State loses 105K in population: Census Bureau

By Mark Fitton
Illinois News Network

SPRINGFIELD — The door to Illinois continues to swing outward more often than it does inward.

New data released by the U.S. Census bureau showed that in terms of domestic migration — people moving about within the United States — Illinois saw roughly 105,200 more people leave than arrive.

Even when offset by a gain of more than 37,600 by way of international migration, Illinois still ended up about 67,500 in the negative column.

With natural growth (births minus deaths) counted, Illinois showed a net population loss of nearly 22,200 people.

Of the 50 states, Illinois was the top population loser. Other states showing a net loss of population were Connecticut (-3,876); Maine (-928); Mississippi (-1,110); New Mexico, (-458); Vermont, (-725) and West Virginia (-4,623).

In terms of domestic migration, the only state besides Illinois to show a six-figure loss was New York at nearly 158,000. The Empire State, however, showed a net population increase thanks to natural growth and international migration.

Illinois’ immediate neighbors showed smaller losses to domestic migration than did the Prairie State. Wisconsin had the largest loss of the five bordering states with about 15,570.

In terms of total population change, the only Illinois neighbor state to show a net increase was Iowa with 14,418, or 0.5 percent.  

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration on Tuesday said the census data “is another indication that shows Illinois needs to grow its economy and create jobs through the structural reforms outlined by Governor Rauner that include a property tax freeze, tort reform and workers’ comp reform.”

“Businesses — especially manufacturers — are ignoring Illinois as a place to grow their companies because of the economic climate,” Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said in an email.

A spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, said the data from the Census Bureau offered no new analysis, and he chose not to offer further comment. A spokeswoman for Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, said she was studying the data.

David Yepsen, director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University, said Illinois rugged economic condition is certainly one reason it’s losing population, although not the only one.

Yepsen said people should also remember that trends in domestic migration are running from the Midwest and New England toward the South and the West.

Part of that likely translates to job availability, but parts are also likely attributable to better climates and to retiree movement, Yepsen said.

Another significant movement trend, he noted, is from rural to urban, and a large portion of Illinois is rural.

But the business and tax climate in Illinois is rough, Yepsen said, and while “businesses don’t like taxes, they hate uncertainty.”

Tuesday’s data shows that states posting big gains in total net migration included Florida at 332,000; Texas at 271,600; California at 103,500; Washington at 68,700 and North Carolina at 63,200.

In terms of growth by percentage of population, oil-rich North Dakota led the nation by adding an estimated 16,890 residents, or roughly 2.3 percent.

Total population growth for the United States was estimated at 2.51 million. The South showed an increase of roughly 1.39 million people, while the West saw an increase of about 865,600. Smaller gains were reported for the Northeast, about 112,600, and for the Midwest, about 145,300.

The data released Tuesday is from the bureau’s annual estimates on population changes, and the latest report takes into account the period from July 1, 2014, to July 1, 2015.

Last year’s December report indicated Illinois lost nearly 10,000 residents from its population from July 1, 2013, to July 1, 2014. Tuesday’s data showed the Census Bureau bringing that number down to about 7,400.

One thought on “State loses 105K in population: Census Bureau

  • Dec 28, 2015 at 11:44 am

    If you’re a taxpayer, these numbers are way worse than what they appear.

    Let’s start with the 37,600 international migration folks. How many are refugees? Refugees are the people WE get to pay for. They get welfare, food stamps, and numerous other government (taxpayer) benefits. Somebody has to pay for these benefits…..guess who? Not to mention the illegal immigrants who get to steal our taxpayer money as well!

    Of the people leaving, I suspect a good number are like me. Retired, and SICK of high taxes, high prices, high unemployment, high crime rates, and a feeling of hopelessness. Illinois Government is all about making life easier for immigrants (legal or illegal), at the expense of taxpayers.

    I’m in the process of relocating south. My future home has a climate a million times better than Winnebago County; taxes are 50% LESS, electricity bills that come in at about 25% of my Rockford bill, cheaper gas, and a lot of sunshine!

    To be fair, car insurance is more expensive due to a “No-Fault” law, but everything else is cheaper or the same.

    So, in summary, we have people like me who pay taxes and don’t collect benefits leaving, and people who don’t pay taxes and who consume every benefit they can moving in.

    Now think about your tax bill. Guess what’s going to happen!

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