Recent news about population trends in Illinois haven’t been good. Private-sector reports like United Van Lines’ annual National Movers Study and public sector data have indicated Illinois ranks as a national leader in outmigration. And late last year, the Census Bureau’s annual population report showed that Illinois population fell for the fifth consecutive year, with the rate of decline accelerating.
Migration trends are one factor in population growth, but “new entrants” also matter. The chart below is drawn from Truth in Accounting’s State Data Lab website, and shows Illinois’ fertility rate from 2010 to 2016.
Across the 50 states, interstate migration trends in recent years are significantly associated with state government financial conditions, and Truth in Accounting’s “Taxpayer Burden” measure of fiscal health. A closer look at fertility rates indicates an even stronger association with state finances. States in bad fiscal health rank low on fertility.
If you were a baby, would you rather come into the world with a low taxpayer burden, or a higher one?