FILE - Moving truck, moving van

When people leave the state, they take their paychecks with them and since 2000, Illinois has lost hundreds of billions of dollars in spending power as a result.

An analysis of Internal Revenue Service Data from 2000 to 2016 by financial website Wirepoints found Illinoisans leaving the state have accumulated $310 billion in adjusted gross income, or AGI.

“For comparison, Florida, the nation’s biggest winner, gained nearly $1 trillion in AGI. Texas, the number two winner, gained $250 billion. What Illinois lost, Texas gained,” the report said.

Wirepoints President Ted Dabrowski said that taxable income represents a loss for the state’s coffers.

“We lost somewhere in the range of around $10 billion because that money was gone over that time period,” he said.

He said states such Tennessee, which is becoming an increasingly popular landing spot for those leaving Illinois, has had the inverse of that.

“When you add up all of the cumulative gains they’ve had, they’ve added about $76 billion in adjusted gross income or taxable income,” he said.

Illinois has had five consecutive years of population losses, largely driven by domestic migration to other states. It fell to the sixth most populous state in the nation last year, behind Pennsylvania. Experts have predicted the state will lose at least one, if not two, U.S. Representatives to reapportionment in 2021 after the decennial Census is certified.

Illinois would have gained income from people moving in during that time, but IRS data showed people leaving the state have incomes $14,000 higher, on average, than those arriving, according to Wirepoints’ analysis.

The state’s annual total AGI in 2016 was $665 billion.

Staff Writer

Cole Lauterbach reports on Illinois government and statewide issues for The Center Square. He has produced radio shows for stations in Bloomington/Normal and Peoria, and created award-winning programs for Comcast SportsNet Chicago.