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CHICAGO — For the fifth consecutive year, Illinois is losing residents.

According to new Census Bureau data, the state has lost more than 45,000 residents this year.

Over the last five years, the population has dropped by about 157,000. As the population ages, the ratio of births to deaths is also shrinking.

Despite the loss of residents, Illinois remains the sixth largest state.

Some experts say high taxes are to blame for the exodus. States with no income taxes actually gained in population.

Change of population in Illinois over the past 5 years:

  • 2014: -9,307
  • 2015: -24,620
  • 2016: -37,447
  • 2017: -40,699
  • 2018: -45,116