'Illinois is shrinking' – Wirepoints provides sobering data about state's outmigration crisis
When it comes to its accelerating outmigration crisis, Illinois has now deteriorated into an island among Rust Belt states, and a sinking one at that.
The Prairie State's population has steadily declined during a five-year period that’s been otherwise marked by the growth of most of its neighboring states. A deep dive into the data reveals the seriousness of the situation.
Using U.S. Census Bureau and Internal Revenue Service figures, a thorough analysis by government watchdog group Wirepoints recently concluded that Illinois ranked near the bottom in net outmigration per 1,000 residents in 2018 – ahead of only New York and Alaska. In addition, since 2001, Illinois has seen a net-outmigration drop of 1.4 million residents, which computes to more than 11 percent of its 2001 population.
“The story the data tells is simple," Wirepoints President Ted Dabrowski said in a press release. "Every negative demographic trend that can hit Illinois has done so – and more so than in most other states.”
The year 2016 saw the greatest Illinois exodus with 345,000 residents leaving the state. The troubling trend has only been exacerbated by the dwindling number of people moving into the state and a 20-percent drop in state child births from 2001 to 2018.
Researchers found that the drop in child births can almost directly be tied to the growing number of millennials fleeing Illinois. That number, along with their dependents, has swelled to well over 100,000 over a four-year period commencing in 2012.
“Illinoisans are leaving in record numbers,” Dabrowski added in the release. “Fewer people want to come here. Our birth rate is down significantly, as millennials are also fleeing. Even international immigration has dropped by half. All of the state’s woes are captured in one sad statistic: Illinois is shrinking.”
Wirepoints also noted that the outmigration crisis begins and ends in Springfield, home of the state's capital and its long-suffering fiscal policies.
“Illinois’ poor governance, collapsed finances, massive debts and high taxation have created a severe problem for Illinoisans,” the release stated. “Without spending and structural reforms that make the state more competitive, Illinois will be trapped in a downward spiral. One where growing government debts and higher taxes will fall on a continuously shrinking population. Illinois politicians need to do the exact opposite of what they’ve done over the past three decades.”