In a few weeks the 2020 U.S. Census will be taken, a process of counting population in every city and state in America. Federal funding and representation is based upon the information gathered every ten years. I wanted to write a story about how Illinois could come out a big loser since the state continues to lose population to other states. In doing some research I read and thought I would share this article posted in the Quincy Exchange Club Newsletter written by Dennis Koch, entitled Illinois and "Out" Migration and the 2020 Census.

In September of last year, the Chicago Tribune ran an article diving deep into the "Illinois Exodus".

We've all seen the memes and jokes - Governor Pritzker as "U-Haul Salesperson of the Month", all of the new Illinois slogans - "Last one out please turn off the lights",  or "Illinois: We'll keep you as high as our taxes" (among others), which replaced my personal favorite - Illinois: Where our governors make your license plates".

The jokes and images don't tell the entire story, though. Since 2014, Illinois has been losing more residents than are moving in - a net "out" migration of residents. Couple that with an aging population and a stagnate birth rate and, well you see the results. 

What their analysis found was that this is a state-wide issue - one of the worst out migration rates was just to the north of us in Hancock County, 47 of every 1,000 people left the state. On a net basis, 1 person leaves the State about every 15 minutes.

Nationally, Illinois ranks 49th - only Alaska has a worse net migration than Illinois. In 2018, the Illinois net loss was 6.5 people for every 1,000 residents - more than double what it was just 5 years earlier. Quincy reflects the trend - we've lost 2% of our population since 2011 (835 residents), with net losses each year since then.

As the 2020 Census approaches, it's important to look at just what this will mean. At best, Illinois will lose one Congressional seat, possibly 2. Invariable, that seat will come from downstate. Right now, there are 4 Congressional district south of Interstate 74 - that is probably going to go to 3.

That is going to have a huge effect on how this area is represented. Fewer residents will also mean fewer federal dollars flowing into our already financially-challenged state.

From the Exchange Club's point of view, it also affects the Exchange Clubs throughout the Lincolnland District. As our population ages and younger folks move away - 28% of those moving out were in their 20's - recruiting new members is going to become even more of a challenge.