Anywhere else…Or BUST!

Residents flee Illinois

Allison Wheeler, Editor-In-Chief

Illinoisans are leaving to be anywhere else but here, without much indecision. In a poll taken at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Northwest Herald reports that out of one thousand voters, the population was divided: 47 percent of people wanted to move out-of-state, 2 percent were undecided, and 51 percent preferred to stay. The primary reason for leaving was taxes, followed closely by weather, government and job and education opportunities. says that the IRS reports people are moving to states where both housing prices were low and estate taxes were 73 percent lower than that of Illinois. People are leaving where they can live better fiscally and have better quality of life.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Illinois suffered a net loss of 94,956 people from state-to-state migration last year. The final number is derived from an equation that accounts for the number of births, deaths and immigration from other countries. The population loss is a huge problem for the state. Illinois has been losing people for years, but the number was offset by births and deaths. But, this year has shown the highest loss of population in decades.
J. Scott Moody from said, “For more than 15 years, residents have left Illinois at a rate of one person every 10 minutes.”
Michael Lucci, the Director of Jobs and Growth at the Illinois Policy Institute says they are familiar with losing a number of around 60,000 people to migration but when it went above 90,000 last year that the state can officially be declared into population decline.
In perspective, looking at the years of 1995 through 2009, the state lost over 806,000 people to migration and they took their net taxable income of $26 billion with them. This migration, added to the current budget crisis, only contributes to a much larger problem. As residents migrate, their taxable income goes with them, which lowers the states incoming revenue causing the budget to be in danger of deficit. A deficit is when the state would have to borrow more money just to stay afloat, adding to the overall $35.55 billion in debt that already exists.
The Illinois Policy Institute claims that the State of Illinois needs to lower taxes so it can compete with other states. By appealing to citizens with lower taxes, they could bring in more taxable revenue to balance the possible deficit. Illinois legislature is known for its spending and borrowing of money. These habits drive up taxes which are proving to be the cause of migration.  Therefore, until there is a major change from legislature regarding taxes and a more balanced budget to control governmental overspending, it is expected that we will only lose more residents.

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