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When People Move From Illinois, Here’s Where They’re Going

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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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“Grandma and Grandpa, I’m out!” (Getty Images)
"Me too, folks!" (Getty Images)
“Me too, folks!” (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)


Getty Images
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 start a new life in:


Getty Images
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.
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