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Illinois' Population Loss Among Worst In U.S.

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WUIS/Illinois Issues

Illinois is continuing to lose population, according to new Census estimates out Wednesday.

For the year ending in June, Illinois lost population at a rate of 0.35 percent. To put that in English, that’s a decline of about 3 1/2 people for every thousand Illinoisans.

The figure includes every way that Illinois could gain or lose people: births and international immigration on the positive side of the ledger, deaths and domestic migration on the negative.

And that last one is what really stings. People moved elsewhere in the U.S. at a rate approaching 9 per thousand. Only New York state and Alaska had higher rates.

The population trends are important because of the upcoming Congressional reapportionment — when the seats in Congress will be re-divvied up among the states based on the results of the 2020 Census.

If Illinois continues seeing population losses, it could be forced to give up one or two seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, which would leave Illinoisans with less say in how America is governed.”

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
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