From July 2021 to July 2022, more than 142,000 people moved out of Illinois than decided to move in. That puts us at number two behind New York on the list of states that are hemorrhaging residents to other states.

Pop quiz time: Which number is bigger over that timespan, the amount of Illinois residents who moved away, or the amount of Illinois residents who died?

Answer: It's the number of people who moved away (142,000 or so). From July of 2021 through July of 2022, about 127,000 Illinois residents passed away.

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"I'm not dying, just leaving!" (Getty Images)
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Illinois Lost Population For The 9th Consecutive Year, Which Is 2nd In The Nation Behind West Virginia (They've been losing people for 10 straight years)

A friend of mine (living in the South) has the theory that it's our weather. He often points out that "You guys are freezing in the winter and sweating your butts off in the summer. Illinois weather just plain sucks, and that's why people are getting the hell outta there."

As with so many things, he's completely wrong.

While it's true that our weather can be...well, challenging, but unless we're talking about a percentage of senior citizens leaving, it's not the weather that has Illinoisans heading for the exits.

One of the top reasons is taxes.

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...is all the time in Illinois. (Getty Images)
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Soft-On-Crime Policies And Over Regulation Are Often Cited By People Leaving Illinois, But The Number-One Motivator To Leave The State Is Over-Taxation

Illinois is losing people 5 times faster than any of our neighboring states, and according to IllinoisPolicy.org, nearly half the population of our state has thought about putting Illinois in the rearview mirror because of what they're paying in taxes.

Take a look at some of the numbers when it comes to taxes in Illinois (hat-tip to Heritage.org):

  • 15th-worst overall tax climate.
  • 13th-highest personal income taxes per capita and the sixth highest corporate income taxes per capita.
  • Eighth-highest combined state and local sales tax rate.
  • 16th-highest excise tax on distilled spirits and 12th-highest on wine.
  • Highest state and local cellphone tax in the country — combined with federal tax, cellphone bills in Illinois are subject to a tax rate over 34%.
  • Seventh-highest state and local excise tax collections per capita.
  • Second-highest property tax rate.
  • Tied for the second-highest estate tax rate.
  • Second-highest taxes on gasoline at 60 cents per gallon, which increased on Jan. 1, and then will increase again in July.

Maybe we should be more like Sweden:

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