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Why Does Illinois’ Population Continue to Decline?

In 2021, Illinois saw a population decrease in nearly 80 percent of its counties. So far this year, major corporations have also decided to set up shop in other states. One expert gives insight into why this is happening.

Last year, 81 of Illinois’ 102 counties saw a dip in population. After the decennial Census, Illinois lost a seat in the U.S. Congress because of continued population decline.

Sheila Wienberg of Truth In Accounting released a report that examines IRS migration data to understand further why people and corporations might be leaving the state.

Weinberg told The Center Square that many Illinoians are leaving for states with a better economic outlook.

“People seem to be leaving to states with an improved business climate, lower taxes, and we would also say because that states with the worst government finances seem to be losing population the most,” said Weinberg.

Illinois, which has among the highest tax burden in the nation, could be pricing people out.

“I think it is a combination of factors,” Weinberg said. “People are looking at their budget and saying more and more of my budget is being eaten up by taxes.”

Many major companies that have been in Illinois for a long time have recently announced they are moving their corporate headquarters elsewhere.

Family Video announced earlier this month that they would move their corporate headquarters to Tennessee. That move follows Citadel, Boeing, and Caterpillar, who announced their departure to different states earlier this year.

Weinberg said businesses want out because of burdensome government policies.

“They are doing things like charging more corporate income tax,” Weinberg said. “And more regulation would make it so a corporation would want to be in another state.”

In an appearance before the Economic Club of Chicago in October, Ken Griffin, CEO of Citadel, was critical of increased crime rates. Last moth, Griffin announced he’s moving his operations.

The murder rate in Chicago has increased by 18% since 2018 and is up 26% since 2019. Seven months into 2022, Illinois has seen 26 fewer murders than it did during the same time in 2021.

***Courtesy of the Illinois Radio Network***

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