According to the most recent state and county population data from the U.S. Census Bureau, as shown in Chart 1, Illinois had a shrinking population in 2015 and, correspondingly, the second worst population change in the country. Illinois’s population shrank by -0.2 percent (-22,194 people) between 2014 and 2015.
Their shrinking population growth is due exclusively to having a negative net domestic migration rate—the second worst in the country.
As shown in Chart 2, Illinois’s net natural population rate, as a percent of total population, was 0.41 percent in 2015—the 24th highest growth rate in the country. The below average net natural population rate is due to both a lower than average birth rate (1.22 percent, 21st lowest) and death rate (0.81 percent, 19th lowest).
Additionally, as shown in Chart 3, Illinois’s net migration rate, as a percent of total population, was -0.53 percent—the 2nd lowest rate in the country. This out-migration is due to exclusively to the U.S. domestic migration rate which was -0.82 percent—the 2nd lowest rate in the country. In contrast, the international migration rate was 0.29 percent which is the 16th highest in the country, but not high enough to overcome the negative domestic migration rate.
Of course, the population change within Illinois is not distributed equally. The Illinois counties with the fasted growing population growth include:
The Illinois counties with the slowest population growth include:
Interestingly, Cook County, IL (Chicago) also lost -0.2 percent of its population.
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J. Scott Moody has nearly 20 years experience as a public policy economist with a specialty in tax policy and has over 180 publications. He has worked for numerous national and state-based think tanks such as the American Conservative Union Foundation, Federalism In Action, Tax Foundation, Heritage Foundation, and The Maine Heritage Policy Center.