Question: If You Could Leave Illinois, Would You?
Let's say a genie from a bottle appeared and granted you three wishes. After you've been granted untold wealth, asked for, and have been refused, a million more wishes (c'mon, we'd all try that wish, wouldn't we?), would you wish to live somewhere other than Illinois?
Bottom-lining it for you, yes. Nearly half the Illinois residents (47.2%) polled by the Paul Simon Institute of Public Policy at Southern Illinois University said they wish they lived somewhere else. And, to add to their thoughts, 84% of respondents said our state is headed in the wrong direction. This poll resembles a Gallup poll taken about 3 years ago that had the number of people wanting to leave Illinois at 50%.
From Crain's Chicago Business:
...the school found that 47.2 percent of those questioned said they would like to move to another state if they could, with a bare majority of 51.2 percent saying no. Another 1.6 percent were undecided.
But particularly troubling is that younger groups are most inclined to split, with nearly 60 percent of those under age 35 and 35-50 saying they'd like to leave. Only among the elderly, age 66 plus, is continued residence here desired.
Taxes are the single biggest reason, cited by 26.9 percent of the sample. Illinois' lovely weather comes in second as a reason for departure, with 16.3 percent citing it. “Government" gets 15 percent. Oddly, "job/education" is fourth, at just 12.7 percent, despite the state's relatively weak job growth in recent decades.
Only 9.9 percent of those polled say the state is headed in the right direction, with 83.7 percent saying things are getting worse. That's the highest negative figure in the eight years the institute has asked about that. In comparison, a mere 58.6 percent said the country is headed in the wrong direction, compared to 32.9 percent for the right direction.
As far as the cities or towns the survey respondents called home, there was a surprising amount of optimism. 83.7% of those surveyed had at least some satisfaction with how their town is doing. A mere 10% said their town was doing "not so good," while you had 6.3% reporting that their town's conditions were "poor."