CHICAGO — According to U.S. Census Bureau data, Illinois’ population dropped for the ninth year in a row.

Data from a recent U.S. Census Bureau report shows Illinois is the sixth most populous state in the country with 12,582,032 residents as of July 2022 — but that 104,437 residents have moved out of the state in the same period. 

West Virginia is the only other state to experience a population decline longer and is currently in its 10th consecutive year.

U.S, Census Bureau

The data also shows Illinois gained 31,529 net residents from abroad, but lost 141,656 residents on net to other states, which is nearly the size of Rockford — the fifth largest city in Illinois.

The loss of residents to other states is reportedly the largest in state history. 

According to the report, Iowa and Michigan have also suffered migration losses to other states, but data shows Illinois is losing residents five times faster than Iowa, and thirteen times faster than Michigan.

The report shows the U.S. population increased by 1,256,003 in 2022 to 333,287,557 with Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia and Arizona seeing the most population growth.

So where are Illinoisans heading when they move out of the state?

According to, using data from 2019, the top destination for Illinoisans is Indiana, followed by Florida, California, Texas and Wisconsin.

Domestic outmigration is defined as people moving out of state and Illinois has the second worse percentage in the country. Researchers used data on births, deaths and migration to determine the population estimates.