Do you want to leave Illinois? You’re not alone


Illinois State Capitol in Springfield. (TNS)

About 80 percent of Illinoisans in a new poll said that they thought the state was headed in the wrong direction, and nearly 50 percent of respondents said they would like to leave Illinois, according to a new poll.

Some of the top reasons include taxes, crime and dissatisfaction with government.

“The most troubling finding in this poll is that so many younger people are thinking about it,” said David Yepsen, the director of SIU’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, which did the poll. “That’s the state’s future.”


The findings of the poll of 1,000 people were released Monday. Almost 60 percent of respondents under 35 said they would leave if they could, compared with almost 30 percent of people 66 and older.

The poll also found that almost 60 percent believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, while about 50 percent believe that locally, their area of the state was headed in the right direction. Slightly more than half said they had a “good” or “excellent” quality of life where they lived.

The key results are larger than the 3.1 percent margin of error and therefore statistically significant, said Dr. Kenneth Moffett, a political science professor at SIU-Edwardsville.

The data behind the poll, however, did not offer insight into what influenced respondents.

Although taken in the heat of a presidential election cycle, the poll did not define what “right direction” or “wrong direction” meant.

“It could be anything the respondent wants it to be,” Yepsen said.

Moffett said people’s satisfaction with the direction of the country could be explained, at least in part, on the party in control of the White House. Dissatisfaction with the direction of Illinois, however, knew no ideological bounds.


In that instance, “you also have other, more structural issues” at play, Moffett said. He gave the state’s debt and pension problems as examples. “Those cross the ideological spectrum.”

Although it is possible to infer what some of the interviewees were responding to, the Simon Institute did not include responses to more specific questions regarding issues they face.

“The (raw data) are suggestive but don’t necessarily nail down the case automatically,” said Moffett, who has experience conducting polls for SIUE.

The poll was conducted using live telephone interviews carried out using random calls, 60 percent of which were from cell phones.

“Potential interviewees were screened based on whether they were registered voters and quotas based on area code and sex,” according to the Institute.

The poll was conducted from Sept. 27 through Oct. 2. Women constituted of less than 60 percent of the respondents, and there was also a Spanish-language version.

(c) 2016 the Belleville News-Democrat (Belleville, Ill.)

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