-growth reforms being implemented in other states.”

The report, "Policy lessons from Illinois' exodus of people and money," analyzed new IRS and U.S. Census Bureau data from 1995 to 2010 to measure how Illinois' population has changed over time and what states and influences are impacting migration trends.

The data showed that since 1995, Illinois has had a net out-migration of more than 850,000 people. These people took with them $35 billion in taxable income. More than 34,000 have moved from Illinois to Missouri alone. While conventional wisdom might suggest people prefer to warmer climates, the data showed otherwise. The data showed Illinoisans moving in droves to border states, including states with lower tax burdens, and lower union participation and influence over government. States with no income tax, such as Florida and Texas, were the biggest winners of Illinois residents.

Highlights from the report:

Since 1995, four people have moved out of the Illinois for every three that enter the state.

In 2010 alone, Illinois lost 2,308 people and $54 million in taxable income to Missouri.

Since the 2011 state income tax increase, out-migration from Illinois has accelerated. In 2010, a net of 60,000 people left Illinois; but in 2011 and every year since, that number has remained at an elevated 70,000 annually.

"Illinoisans have been fleeing to Missouri for decades. In 2010 alone, Illinois lost a net total of 2,308 people and $54.3 million in income to its neighbor," Lucci added. "Missouri will continue to draw people across the border with its lower cost of living and its recent half a percent cut in its top income tax rate. Illinois will continue to lose residents as they leave to find better opportunity in Missouri."

The Institute's report examining Illinois to Missouri migration trends is available online here: http://www.illinoispolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Missouri.pdf

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