Republicans say numbers clearly show Illinois is shrinking
By GREG BISHOP
THE CENTER SQUARE
(The Center Square) – Illinois Democrats still haven’t heard back from the U.S. Census about their request to revise the state’s population upwards. Republicans say it’s clear the state has lost population.
Decennial U.S. Census numbers show Illinois lost people and the state’s population dropped to 12.6 million. The state lost a seat in Congress because of the decline, being one of three states to lose people.
A post enumeration survey indicated the state may have been undercounted by about 2%. In May, Illinois Democrats asked the U.S. Census to revise the numbers upward.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Springfield, thinks the state is growing.
“I think we’ve gained population,” Durbin said. “The [Chicago] Tribune is going to disagree with me. They’ve got their own editorial policy. But the numbers speak for themselves.”
Durbin hopes to hear back from the U.S. Census, but hasn’t.
“It means federal dollars coming back home,” Durbin told The Center Square. “The greater the population, the more federal dollars returned to us. I want to help the taxpayers get their money back.”
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kathy Salvi, who faces incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Schaumburg, in the November election, said people are leaving the state.
“Honesty is always the best policy,” Salvi told The Center Square. “You can play with statistics, numbers, as much as you want, but I’ll tell you, people are hurting.”
Salvi said it’s Republicans who can put in place pro-growth policies for the state instead of trying to play with statistics to capture more federal tax dollars.
Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, said it’s clear that Illinois is losing population.
“Proof is that, I’ll just talk about my neighborhood, most people that I know have either left for Indiana or have a for sale sign in their front yard, specifically because of the tax consequences that they believe is going to be thrust upon them in the near future,” Durkin told The Center Square. “We are shrinking.”
The official tally from the U.S. Census backs Durkin up. It shows the state lost around 18,000 people over the past 10 years.