Illinois suffered the steepest population decline in the nation in 2016. The state experienced a record loss of 114,000 residents to other states on net, and the population shrank by 37,500 people.
Now consider the permanent loss of the combined populations of Illinois’ 10 largest cities outside of Chicago: Aurora, Rockford, Joliet, Naperville, Springfield, Elgin, Waukegan, Champaign and Arlington Heights, along with Peoria. The loss of these 10 cities’ combined populations approximately equals Illinois’ net loss of population to other states since 2000. Illinois has lost some 1.22 million people, on net, over the past 16 years.