Illinois loses title as 5th largest state

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill (WAND)- People are leaving Illinois in droves, causing Pennsylvania to move ahead as the 5th largest state in the country. 

The US Census Bureau revealed that Illinois has lost the most people out of any state in the nation. From July 1,2016 to July 1,2017, Illinois saw 33,703 move out state. 

The Illinois Policy Institute attributes the out migration to the high tax burden in the state. 

"The Illinois out migration crisis is really an indictment of the status quo in Springfield. Until politicians reduce the tax burden and reign in the cost of government, we will see more tax hikes and people will keep leaving. As 2018 approaches any further talks of tax hikes, whether it's at the state or local levels should be dismissed in the face of this discerning trend." said Orphe Divounguy, Chief Economist at Illinois Policy Institute. 

Local realtors are noticing this out migration as well.  Realtor Kyle Killebrew says his team began noticing a trend of sellers leaving the state, upon reviewing the data from the sales, they realized the number of people moving out the state was slightly higher than normal. 

"35 percent of folks moving on it's a pretty significant change, and that's just my little team in Springfield, let alone the whole state of Illinois. When you magnify it times that state, you think, gosh is that really what's happening? If so, that's really concerning." he said. 

Killebrew says while it's typical for people to move out of the state, the type of people moving is alarming. 

"It's not just snowbirds or folks who are moving to warmer climates because of retirement. It's folks who are just taking jobs in different states and it's concerning and it's really affecting our home sales." he said. 

Killebrew doesn't believe this trend will continue however, he is hopeful that Springfield and the state will once again see growth. 

"I think we have the ability to turn around. I think we will, it's just a cycle right now that's not ideal. I think if things get together downtown and people come together and work together, I think we can see some change for the positive."

While Illinois lost 33,703 people, neighboring states all saw increases of people. Indiana saw the highest growth with an increase of 32,811 people, followed by  Wisconsin  with an increase of 22,566,  then Missouri with an increase of 22,356, Kentucky  had a growth of 18,076 people , and finally Iowa saw 14,842 new residents. 

Idaho is the fastest growing state in the country, increasing population by 2.2 percent. 


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