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Letter to the Editor: Illinois' Population Exodus Continues


Posted April 19, 2019


Dear Editor:


According to data released April 18 by the U.S. Census Bureau, 86 of Illinois’ 102 counties experienced population declines between July 2017 and July 2018, an increase of six counties from the previous year’s period. Montgomery, Christian, Shelby and Macon counties are among those experiencing population declines and have been consistently losing population since 2010.


Of the four mentioned counties, Macon County is experiencing the worst population decline, with most of that taking place in Decatur, whose population declined 5.5%. This marks the seventh worst population decline among metropolitan statistical areas in the nation.


Meanwhile, in Cook County, they lost over 24,000 in population, rivaling Queens, King and Bronx counties in New York, Los Angeles County in California, which rounds out the top five population declines across the country.


This exodus is sparked by an underwhelming job market for Gen Xers and Millennials, combined with high taxes and excessive regulations that hinder job creation. The high taxes as a result of fiscally irresponsible local, state and Federal governments do not help matters either. The 2017 tax hikes to 4.95% from 3.75% for individuals (a 32% hike from the previous rate) and 7% from 5.25% for corporations (a 33% hike from the previous rate) still continues to harm the local and state economy.


With the progressive income tax potentially looming to a 2020 referendum vote, it is no wonder why there is a national decline of population in progressive income tax states of nearly 293,000, while other states with a flat income tax (+67,705) or no income tax (+339,396) have experienced population increases.


How can Illinois reverse the trend? Hold your governmental bodies accountable. Call them out on their fiscal irresponsibility caused by their excessive spending. It really does not matter if it is your library board, school board, city council, township, state legislature, Congress or other governmental bodies – if they cannot manage their finances at all, they shouldn’t be in office to begin with. Demand that they cease excessive spending. Oppose all new taxes.


This state is in dire trouble with pension obligations between $134 billion and $250 billion, which eats up over 25% of the state budget. You’re being forced to pay for pensions where state employees contributed next to literally nothing and end up with six-figure annual pension payouts. How is that fair to me and you?


By continuing to push the ideals of fiscal irresponsibility in the state and Federal government, it’s no wonder why people want to leave Illinois, because it’s that same irresponsibility that has trickled down to county and local government as well.


This is not something that should be swept under the rug. It should be a wake-up call to the corruption within government which has forced people to relocate to greener pastures.


Jake Leonard

Chairman, Tri-Counties Libertarian Party



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