CHICAGO — More than 14,000 Illinois residents and $68 million in corresponding annual income have jumped the border to Iowa since 1995, according to a new report from the nonpartisan Illinois Policy Institute. The report highlights how years of Illinois politicians pushing for high taxes and appeasing powerful government unions have led its residents to seek out states where taxes are lower, the climate is more hospitable to small businesses, and union membership is low.
The report titled, "Policy Lessons from Illinois' Exodus of People and Money" analyzed IRS and Census data from 1995 to 2010 to measure how Illinois' population has changed over time and what states and influences are impacting migration trends.
“Illinois is hemorrhaging residents to other states at a rate of 1 person every 10 minutes, and that’s after you take into consideration all the people who have moved into the state,” said Michael Lucci, director of jobs and growth at the Illinois Policy Institute. “The latest Census Bureau data, for example, show that the pace at which people leave Illinois is accelerating since the 2011 state tax increase. If Illinois wants to stop the bleeding, it must abandon its tax-and-spend policies and look at pro-growth reforms being implemented in other states.”
Since 1995, Illinois has had a net out-migration of more than 850,000 people and with them goes $35 billion in taxable income. Illinois’ immediate neighbors have reaped the benefits, gaining thousands of Illinoisans in the past five years.
“Illinoisans have been fleeing to Iowa for decades,” continued Lucci. “In 2010 alone, Illinois lost a net total of 1,747 people and $41.1 million in income to Iowa. Iowa will continue to draw Illinoisans across the border with its lower cost of living. In addition, the state has pledged to cut $4 billion in taxes over the next decade. Illinois will continue to lose residents as they leave to find better opportunities in Iowa.”