A study of the most recent IRS data shows that Illinois may be losing more people than nearly any other state and in nearly every demographic.
Center for Opportunity Urbanism Executive Director Joel Kotkin said his report on outmigration shows Illinois is hemorrhaging people of all ages and incomes, second only to New York. Kotkin said the common factors in where Illinoisans end up are the lower cost of living and jobs.
"What was striking about Illinois is the tremendous imbalance between people coming and people leaving in virtually every category," Kotkin said. "It's losing to places like Texas, like Florida, which offers a less-expensive alternative. But you're also seeing your neighboring states siphon off working-age people in high numbers."
Kotkin also said companies are following workers out of Illinois.
"If you're Toyota, are you really going to move to Chicago? Probably not. You're likely going to choose Dallas, which has the same logistical advantages and much lower costs."
Kotkin said Chicago's superior transportation and amenities are no longer exclusive to the Second City.
"The advantages that Chicago historically had are now shared by many of its competitors. You can run a global business from Dallas just as easily as you can from Chicago."
While Kotkin said some "blue" states like Oregon have gained a number of people due to the relatively low cost of living compared with neighboring California, the states gaining the most wealthy, working age people are traditionally low-tax, business-friendly states like Texas, Florida, the Carolinas, Tennessee and North Dakota.