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Illinoisans Becoming Better Educated and Higher Paid, New Study Suggests

The average Illinoisan has become higher paid and better educated over the last decade, according to a new analysis of federal data.

Why it matters: The findings counter common narratives about the state supposedly losing population, brains and money due to outmigration.

Context: The report is based on 2010 to 2022 U.S. Census and IRS data analyzed by researchers at the Illinois Economic Policy Institute and the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The big picture: Over that period, Illinois’ population has remained fairly stable while its tax base has grown.

  • The researchers write that, although “Illinois lost residents to net domestic migration from 2013 through 2022, these losses were almost entirely offset by the addition of migrants from abroad.”

Data suggest that people who moved out of Illinois were more likely to be younger, Black, and low income, and less likely to be Latino.

  • “Between 2010 and 2020, the number of [Illinois] taxpayers reporting over $500,000 in adjusted gross income increased by 80%,” the report says.
  • Those earning between $100,000 and $500,000 grew by 52%.
  • At the same time, Illinoisans claiming low-income tax benefits [EIC} decreased by 11%.

Meanwhile, many Illinois newbies arrived for college. Higher university enrollment was up 6 percentage points for adults who moved here from other states, compared with those who left the state.

  • Adult workers who arrived in Illinois “were more likely to have bachelor’s degrees or higher (64-70%) than adult workers who left Illinois (59%),” the report states.

Of note: The primary reason cited for leaving was job-related, including a new job or a transfer.

Source : AXIOS