Metro-East News

Do you want to leave Illinois? About half in new poll say yes.

Would you leave Illinois?

Half of Illinoisans in a recent poll said they would leave the state if they could. Jerry Trent shares his view on the subject Monday in downtown Belleville. A higher percentage of younger people want to leave the state.
Up Next
Half of Illinoisans in a recent poll said they would leave the state if they could. Jerry Trent shares his view on the subject Monday in downtown Belleville. A higher percentage of younger people want to leave the state.

About 80 percent of Illinoisans in a new poll said that they thought the state was headed in the wrong direction, and nearly 50 percent of respondents said they would like to leave Illinois, according to a new poll.

Some of the top reasons include taxes, crime and dissatisfaction with government.

“The most troubling finding in this poll is that so many younger people are thinking about it,” said David Yepsen, the director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, which did the poll. “That’s the state’s future.”

The findings of the poll of 1,000 people were released Monday.

Almost 60 percent of respondents under 35 said they would leave if they could, compared with almost 30 percent of people 66 and older.

The poll also found that almost 60 percent believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, while about 50 percent believe that locally, their area of the state was headed in the right direction. Slightly more than half said they had a “good” or “excellent” quality of life where they lived.

The key results are larger than the 3.1 percent margin of error and therefore statistically significant, said Dr. Kenneth Moffett, a political science professor at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

The most troubling finding in this poll is that so many younger people are thinking about it. That’s the state’s future.

David Yepsen, director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute

The data behind the poll, however, did not offer insight into what influenced respondents. Although taken in the heat of a presidential election cycle, the poll did not define what “right direction” or “wrong direction” meant.

“It could be anything the respondent wants it to be,” Yepsen said.

Moffett said people’s satisfaction with the direction of the country could be explained, at least in part, on the party in control of the White House.

Dissatisfaction with the direction of Illinois, however, knew no ideological bounds.

In that instance, “you also have other, more structural issues” at play, Moffett said. He gave the state’s debt and pension problems as examples. “Those cross the ideological spectrum.”

Although it is possible to infer what some of the interviewees were responding to, the Simon Institute did not include responses to more specific questions regarding issues they face.

“The (raw data) are suggestive but don’t necessarily nail down the case automatically,” said Moffett, who has experience conducting polls for SIUE.

The poll was conducted using live telephone interviews carried out using random calls, 60 percent of which were from cell phones. “Potential interviewees were screened based on whether they were registered voters and quotas based on area code and sex,” according to the Institute.

The poll was conducted from Sept. 27 through Oct. 2. Women constituted of less than 60 percent of the respondents, and there was also a Spanish-language version.

Casey Bischel: 618-239-2655, @CaseyBischel

Selected poll results:

Right/Wrong Direction of the Country

Generally speaking, do you think things in our country are going in the right direction, or are they off track and heading in the wrong direction?

Response

Percent (n=1000)

Right direction

32.9%

Wrong direction

58.6%

Don’t know

8.5%

Right/Wrong Direction Illinois

And what about the direction of the State of Illinois? Generally speaking, are things in Illinois going in the right direction, or are they off track and heading in the wrong direction?

Response

Percent (n=1000)

Right direction

9.9%

Wrong direction

83.7%

Don’t know

6.4%

Right/Wrong Direction Local Area

And how are things going in your city or area of the state? In general, are things in your city or area going in the right direction, or in the wrong direction?

Response

Percent (n=1000)

Right direction

49.5%

Wrong direction

42.7%

Don’t know

7.8%

Quality of Life

Response

Percent (n=1000)

Excellent

15.3%

Good

37.1%

Average

31.3%

Not so good

10%

Poor

6.3%

Likelihood of Leaving State

Response

Percent (n=1000)

Likely

20.0%

Extremely likely

4.7%

Very likely

4.1%

Somewhat likely

11.2%

Not likely

79.3%

Not very likely

17.9%

Not at all likely

61.4%

Unsure/Other

0.7%

Desire to Leave State

Regardless of whether you will move, if you had the opportunity, would you like to move to another state, or would you rather remain in your current state?

Response

Percent (n=1000)

Yes, move

47.2%

No, remain

51.2%

Other/Don’t know

1.6%

Reason Intend/Want to Leave

And what is the main reason you intend to move, or would like to move?

Response

Percent (n=454)*

Taxes

26.9%

Weather

16.3%

Government

15.0%

Job/Education

12.7%

Family

5.9%

Cost of Living/Economy

5.7%

Crime

5.3%

Housing

3.0%

Refused/DK

1.9%

Health

1.1%

Other

6.1%

*Only asked of people likely or desiring to leave the state.

Desire to Leave Illinois by Age

image011
Almost 60 percent of people under the age of 35 would leave Illinois if they could, though two-thirds of people 66 and older would prefer to stay. Provided.

Source: Paul Simon Public Policy Institute

  Comments