Why Are So Many People Moving Away From Chicago?

chicago map old
Erick Fischer / Flickr
chicago map old
Erick Fischer / Flickr

Why Are So Many People Moving Away From Chicago?

WBEZ brings you fact-based news and information. Sign up for our newsletters to stay up to date on the stories that matter.

New census data released Thursday show that people are leaving Chicago in droves. The trend is particularly strong in African-American communities. 

We spoke with WBEZ’s Chris Hagan and William Lee of the Chicago Tribune about what the data reveal.

We also asked you on Facebook why you might have left, or why you’re considering jumping ship. 

Here were some your reasons:

The budget impasse in Springfield

“I work at Northeastern, no state budget means Northeastern employees are all furloughed one day a week until a budget is passed. I truly believe in public higher education, and I don’t want to stay somewhere that does not understand its importance and is unwilling to fund it.”
- Heather Hynds

“Bc I work in social services, & the state is not paying for services being provided. The company I work for us VERY close to closing their doors, & not being able to serve vulnerable children & adults in the community.”
-Leah Antilla

The cost of living

“As someone who moved here, the place is great, the people are great, it’s a great city, but realistically it would be impossible for me to stay here. Even making good money, you can’t really save much. The taxes are way too high and the city is so broke it has taken to predatory taxes and fines to raise revenue. Everytime you turn around they want you to pay for some sort of sticker, or extra tax or fee that do not exist in other places. They have a Netflix tax here that exists nowhere else.”
-Nick Joseph

The quality of public education

“Schools! I used to love so many things about being a Chicagoan but the lack of investment in public education makes it difficult to want to remain. We are planning our exodus.”
-Lylyana Z. Fowlie

And some of you reminded us that, yes, there’s a lot to complain about, but there’s also plenty to love about our region
“I left last summer to live in Louisville. Huge mistake! Chicago is a great city and despite its problems, I am able to compare with a Southern less regulated city. I like laws and taxes and regulations if it means I don’t breathe people’s second-hand smoke everywhere and people stop at red lights and people take buses and ride bikes because it’s not feasible to park and pay for gas. These are things I miss. Oh, and they park backwards in other cities too; it makes me crazy :) ”
-Gail Garcia

Dig Deeper:

  • Cook County Shows Large Population Drop In Latest Census Estimates