Report: Illinois losing residents at alarming rate
A new report from the Illinois Policy Institute shows the state is losing residents quickly.
According to the report, more than 850,000 people have left the state since 1995; that number is calculated after including the number of people who have moved into the state.
That averages out to one person leaving every 10 minutes.
The report is based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The Institute's Director of Jobs and Growth Michael Lucci believes the state could reverse the trend by becoming more of an "opportunity" state.
"Steps that would move us in that direction would be phasing out the income tax and replacing it with a broader sales tax, reforming employer liability laws like workers' compensation and unemployment insurance, and making it easier to start a business in Illinois by lowering start-up costs and lowering the regulatory burden for people who are just starting out in life." Lucci said.
The report also says Illinois has created about 1,200 jobs over the last 10 years.
By comparison, the state of Texas has created about one million jobs in that same span.
Lucci points to Indiana as a state that has made positive changes in recent years.
"Indiana is doing extremely well after Governor Mitch Daniels helped reform the state there," he said.
"They've been lowering their business taxes, they've been lowering their personal income taxes, and they've been doing well to make sure that people can keep as much of their money as possible."
And according to Lucci, Illinois residents who move out-of-state go to Texas more than any other state.
The report also says more than 34,000 Illinois residents, and their $816 million taxable income, moved to Missouri since 1996.
However, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn's administration released data on Friday that disputes the report.
According to a release from the Governor, the growth of Illinois' economy will be the largest in the Midwest over the next 6 months.
The Philadelphia Federal Reserve projects the state economy will increase by about 2.49 percent during the second half of 2014.
The release also noted the addition of 242,000 private-sector jobs in Illinois since 2010.
The Illinois Policy Institute is an independent research organization that forms public policy solutions.