Illinois is one of the highest taxed states in the nation and now, statistics show that for the fifth year in a row the Land of Lincoln has lost citizens to outward migration.
According to Census Bureau data, Illinois lost another 45,000 resident in 2018 without being replaced by new people moving into the state.
That number adds to the number lost over the last five years bringing the total to a loss of over 157,000 citizens lost to other states, WGN reported.
The rate of outmigration turns out to be one person every 4.6 minutes. Or 313 people moving out each and every day.
Change of population in Illinois over the past 5 years:
- 2014: -9,307
- 2015: -24,620
- 2016: -37,447
- 2017: -40,699
- 2018: -45,116
This trend is not just bad for today, it is also bad for Illinois’ future. After all, when people move out, they take their future children who won’t be born in the state with them.
The Illinois Policy Institute notes: “Since 2011, Illinois has seen an 8.8 percent decline in births. That’s the fourth-worst slide in the nation and more than twice as severe a decline as the average state. Births still outpace deaths. But the margin is getting smaller every year.
The group also places the blame for this outmigration on the state’s high tax rates.
Taxes appear to be a particular pain point. Half of Illinoisans told pollsters they wanted to leave the state in 2018, and the No. 1 reason was high taxes.
Clearly, the permanent income tax hike state lawmakers passed in July 2017 hasn’t helped fix the state’s people problem. Families are rejecting Illinois soil as a place to plant roots. And that poses a major challenge in fixing the state’s fiscal problems.
And with more young people leaving the state for greener pastures, that makes the Illinois pension bomb even worse. And the state’s pension problem is already one of the worst in the nation.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.