Editorial: Illinois’ population loss shows why change is needed

The recent revelation that Illinois experienced the largest population loss of any state between July 1, 2016, and July 1, 2017, barely registered as a ripple.

That’s scary.

That Illinois continues to lose residents is hardly news, and is barely surprising, because it’s been happening for years — drip by drip, day by day.

That’s scary, too.

Consider: The state lost about 33,700 residents, according to the recent U.S. Census Bureau report. That’s more than half of Normal’s population packing up and moving out — which, given the recent tundra-esque weather pattern, would be somewhat understandable.

All kidding aside, the cold is actually a probable factor in our net migration. The Chicago Tribune in 2016 surveyed former Illinois residents and found weather was one of the reasons they moved out — many, it seems, are not that fond of living through four distinct seasons.

Locally, we’re holding our own. McLean County’s population has stayed relatively stable over the last several years. It rose from 169,572, according to the 2010 census, to an estimated 174,777 in 2013, before settling at 172,418 in 2016, the last year for which data is available.

Illinois is mostly equal in meteorological measures to our neighboring states. But what those states don’t have are the formidable difficulties of Illinois. The Tribune survey identified high taxes, crime, unemployment and financial problems in Springfield as the other influences for residents hitting the road — borne out, in part, by social media comments on any story about Illinois’ sad financial state.

We worry about this situation accelerating. We can’t keep following the pattern and expect different results. Every other Midwestern state has seen population growth over the past seven years, but not us.

Illinois ranks No. 1 for outbound moves on the 41st annual National Movers Study conducted by moving company United Van Lines.

That’s not a No. 1 we want. (New Jersey, our sister in high taxes and nonfunctional state government, was No. 2.)

Such hemorrhaging eventually raises the prospect of Illinois losing a seat in Congress. Our population is now 12,802,023 — and we’ve lost the fifth-most populous state title to Pennsylvania.

When will it end?

Not before we make serious changes, and it starts with government. Illinois’ real estate taxes, income taxes, property taxes and workers’ compensation insurance rates are embarrassments, as is the hangover of the two-year budget impasse and rampant deficit spending. It simply costs too much to do business here, especially compared to neighboring states.

We’re looking forward to voters remembering these issues when Election Day rolls around in November.

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About Rada Kleyman

Ms. Rada Kleyman is a Risk Manager at Libertate Insurance. At Libertate Ms. Kleyman is inspired by the following mantra “prevention is better than cure”. She believes it is all about in avoiding and mitigating the effects which are essentially unavoidable. Her direct role and responsibility is to facilitate internal sales efforts as well as the servicing of existing PEO clients. Ms. Kleyman brings a full complement of sales and management skills with over 28 years of successful experience. Highly effective in competitive environments with exceptional time management, strong interpersonal, presentation and closing skills which she acquired selling exotic cars for Ferrari of North America and prior to that Capital Medical Radiology Equipment Sales overseas. She is a recognized top performer, leading stores and accounts to exceed expected growth. Ms. KIeyman is graduate of Northeastern University in Boston with a BS Degree in Criminology with a minor in African Art. She holds a General Lines (Prop & Cas) GL 2-20 license and 4-40 Customer Representative License. Libertate Insurance LLC Vigilant Insurance Representation 707 E. Washington Street, Orlando, FL 32801 844.571.0810 407.613.5475

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