Editorial: More Illinois losses

Editorial: More Illinois losses

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New federal data, released this week, continue to point to bad news for the state of Illinois.

The state's estimated population declined by more than 51,000 people between 2018 and 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

We have known for a long time about Illinois' loss of population. Here in the Quad-Cities, it is evident. Rock Island County has been shrinking, while Scott County, much like the rest of Iowa, grows — albeit slowly.

Since 2010, only three other states have lost a greater share of its people than Illinois — Connecticut, Vermont and West Virginia, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The Tribune reports that it asked the administration of Gov. JB Pritzker for comment on the new figures. In a statement, the administration cited the "historic low" unemployment rate and continued job creation. "Illinois is back...," the statement said in part.

It doesn't sound to us like too many Illinoisans (or should we say, ex-Illinoisans) share that opinion.

Since 2010, the state has lost nearly 160,000 people, or 1.2% of its population. That's not something to look past.

As demographers have shown, much of this loss is due to people leaving for other states.

That loss is something that is readily apparent in the Quad-Cities. But while one side of the Mississippi River may gain people at the expense of the other, this is not a cause for celebration by anyone. The latest Census figures are a reminder that, as one Quad-Cities, we still have plenty of work to do.


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