Lake County residents follow flood leaving state
Lake County lost more than 5,000 residents between July 2015 and July 2016, following a statewide trend that has seen 91 percent of counties experience outmigration.
The Chicago Tribune recently described the political and economic effects outmigration can have on areas, including the loss of federal and state funding for various programs because it is based on population. Further, when those counties and municipalities spend money on projects, it is often done with the assumption of population growth, leading to increased taxes for residents if those areas do not grow or shrink.
Michael Lucci, vice president of policy for the Illinois Policy Institute, recently tweeted a chart showing the 10 counties in Illinois with the most outmigration. Lake County ranked third, losing 5,179 residents.
A Tribune survey found that people left Illinois for reasons tied to politics, including high taxes and a deadlocked state budget; quality of life, including crime and unemployment rates; and the weather. Those who have left are often headed to Sun Belt states, including Texas, Arizona and Florida, which feature better climates, affordable housing and job opportunities.