More Leaving Chicago Metro Area Than Any Other in Midwest

A Bloomberg News analysis of Census data shows that the Chicago Metropolitan Area is losing a higher percentage of its residents than any other Midwest metropolitan area.

The time period was between July 2013 and July 2014.

The loss was 69/100 of one per cent.

Almost 7/10 of one percent of the people living in the Chicago Metropolitan Area in mid-2013 had left by mid-2014.

Almost 7/10 of one percent of the people living in the Chicago Metropolitan Area in mid-2013 had left by mid-2014.

The Detroit Metropolitan Area lost less than one-half a one percent of its population.

Here are figures showing what has happened in each Chicago metropolitan county since the 2010 U.S. Census:

Population by year in the Chicago Metropolitan Area counties.

Population by year in the Chicago Metropolitan Area counties.

This table shows net changes in population by county (click to enlarge):

McHenry County shows

McHenry County shows out-migration of 7,645 from 2010 through mid-2014.


More Leaving Chicago Metro Area Than Any Other in Midwest — 14 Comments

  1. Those statistics beg the question:

    How many public sector employees in Illinois live in an adjoining state?

  2. We’re going into a death spiral.

    People and businesses are leaving, revenue will decrease, they’ll raise taxes, people will leave (the high taxes are why people are leaving), repeat.

  3. Those are the productive, economically vibrant, highly taxed citizens who are leaving.

    This isn’t a joke; this is a direct result of high property taxes, the 67% increase in income tax, and the increase in sales tax – decisions made by idiot politicians, who in their feckless attempt to manage their cities/counties/state, are driving us off the cliff.

    They’re doing it for “the children”, they tell us.

    What a laugh.

    Tax increases KILL the private sector economy.

    When will politicians get it?

  4. Looks like Lake County gained residents and has the highest since 2010.

    McHenry County is pretty stable over the years, and if we are losing population why is McHenry School Dist 15 building additions on all of their schools and how are they paying for it?

    Even in Chicago area less than 1% is not that bad.

    As far as union people living in other states I think people with pensions who move to another state should have those pensions taxed by Illinois as our citizens pay them and the people don’t contribute to the tax base in Illinois.

    that applies to businesses that received tax breaks from Illinois governments, if they move they pay back the tax breaks.

    Why should we have to pay for businesses that leave.

    McHenry is a ghost town from a few years ago.

  5. The information on the Bloomberg map is for metropolitan areas, not the central cities.

  6. McHenry County was the fastest growing county in Illinois for three decades straight, I believe.

  7. * May 2017 – last kid graduates high school in Crystal Lake

    * May 2017 (day after graduation ceremony) – house goes on the market – yes we’ll sell at a loss

    Hopefully by Fall of 2017 we’re relocating to an area of the country that doesn’t penalize us quite as much for being a private citizen, and not part of the government or union machine.

    Please note, while we do like Crystal Lake Schools, but we’ve stayed in the area to avoid disruption, not because the school(s) itself is worth pay 4X times the property tax we’ll pay as compared to other areas of the country.

    This isn’t a statistic massaged to suit a particular position or opinion, it’s just one family planning on moving from McHenry County (and Illinois) because it’s not a financially compelling place to live.

    Fuzzy math results in the county and state losing ~20K in revenue (property, state income, sales taxes) from us after we leave.

    Some people may say, “don’t let the doorknob hit your butt on the way out.”

    I say, “we’ll miss you and God Bless!”

  8. Good luck Bruce Samuels in your move.

    This is a high tax republican county you are moving from so

    I hope you find your place. ]

    The trend will change as young people want to live in cities where there is transportation, jobs, lots of restaurants and entertainment, and a more homogenous society.

    I do think McHenry and Boone counties have the opportunity for growth if they get transportation and higher paying jobs.

    If Chicago becomes too high to live in people will move out especially the older retired people who don’t have to work but want to be near a big City for shows, plays and food.

    Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffet’s company is all over McHenry and Boone county now so if we didn’t cut train transportation (high speed) and pass infrastructure bill to modernize our roads I see a lot of potential but it depends if people want to stay closed minded or not.

    Crains talks about why suburban businesses are moving and it is not high taxes.


    So unlike in even other global cities, Chicago’s suburbs can’t even seem to hang on to large-scale employers within the region.

    I don’t want to overstate a trend here, but this would be at least the third company moving thousands of jobs downtown.

    That’s huge, and I don’t see it happening anywhere else at this scale.

    Which raises the question of what might be wrong with Chicago’s suburbs.

