What Does Slow Population Growth Mean For Illinois?

Jan 3, 2014

John Jackson

The U.S. Census Bureau says since the last official census in 2010, Illinois has only gained about 52-thousand residents. That puts it in the bottom 10 states when it comes to population change during that time period.

John Jackson is with the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. He says this could have serious political implications. Jackson says it could lead to Illinois losing another seat in Congress.

"When you lose population, or fail to grow rapidly enough, you tend to lose representation," Jackson said.

Jackson says there are a number of potential factors at play. He says the Midwest and the Northeast have been losing residents to warmer-climate states. He also says manufacturing bases in the two regions have lost plenty of jobs to other parts of the globe.

Jackson does say that Illinois still has good selling points. It's centrally located, giving it a number of transportation advantages. He also says Illinois has healthy water supplies, whereas other regions in the U.S. do not.