Editorials

St. Clair County hit twice as hard by Illinois exodus

The news isn't good from new population estimates just released by the U.S. Census Bureau: We're even bigger losers than Illinois as a whole.

St. Clair County lost population at more than double the rate of Illinois during the past five years. In terms of actual bodies, St. Clair County waved "goodbye" to 4,277 folks for a loss of 1.6 percent of its population. The state lost a total of 88,380 by 2017 compared to five years earlier, or a 0.7 percent loss.

Madison County lost at the same rate as the state. Bond, Randolph and Washington counties all lost faster than the state at more than 2 percent each. Clinton County stayed roughly even, with a total loss of 113 people during the five years being offset by 49 new souls between 2016 and 2017.

The only place to grow was Monroe County. It added 637 people for a 2 percent growth in five years.

St. Clair County leaders should be alarmed. Instead of worrying about getting people to vote Democrat, they should be doing something to stop people from voting with their feet.

In case you don't think much about losing 4,277 people out of a total population of 262,479, think about the county's per capita income. We just saw $118.4 million walk out the door — that's $29 million more in five years than taxpayers dumped during 14 years into MidAmerica Airport.

No wonder your tax bills are climbing. Fewer suckers.

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