Illinois Going Down the Tube

From Wirepoints:

Fewer immigrants, fewer babies and fleeing residents –Wirepoints’ new report covers Illinois’ demographic decline

CHICAGO (3/14/19) – Since the turn of the century, Illinois has been in the midst of a perfect demographic storm.

Residents are leaving the state in record numbers.

The number of Americans moving into Illinois has hit new lows.

Net foreign immigration has fallen by half.

And the number of births has dropped by more than 20 percent.

Residents are leaving the state in record numbers.

The number of Americans moving into Illinois has hit new lows.

Net foreign immigration has fallen by half. And the number of births has dropped by more than 20 percent.

Those demographic forces have all combined into a single troubling fact:

Illinois is shrinking.

The state lost population in 2014 and has done so every year since then. 

Illinois is an outlier in population loss.

Other states that make up the Rust Belt have not shared in Illinois’ clear demographic decline.

They are still growing on an absolute, percentage and per capita basis. Illinois is not.

Wirepoints has analyzed Illinois’ demographics over the past 18 years, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Population Division and American Community Survey, as well as migration data from the IRS. 

Read the full report here:

The paper’s findings include:

  • Illinois ranked 48th nationally (1st is best) in net out-migration per 1,000 residents in 2018. The state lost a net 9 people per 1,000 in population, compared to just 5.6 people in 2001. Only New York and Alaska fared worse in 2018.
  • Illinois has experienced a net out-migration loss of 1.4 million residents to other states since 2001. That’s the equivalent of 11.2 percent of Illinois’ 2001 population. Only New York fared worse nationally over that time period.
  • The number of Illinoisans leaving the state hit 345,000 in 2016, a high since 2001. That loss has been compounded by a record low number of Americans moving into Illinois.
  • The total number of Illinois births fell to 148,000 in 2018, a 20 percent drop compared to 2001. Illinois’ national ranking in births per capita dropped to 30th in 2018 from 12th in 2001. Millennial flight is likely to have contributed to the drop in births in recent years, as a net of 107,000 millennials and their dependents left the state from 2012-2016.
  • Net international immigration has fallen by half since 2001, from a net 60,000 inflow to just 30,000 in 2018. In 2001, Illinois ranked 8th best in international immigration. By 2018, it had fallen to 20th.

“The story the data tells is simple: every negative demographic trend that can hit Illinois has done so – and more so than in most other states,” said Ted Dabrowski, President of Wirepoints.

“Illinoisans are leaving in record numbers. 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.”

“Illinois’ poor governance, collapsed finances, massive debts and high taxation have created a severe problem for Illinoisans.

“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.”

Ted Dabrowski, President at Wirepoints, and Mark Glennon, Founder and Executive Editor at Wirepoints, are both available for interviews.

For the full report on Wirepoints’ website:


Illinois Going Down the Tube — 18 Comments

  1. See a DEMOCRAT – thank a DEMOCRAT.

    Feeling “triggered”, Joey Blowhard ?

    Too bad for you.

  2. The best thing that could happen to illinois would be for those that are unhappy here to GTFO.

    It doesn’t help to have governors who loudly proclaim they’ll flee to Italy as soon as they can or lifelong residents who say things like “Illinois going down the tube.”

    and of course, low IQ individuals with poor memories and an almost psychotic lust for the Illinois GOP are the only one who lay the blame at one party’s feet.

    It was the reckless contracts hiking pensions signed by Big Jim Thompson and Little Jim Edgar that set this in motion.

    Both sides are going to have to bite the bullet and clean up the mess both sides made. Then if we can do something about the weather we might see another influx.

  3. Triggered much, Little Joey Blowhard ? Too bad, deal with it.
    But remember this: Madigan & Co. love their “useful idiots” like you.

  4. As a public service to his fellow Illinois goobers.

    Joe declares he’ll keep punching himself in the face, until all those pesky complainers leave.

  5. Illinois will look so good in the rear view mirror.

    I will be taking my seven figure deferred comp to income tax free Florida and enjoy the collapse of the government finances based on corruption and incompetence.

    Illinois has become a Blue State, in more ways than one.

  6. Nothing that a printing press and universal income can’t solve.

  7. “It was the reckless contracts hiking pensions signed by Big Jim Thompson and Little Jim Edgar that set this in motion.”

    The sad part about that statement is that the writer actually believes it!

  8. What closet case Jim Thompson, MSI crook Jim Edgar, and felon George Ryan all bear blame too.

  9. Edgar, Thompson and Ryan are all slimy RINOs who deserve virtually all of the criticisms leveled against them, but the General Assembly and the public employee unions were all enthusiastically behind these fiscally irresponsible moves, and anyone who has been paying the least bit of attention in the last few decades knows who really runs this state.

  10. Hello, when people retire they often leave Illinois for warmer climes, always have, always will.

    Baby boomers, by far the largest generation are now at retirement age so logic follows.

    If people leave Illinois when they retire and Illinois is a high population State and has one of the highest rates of baby boomers retiring. (10,000 per day currently nationwide retiring and another 50 million over the next ten years)

    Illinois has a lot of people thus a lot of people retiring thus a lot of retirees leaving the State.

    Just like the business, tax and other reasons it is not the sole reason for the high attrition rate but is one of many that must be factored into any discussion about Illinois losing residents.

  11. Illinois is fairly tax-friendly toward retirees.

    Social Security income is not taxed.

    Withdrawals from retirement accounts are not taxed.

    Wages are taxed at normal rates, Public and private pension income are not taxed.

    yes our property taxes are high but there is some relief for Seniors with the Senior Tax freeze and other Homestead exemptions.

    Of the 41 States that impose an Income Tax, Illinois is one of three that exclude all Pension Income and one of 27 that excludes Federally Taxable Social Security Income.

    While this may be good news for seniors, the high number of Seniors qualifying for Homestead exemptions increases everyone else has to shoulder more of the burden.

    And as that baby boomer drain continues….

    Believe me as I’ve gotten older I’ve been thinking of this a lot as I’m close to retirement age myself.

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