Poll finds many ready to move out of Illinois
Illinois registered voters are divided over whether they would like to leave the state or stay, according to the latest poll from Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.
Specifically, the poll found that 47 percent say they would like to move and 51 percent prefer to remain in the state. Just under 2 percent said they didn’t know.
The poll also showed 20 percent said it was extremely likely, somewhat likely or likely they would leave the state in the coming year. Nearly 80 percent said it was unlikely.
Taxes are the single biggest reason people want to leave, the weather is next, followed by government and jobs.
Specifically, 27 percent cite taxes as the motive for departing, 16 percent say weather, 15 percent cite government and 13 percent name jobs and education.
“There are lots of reasons why people want to leave,” David Yepsen, institute director, said.
“Not much can be done about the weather but policy makers can do something about perceptions of the quality of services, tax competitiveness, tax fairness and educational and job opportunities.
“People often don’t feel they get good value for their tax dollars and with frequent stories of public corruption or the large numbers of governmental units, it’s no wonder why they feel that way,” he said.
People under 50 are much more likely to want to leave than the rest of the population.
Fifty-seven percent of millennials (under 35) want to leave the state while 58 percent of those between 35 and 50 want to leave. Only 29 percent of adults over age 66 want to leave Illinois.
“Policy-makers argue over whether people are leaving or not,” Yepsen said. “The most troubling finding in this poll is that so many younger people are thinking about it. That’s the state’s future.”
The measurements are one indication of how unhappy many people are with the state.
The poll also found a staggering 84 percent of Illinois voters said the state was headed in the wrong direction while only 10 percent said it was on the right track.
The poll of 1,000 registered voters was taken Sept. 27 through Oct 5 and has a margin for error of 3.1 percentage points.
The poll mirrors what the Gallup Poll found three years ago.
Then, 50 percent of Illinois residents said they would leave the state if they could. No other state ranked higher for would-be departures.
Gallup also found in 2013 that 19 percent of residents said they were extremely, very or somewhat likely to move in the coming year.
The latest Simon Poll also showed Illinois voters think the state is in worse shape than the country or things closer to home.
There were 59 percent who said the country is headed in the wrong direction while 43 percent said their local area was moving the wrong way.
On a brighter note, there are 52 percent who say the quality of life in their area ranges from excellent to good.