FILE - Illinois Home Sale

A "for sale" sign stands along side a housing lot in Mount Prospect, Ill., Friday, April 2, 2021. 

(The Center Square) – Despite Gov. J.B. Pritzker's recent insistence that the state is not losing residents, the latest migration report from the Internal Revenue Service shows a continued exodus from Illinois. 

According to taxpayer migration data, Illinois lost a net 105,000 residents in 2020. Only New York and California lost more.

The statistics are based on tax returns filed in 2020 and 2021, showing who moved from one state to another between 2019 and 2020. People who didn't file taxes aren't reflected in the data.

Ted Dabrowski, president of the nonprofit Wirepoints, said people are moving away from Blue states like Illinois to Red states. 

“Those states that are pro-growth, low taxes, friendly to business, they are growing like crazy, and those states that are more oppressive on taxes and policy, people are leaving those states,” said Dabrowski to The Center Square.  

Dabrowski said the data shows Illinois’ tax base took a hit, losing nearly $11 billion in taxable income to other states. 

“The average income of the people moving to Illinois make $44,000 less than the people who are leaving Illinois, so we’re losing wealthier people and the ones that come in are not as wealthy,” Dabrowski said. “That is a big problem too because it is a destruction of our tax base.” 

Pritzker has repeatedly denied that the state is losing residents, including two weeks ago in Boston.

“We did a census in 2020, it turns out all the American Community Survey data wrong. We gained population in the state of Illinois,” Pritzker said. 

A request for comment from the governor’s office regarding the latest IRS numbers went unanswered. U.S. Census data shows Illinois has lost residents for nine consecutive years, confirming the IRA data. Other anecdotal evidence from moving truck companies such as U-Haul backs that data up as well.

Dabrowski notes the IRS migration report uses tax returns and is hard data that is indisputable evidence on the movement of Americans between states.

Staff Reporter

Kevin Bessler reports on statewide issues in Illinois for the Center Square. He has over 30 years of experience in radio news reporting throughout the Midwest.