Illinois could lose up to 2 congressional seats due to out-migration, Jacobs says
Paul Jacobs fears what the state of Illinois could look like come the 2020 census.
“How much population will we have lost by then,” Jacobs said to the SE Illinois News. Census Bureau data has found Illinois has slipped to the country’s sixth most populous state, falling behind Pennsylvania as the state’s out-migration issues show few signs of abating.
“By then, we could be poised to lose as many as two congressional seats in Congress because of all of this,” he said.
The Illinois Policy Institute reported the raw dip in numbers represents the worst decline of any other state and the third-worst decline across the country in terms of percentages.
In all, 33,700 people left the state during a yearlong period ending July 2016, and from July 2016 to July 2017, nearly 115,000 residents left Illinois on net for other states. Over the past seven years, that number is almost 643,000.
Researchers also noted that at a time when all of the area’s neighboring states are experiencing population growth, Illinois’ decline represents the fourth straight year the state has trended downward in that category.
“We need strong, conservative, fiscally (responsible) representatives in Springfield to blunt what’s been happening for the last 40 years,” Jacobs, who is running against Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) in the 115th District, said.
“This is just another red flag that we need to get our ship in order," Jacobs said. "Illinois is dropping in stature instead of moving up.”
Jacob stresses that he sees what’s happening now as an extension of all that’s gone wrong over time to drive so many people away. But with many residents fed up, he’s hopeful things are poised to change.
“People aren't stupid,” he said. “The ones who couldn’t take any more or already gone and all the rest of us are aware that something needs to change and are ready to make it happen for Illinois to be Illinois gain.”
To Jacobs, that means getting back to the days of fiscal responsibility and sound conservative principles.
“Not everyone wants to leave Illinois and they’re looking for ways to fix it,” he said. “I’ve got 50 years invested in this area and I’m as committed as anyone to making that happen.”
The 115th District covers Jackson, Jefferson, Washington, Perry and Union counties.