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Top 15 of 2015: Living in the Land of Lincoln (12)

December 19, 2015

Welcome to Illinois

The place we call home is changing.

New U.S. Census Bureau data shows Illinois had nearly 10,000 fewer residents in 2014 than in the previous year – the largest numerical decline of any state in the nation and the first statewide population dip since the mid-1980s.

Rockford, the third largest city in Illinois, is leading the state in population decline.

And, if not for the steady growth of the Hispanic sector from 2010 to 2014, the population of Illinois would have plummeted by nearly 80,000 people.

So what’s a state to do? Well, here are a few ideas: Free land to skilled workers willing to relocate. Subsidized mortgage rates for newly minted college grads who forgo big-city life and return to their hometowns. Paid moving costs and tax breaks for young adults taking jobs at local industries.