U.S. Census Bureau data shows worst outmigration in Illinois’ history is driving record population decline
Illinois experienced its largest population decline since the state started shrinking nine years ago. According to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Dec. 22, 2022, Illinois’ population declined by a record 104,437 residents from July 2021 to July 2022.
The trend is driven by residents moving to other states, an Illinois Policy Institute analysis found. Illinois’ net domestication outmigration of 141,656 residents was the largest in the state’s history.
This year also saw five major companies move their headquarters out of Illinois.
Analysis of U.S. Census data finds:
- In 2022, Illinois saw nearly the equivalent of the population of Rockford, the fifth-biggest city in Illinois, moving away to other states.
- Illinois’ share of residents lost to outmigration and population decline was second worst in the nation, behind only New York.
- Illinois had the third-worst population decline and outmigration in raw numbers, behind New York and California.
- The most popular states in the nation, as measured by the biggest raw increases in people moving to them, were Florida, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Arizona.
“The record number of residents who left Illinois this year should be a wake-up call to the state’s leaders, who refuse to adopt policies that would make it easier for residents to stay in Illinois,” said Bryce Hill, director of fiscal and economic research at the institute. “Residents and major businesses such as Caterpillar and Boeing are sending a message by leaving. Reforms that would ease Illinoisans’ tax burden or reduce arduous business regulations are needed to make the state more affordable and send people running to Illinois, rather than away from it.”