The Chicago Area Lost More Residents Than Any Other U.S. County Last Year.  There are many reasons people are leaving.
More than any other city, Chicago has depended on Mexican immigrants to balance the sluggish growth of its native-born population. During the 1990s, immigration accounted for most of Chicago's population growth.

After 2007, when Mexican-born populations began to fall across all the nation's major metropolitan areas, most cities managed to make up for the loss with the growth of their native populations. Chicago couldn't.

Now, native Chicagoans are heading for the Sun Belt states — those with the country's warmest climates, like Texas, Arizona and Florida. During the years after the economic recession of the mid-2000s, migration to those states paused but started up again because warmer states in the South and West have affordable housing and better job opportunities.

While Chicago suffered the largest population loss of any metropolitan area, the greatest metropolitan population gains were in Texas and Arizona. The Dallas-Fort Worth- Arlington, Texas, metropolitan area gained more than 143,000 residents in 2016, and the Houston region gained about 125,000. The Phoenix area gained about 94,000 residents and the Atlanta region gained about 91,000 people.
Meanwhile, the conventional wisdom in Chicago is that residents and businesses don't pay enough in taxes for the privilege of living, working, and profiting in Illinois.

We have much to look forward to.

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