3-Reasons Why People are Leaving Illinois


Chicagoland Exodus: Three reasons why people are leaving Illinois

In 2023, Illinois, again, ranked third, where high earners are moving away. California and New York are the top two states where most business people live. According to Movers’ survey, the exodus has been upward since the 1990s.

The good about Illinois

According to a new report, Illinois was ranked the 21st best place to live in the country in 2018 based on three socioeconomic factors.

Particularly the Chicago suburbs, where mostly conservative Chicagoans live. But it was only towards 2021 when the Illinois Exodus became worrisome, which is also happening in other states. 


1. Institutional financial mismanagement

Institutional corruption, high taxes and debt, low government trust, and consistently poor economic performance. According to Illinois Policy, the Illinois exodus has not been observed since WW2.

Decades of institutionalized financial mismanagement left Illinois with the worst fiscal health.

Illinois House Speaker Madigan has been at the center of nearly every wrong decision, said Adam Schuster, Senior Tax Research.


2. High taxes but minimal infrastructure

Illinois ranks as the sixth-highest taxed state in 2017. In 2022, Illinoisans now pay the country’s highest combined state and local taxes—more than 15% of their annual household income, according to Illinois Policy.

Illinois has a 6.25 percent state sales tax rate, a 4.75 percent max local sales tax rate, and an average combined state and local sales tax rate of 8.82 percent.

The good news is that Illinois’s tax system ranks 36th overall on the 2023 State Business Tax Climate Index. Still, other factors, such as overvalued properties and crimes, discourage business people.


2. Chicagoland properties are overvalued

New Jersey and Illinois pay the most in property taxes relative to home value. These states have the highest effective property tax rates, at 2.42 and 2.16 percent. [Roof Stock]

Property tax in Chicagoland is at least double compared to other states in the same category. Taxpayers still reeling from tax hikes in 2017 faced another one in 2020. [NTU]

According to CNN, Illinois is at risk of being America’s first state with a junk credit rating due to overspending on pension diversity programs and concealing it with irresponsible budget methods.

Amidst high property taxes, many roads and infrastructures continue to decay, particularly toward East and South Chicago.


Census data reveals that nearly 80,000 people left Illinois in 2022; in the past decade, almost a quarter million people have moved out of the state.

The Democrat state in 2021

Despite the massive vacuum left by Macy’s flagship store in Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, many are optimistic the city can bounce back. Elsewhere in Illinois, things are equally challenging.

However, Illinois’ Democrat Governor’s policy, such as ending the bail of criminals in 2021, and the Chicago Mayor’s policies on protests, defunding of the police, and failure to address homelessness are not helping.

What is the difference between Democrats and Republicans?
Why are businesses leaving Chicago?

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