You may sometimes hear anecdotal stories of Illinois population on the decline, but now there is actual data showing people are leaving Illinois by the thousands. The ratio of negative population decline is among the highest in America according to US Census data.

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This new information was just released today by the government. It's US Census data tracking population change from July 2021 through July 2022. For Illinois, the population loss is staggering. Illinois in just one year has had 104,437 residents move out. That's the 2nd worst decline in the United States behind only New York.Percent Change in State Population: July 1, 2021 to July 1, 2022[Source: U.S. Census Bureau]

Where are all the people going?

Based on the states showing growth, Texas and Florida seem to be the chosen destinations. I have to say this out loud...Florida? Really?

Regionally, it's interesting that there's a general movement to the South and West of the population. States that are losing population are mainly found in the northeast with Louisiana being the exception. In the Midwest, Illinois sticks out like a sore thumb as a land people are departing. Idaho and Montana are still popular options for those choosing a western lifestyle.

I would not normally recommend reading a government document as I have allergic reactions to things politicians do. However, this new census data is an interesting read and those in power should pay attention to what the data is saying if they plan to turn the population decrease around.

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