In the run-up to November's elections, there was a lot of back-and-forth about the so-called "fair" or "progressive" tax, which ended up going down to defeat by a substantial margin.

While some highlighted the "millionaires and billionaires will finally pay their fair share" angle of the tax, others pointed out that Illinois leads the nation in something called outbound migration--also known as "people leaving the state," and that the new tax would speed up departures of Illinois residents.

Looking at some of the numbers produced by the U.S. Census, the last thing Illinois needs is more people looking for an exit. We've lost over 170,000 residents since 2010, and according to polling, a lot more Illinoisans are considering getting out of here. Of Illinois' 102 counties, 93 of them have lost people over the last decade.

The U.S. Census says, not surprisingly, that Chicago's Cook County is the biggest loser of people with 49,000 having left since 2010. So, who comes in second?

If you said Winnebago County, you nailed it. Our county has seen 12,500 people head for a border, while St. Clair County comes in 3rd place with a loss of 10,700. Lake, Peoria, Macon, Madison, Vermillion, Rock Island and LaSalle counties rounded out the top ten biggest losers of population, with all of them losing more than 5,000 residents.

Just nine of the state’s 102 counties managed to gain population over the period. Kane County, the best people-winner in the state, saw its population increase by 16,000 since 2010. Kendall County gained 13,600 people. Will County was next with 11,900.


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