    They can’t seem to be competitive for greenfield operations like Toyota, and they are losing some marquee established employers.

    I took a quick peek at suburban vacancy rates, and it looks like at first glance every major submarket is over 20 percent and there was net negative absorption last year.

    Is there a big problem going on out there?

    Chicago has some great residential suburbs, but its business suburbs are weak.

    Places like Schaumburg and Oak Brook are just generic, unattractive edge cities of a typology that, like the enclosed mall, appears to be falling out of favor.

    Chicago seems to lack the kind of suburb that combines residential appeal with a strong business presence and a significant regional amenity draw.

    Only Naperville would seem to fit the bill here.

    So while Chicago’s suburbs are not super-high cost by global city standards, and Illinois isn’t the worst when it comes to taxes and a poor business climate by any means, those suburbs appear to have a serious competitiveness issue. It’s a major concern that regional suburban business centers should look to address. As other edge city environments around the country like Stamford (one part of Connecticut I would say has significant strengths) and Tysons Corner, Virginia, upgrade themselves, Chicago’s suburbs are only going to fall further behind.

    Aaron M. Renn is an urban analyst who writes The Urbanophile blog, where this post originally appeared.


    • The hottest urban center in the U.S.: Chicago’s mega-Loop

    • Tenants flee suburban office parks

    Schaumburg photo credit: Ken Lund via

  9. Here are some articles about Chicago area & Illinois population shifts.

    Northern Illinois University

    Illinois leads nation in population decline

    NIU CGS: Census data for 2014 shows state’s first net drop since 1980s

    March 30, 2015

    note: CGS = Center for Governmental Studies

    – “Taylor said past trends indicate most of those leaving the Land of Lincoln are not seeking warmer climates but rather moving to neighboring states.”

    Northwest Herald

    Census: McHenry County’s population drops again in 2014, only collar county to lose residents
    – Newly released estimates show fourth straight year of decline in 2014

    March 26, 2015

    By Kevin Craver

    Chicago Tribune

    Will County leads the country in population shift
    By Mary Ellen Podmolik
    March 26, 2015

    Number crunchers at the Census Bureau have determined Will County saw the nation’s biggest swing in the number of people who moved into and out of the county before and after the Great Recession.

    Chicago Tribune

    By Becky Yerak

    March 18, 2015

    More than 11 percent of Midwesterners move in a year, census reveals

    – Midwesterners’ moving rate in a year on a par with the nation’s, census data show.

    Chicago Tribune

    Goodbye, Illinois: residents are leaving for other states

    By Editorial Board

    January 6, 2015

    – From July 2013 to July 2014, Illinois shrank by about 10,000 residents in all, joining other states in decline such as West Virginia, Connecticut and Alaska.

    United States Census Bureau

    Population Distribution and Change: 2000 to 2010

    2010 Census Briefs

    Issued March 2011

    By Paul Mackun and Steven Wilson, (With Thomas Fischetti and Justyna Goworowska)

    – Kendall County had the largest percentage increase in population of all United States counties from 2000 – 2010.

    2010 McHenry County Healthy Community Study
    Community Analysis

    Prepared by Kristen Harrison, M.P.H.

    McHenry County Department of Health
    – 251 pages packed with statistical data.

  10. karma, our school districts in this county are not run by a particular party, plenty of rhino’s and Debt Enlarging Maniacs on those boards, unless there is a YES party I’m don’t know about.

  11. Karma, thanks for the kind thoughts…

    Please note while the slew of statements and statistics supporting any position regarding how to fix McHenry County and Illinois and the positioning of what and how they’re interpreted is an art-form.

    I’m not even going to try delve into metrics and arguments. We’re moving because it comes down to $$$s and what we’re required to pay to stay in the area.

    We’re just one family and our departure will have no measurable impact to the local economy or recovery, but it will have tremendous impact to our standard of living.

  12. Part of the problem is Illinois does not receive back federal dollars like many other dollars paid to the feds.

    Illinois including other states have subsidized the states that most people are moving to.

    Illinois itself has lost over 250 Billion…..yes billion during the last 24 years.

    What could Illinois do with an extra 10 Billion a year….hmmmmmmm….

    we would not be in the debt crisis and still have good wages in this state and most likely would not have the higher taxes that we have today.

    When you build stuff you have to maintain and to maintain costs money so taxes are a necessary evil but to a point where we do have to watch for wasteful spending.

    Federal Taxes Paid vs. Federal Spending Received by State, 1981-2005

    And here is a great read – FDR in a Letter to Congress April 1938

    Franklin D. Roosevelt: Message to Congress on Curbing Monopolies.

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