Declining population knocks IL down to 6th-largest state

The American flag flies outside the U.S. Capitol

Over the past year, Idaho became the fastest-growing state in the U.S., according to national and state population estimates that were released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Rhode Island came within 200 people of losing one of its two seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Eight states, including West Virginia, Mississippi and Louisiana, lost population in the year ending July 1, 2017. That brought the 2017 population estimate for IL to 12,802,023 people. Many neighboring states, like Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota and MI, all saw moderate population gains during the same period. Trailing Idaho in percentage population growth were Nevada (2 percent growth); Utah (1.9 percent); Washington (1.7 percent); Arizona (1.6 percent); and Texas, Washington, D.C., Colorado and OR (1.4 percent each). Wyoming had the largest percentage decline (1.0 percent).

That's roughly double the net migration figure from the previous year, which was -4,000. Persons age 65 and older now constitute 16% of the population, up from 13.3% in 2010 and 12.5% in 2000.

In a statement, Liz Schuh, principal policy analyst for the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for planning, said that while the narrow window of the study can be misleading, "Census data over several years does indicate stagnant or even declining population for our region and state".

This marks the fourth consecutive year of population decline in IL. For domestic numbers, MA saw a loss of 23,000 residents moving to other states. However, in the past year, the net number of individuals moving between Kentucky and other USA states was positive, albeit small. Wyoming, at about 579,000 people, is the least populous state.

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