Madison - St. Clair Record

Monday, February 17, 2020

Poll finds 47 percent of Illinois registered voters want to leave state

By Dawn Geske | Oct 24, 2016

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CARBONDALE – A new poll from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute shows that high taxes has a large number of Illinoisans saying they would like to leave the state.

Pollsters talked to Illinois registered voters about how they felt about the state and whether they were likely to leave it in the coming year. It found that 47 percent of respondents would like to move out of the state, with only 51 percent saying they preferred to stay.

As many as 20 percent said it was likely they would leave the state in the coming year. Many of the respondents cited taxes as the single motivator in looking to move out to the area. This was cited by 27 percent of respondents. Other reasons they gave were the weather, the government and jobs and education at 16, 15, and 13 percent, respectively.

“This ought to be a wake-up call for Illinois,” David Yepsen, director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, told the Record. “A lot of people – especially younger people entering their most productive years – are looking to leave.”

The poll showed that millennials are the major portion of the population in Illinois looking to relocate, with as many as 57 percent of respondents under 35 saying so. Another 58 percent between the ages of 35 and 50 also want to leave. Only 29 percent of people aged 66 and older said they wanted to leave Illinois.

“Some of it may be just wanderlust – happens early to all generations – but they have concerns about job opportunities and education,” Yepsen said about millennials. “We’ve seen students decide not to attend Illinois institutions of higher learning because they are concerned about the disruptions the state budget stalemate is having.”

The poll also asked respondents about how happy they were with the direction the state was headed. A resounding 84 percent thought the state was headed in the wrong direction. Only 10 percent seemed to think it was moving in a good direction.

The poll also showed that 43 percent of respondents felt their local area was going in the wrong direction while 59 percent thought the country was headed the wrong way. One bright spot in the poll was the response by 52 percent of participants, who said their quality of life in the area where they live is good to excellent.

For the poll, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute talked to 100 respondents who were all registered voters between the time period of Sept. 27 to Oct 5. The poll, which has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points, gives a good understanding of where the concerns for Illinois residents lies and how there is growing dissent in the state.

The results of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute poll match up to a poll that was done by Gallup three years prior, saying that 50 percent of Illinoisans would like to leave the state if they could. At the time of the Gallup poll, no other state ranked higher in regard to the percentage of residents wanting to leave their state.

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Paul Simon Public Policy Institute