Census data shows Illinois' city populations are shrinking
U.S. Census Bureau figures from 2014 and 2015 show 23 of Illinois' 29 cities declined in population, with Chicago's population declining by 2,890.
“Today’s report and the dozens of others chronicling’ the massive exodus of people from Illinois send a clear message to lawmakers: The way we are doing things today is not working. People are voting with their feet and deciding Illinois is not for them,” Illinois Policy Institute Vice President of Policy Michael Lucci said.
Among the bureau's finding was that Illinois lost 22,000 residents between July 2014 and July 2015. Of the 23 cities with a population over 50,000, Chicago had the second-largest population decline in the nation. Only Detroit lost more residents during that period.
The states around Illinois showed population growth. In contrast, only six Illinois cities with populations over 50,000 showed growth: Aurora, Bolingbrook, Champaign, Elgin, Naperville and Oak Park.
“Equally concerning is the fact that many municipalities in Illinois are fiscally unstable due to out-of-control pension debt and financial mismanagement," Lucci said. "A shrinking population means fewer people to carry this debt burden. Illinois needs economic growth and financial restructuring, but this can only be done through serious reforms.”