ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – More people are leaving Illinois than any other state in the U.S.
New Census Bureau data shows that Illinois had the largest population decline in the U.S. over the past year, with a net loss of 105,000 residents.
Michael Lucci with the Illinois Policy Institute says many of those who moved are so-called “economic refugees.” They are people trying to find work else.
Lucci says Illinoisans were polled by Gallup Polling in the last year and asked if they planned to leave and why, the No. 1 answer was to find a better job or business opportunity.
Illinois is still the fifth largest state in terms of population, but Lucci says Pennsylvania is on pace to pass them in five years.
“One of the biggest things we need to address is the worker compensation situation in Illinois,” Lucci says. “That very directly drives away manufacturing and blue collar jobs.”
He also says political changes like stricter term limits and more equitable political maps would help keep more Illinoisans from leaving the state.
Missouri’s growth rate ranked 30th among states in 2015, with fewer than 20,000 people moving to the Show Me state from 2014 to 2015. It’s total population is 6.08 million people.
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