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Interactive: New Data Show People Coming and (in Illinois) Going

Illinois lost more people in the period from July 1, 2013 to July 1, 2014, according to new Census data released today. The data also show that metro areas around the country continue to attract people at the expense of rural communities and that many “rust belt” metro areas continue to lose people. Since the data only show one year of change, there is no one specific reason for Illinois’ loss, says Sherrie Taylor, a research assistant at the Northern Illinois University Center for Governmental Studies. Taylor explained that the loss reflects two longer-term trends affecting the state: Fewer overall births as people wait longer to have children and loss due to domestic migration — people leaving the state. This second trend has increased rapidly in recent years, due to many reasons, including the retirees moving to southern climates, but also many Illinois residents departing as the impending pension crisis looms over the state. Taylor’s research indicates this may be the case as most out-migrants take their new residence in neighboring states. Here’s a closer look at the data: