News Story

More People Moving From Illinois To Michigan Than The Other Way

And it’s mostly higher income citizens moving

For years, the state of Michigan has played the role of poor-nephew to more glamorous locations in discussions about which places offer the most attractive job and lifestyle opportunities, especially for upwardly mobile young people.

In the Midwest, the media darling was Chicago.

In 2013, featured a story about University of Michigan graduates leaving the state.

“New experiences, a nightlife with endless options and a sea of potential jobs: Cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles can offer such things to an extreme that Michigan can’t compete with,” read an April 1, 2013, article.

Lou Glazer, who runs a nonprofit called Michigan Future Inc., wrote a blog article in December 2012 titled, “Michigan growing the Chicago economy.”

“Three interesting recent articles on young professionals leaving Michigan for vibrant central cities, particularly Chicago,” Glazer wrote.

Michigan’s claims to being a comeback state have been bolstered by recently released Internal Revenue Service data.

From 2013 to 2016, more people moved from Illinois to Michigan than vice versa. And for 2016, those moving from Illinois to Michigan were more affluent that those moving from Michigan to Illinois.

There were 9,683 people who relocated from Illinois to Michigan in 2016, versus 7,129 who relocated from Michigan to Illinois.

The average household income of those migrating to Michigan from Illinois was $87,540 in 2016. The average household income of those leaving Michigan for Illinois was $67,651.

The Illinois Policy Institute reported that Illinois loses a resident to another state every 4.6 minutes.

That exodus is due in part to the state’s dire fiscal condition, says Christopher Douglas, an associate professor in the department of economics at the University of Michigan-Flint.

“The state (Illinois) recently passed a massive income tax hike where the personal rate went from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent and the corporate rate went from 5.25 percent to 7 percent to attempt to cover the difference, but the state still has a massive deficit,” said Douglas, who is on the Mackinac Center for Public Policy's Board of Scholars. “The city of Chicago is still facing a massive budget deficit even after hiking property taxes by 10 percent. Excessive taxation coupled with lousy public services is eventually going to drive productive residents away. I think this is what is happening in Illinois.”

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.