(The Center Square) – An analysis by a moving company shows people continue to flee the Land of Lincoln.
The Allied Magnet States report shows Illinois had the highest percentage of outbound residents in 2021, more than any other state. The report analyzes moves by Allied Van Lines customers and home-value data from Zillow to provide moving and housing trends.
“Illinois is primarily about work and cost of living,” Allied President Steve McKenna said. “People are looking to lower their cost of living by buying the Sun Belt.”
Of the total number of people moving over the Illinois state line in 2021, 68% were moving away while 32% were inbound.
For the past five years, Illinois has been in the top 10 for the top outbound states, along with California, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Chicago tops the list of metro areas that originated the most net outbound moves, sending the most people south and west to Phoenix, Los Angeles and Houston.
The analysis shows Springfield residents have packed up and headed to cities like St. Louis, Charleston, South Carolina, and Punta Gorda, Florida.
Last year, Peoria residents headed to Dallas, Tampa and Nashville.
According to a study by the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service in Virginia, Illinois’ population is projected to contract by 3.1% from now until 2040 – a decrease of nearly 400,000 people. If that holds true, Illinois will go from being the sixth most populous state to the eighth most populous.
Population decline contributes to the lower economic prospects of the state, as working families move on leaving fewer residents to shoulder increasing tax burdens.
According to the Allied report, for those who had work-related moves, Texas and California are the top destination states for the last five years, as both have strong economies and a large workforce.
McKenna said companies have been on the move as well.
“Corporations have moved their facilities and locations to other places, especially to the Sun Belt from Texas over to Atlanta,” McKenna said.
Texas is projected to grow its population by more than five million residents by the end of the decade as an increasing number of companies are moving their operations to the Lone Star State.
The top inbound states last year were South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina and Florida.