December 21, 2010
Illinoisans Heading for the Exits
by Adam Andrzejewski
We’ve known for years that Illinoisans have been fleeing the state at an alarming rate. Skyrocketing deficits, record unemployment, and the constant threat of increased taxes and fees are causing citizens to hit the road and not look back.
Recent Census data indicates that the mass exodus may continue. The most telling data, Illinois had the lowest growth population rate in the Midwest at 3.3% and the slowest growth rate the state has seen since 1910. The national average: 9.7%.
Slow growth also cost Illinois a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, whose 435 members are distributed equally by population after allotting at least one seat per state. Other Midwestern states to lose a seat include Missouri which grew 7% and Iowa which grew 4.1%.
Nationally, Illinois ranked 42nd in growth, below every other Midwest state except Michigan, which lost 0.6% — the only state to lose ground. Wisconsin grew 6.0%, Indiana 6.6% and Kentucky 7.4%.
After the 1910 census, Illinois had 27 seats in the House, two more than it had at the turn of the century. Illinois has steadily lost seats since the 1940 census and will have only 18 seats after the next election.
While Illinois still ranks fifth in population at 12,864,380, we are quickly losing ground to sixth-ranked Pennsylvania, which grew by 421,325 residents in the last decade to 12,702,379.
The Census is just one more indication that the political establishment threatens to crush the spirit of our once great state.
Click here to learn more about the 2010 Census.