Illinoisans are heading for the door more than nearly any other state, according to a report on how many households are using moving services to leave.
Stevens Worldwide Van Lines’ annual long-distance moving study found Illinois had more than twice the number of households moving out of state than moving in. Using data from the American Moving and Storage Association’s database of more than 150,000 out-of-state relocations in 2017, Illinois was the only state that saw more than twice the households leave than arrive, posting 14,147 departures and 6,833 arrivals.
The figures don’t include families that use a U-Haul or other methods to move their own possessions.
Roger Wise, vice president of sales and marketing at Stevens Worldwide Van Lines, said places like the Carolinas, Nevada, and Texas all have high inbound rates.
“Those are places that are economic magnets based on job production, taxation and the overall cost of living,” he said.
Wise said the numbers don’t just represent retirees who are enlisting movers. As U.S. Census Bureau numbers also show, he said many of the families leaving Illinois are working-age adults with young families, often being relocated by companies.
“These are folks that are not only making a decision to move everything they own to another state but they’re spending significant dollars to take their possessions with them,” he said.
The most recent IRS data on interstate migration shows Illinoisans most commonly move to sunnier climates like Florida, but thousands are also just crossing the border to neighboring states.
Illinois’ total population fell by 33,000 in 2017, dropping it to the sixth most populous state behind Pennsylvania. The population losses are strewn across the state but the largest percentages of population leaving were in southern and central Illinois, according to Census numbers.
It’s not just retirees. Illinois lost 37,000 citizens on net that were aged 25-54 in 2017, representing working-age contributors to the state’s waning tax base.
Population losses can negatively affect housing markets in an area. Fewer buyers, coupled with higher than average property taxes, can push down home values.