Cook County leads nation in outmigration
Cook County saw 66,244 people leave for other locations in the United States between July 2015 and July 2016, according to a U.S. Census Bureau chart highlighted by Michael Lucci, vice president of policy at the Illinois Policy Institute.
The county experienced the greatest outmigration of any county in the United States in that time frame. Meanwhile, 92 of Illinois' other 101 counties faced outmigration as well.
The Chicago Tribune said 19,750 people left the Chicago metropolitan area in 2016, continuing a downward trend that began in 2015, when 11,324 people departed. As a state, Illinois lost 114,000 — equal to one person every 4.6 minutes, the institute said.
Questioning former Chicago-area residents, the Tribune found the most common reasons they left were high taxes, the state government’s budget deadlock, crime in the city, unemployment and harsh weather.
Outmigration can lead to lost state and federal funding, which is often based on population. Higher taxes commonly follow for residents left behind who have to carry the burden alone.