We've been hearing for years about how Illinois has been hemorrhaging so many residents that we lead the entire Midwest in "outbound migration," and are one of the top three states in the entire country when it comes to population loss.

There's really no disputing the numbers, but like me, you may be interested in where former Illinois residents are going.

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"Keep those birthday checks coming, Grandma and Grandpa!" (Getty Images)

Of The Top Ten States That Illinoisans Relocate To The Most, A Couple Of Them Are Surprising

Before we get to the list, we have to give credit where credit is due for crunching the numbers on this question and how they arrived at their findings. Stacker compiled a list of where people in Illinois are moving to most using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. States are ranked by the number of people that have moved from Illinois in 2019.

If you're guessing "Sun Belt" states as the primary destination, you're partially correct. Of the top ten states Illinoisans move to when they leave here, 5 are Sun Belt states.

  • #8-Arizona (Moved from Illinois to Arizona in 2019: 10,915)
  • #7-Georgia (Moved from Illinois to Georgia in 2019: 14,438)
  • #4-Texas (Moved from Illinois to Texas in 2019: 23,747)
  • #3-California (Moved from Illinois to California in 2019: 24,085)
  • #2-Florida (Moved from Illinois to Florida in 2019: 24,425)
I want to leave so badly that I've stolen this car! (Getty Images)
I want to leave so badly that I've stolen this car! (Getty Images)

The Rest Of The States Illinoisans Are Relocating To Are All Neighbors Of Illinois

And by neighbors, all but one of the 5 remaining states actually border Illinois, and that one state is on the other side of a big lake.

Let's just get to the number one state Illinoisans are flocking over the border to start a new life in:


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In Indiana, French Lick is more than a town's name. It's a way of life. (Getty Images)

11.8% of departing Illinoisans, or 36,328 people have made their new home in the Hoosier state. #5 on the list is Wisconsin, where 22,402 Illinois folks relocated in 2019. Missouri is 6th with 17,366, Iowa is 9th with 10,843, and Michigan is #10 with 10,177 former Illinoisans wandering the countryside.

READ ON: See the States Where People Live the Longest

Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.

See the Must-Drive Roads in Every State

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