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U.S. Census Bureau estimates Illinois lost 104,000 residents in a year; Missouri gained 8,000

Data showed that Illinois had 12.58 million residents as of July 1, and Missouri 6.18 million.
Empty commercial buildings in Belleville, Illinois.

ST. LOUIS — Illinois lost 104,437 residents during the year ended July 1, the third-worst performance among U.S. states, according to estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau Thursday. Missouri gained 8,134 residents, according to the estimates, the 22nd-best performance.

The Illinois Policy Institute, a free-market think tank, said Illinois continues to see a natural increase in population as births outpace deaths, "but by an increasingly narrow margin."

"It also is gaining residents from abroad," it said. "But so many people are moving out of Illinois to other states that the state’s total population is in decline."

The numbers again underscore the challenge that Illinois poses in the St. Louis metro's long-elusive quest for growth.

Metro East accounts for about one of every four St. Louis-area residents, but between 2010 and 2020 lost 20,903 residents, the Census Bureau said previously. That decline was worse than the 17,716 residents lost to the city of St. Louis, which is smaller but often front and center in conversations involving regional decline, including via a jobs plan released last year. Challenges facing the Metro East include high tax rates, said economic development experts and academicians.

The Census Bureau earlier this year said that between April 1, 2020, and July 1, 2021, the St. Louis metro's population fell 0.4%, from 2,820,253 in 2020 to the bureau’s estimate of 2,809,299 last year, a decrease of nearly 11,000 residents. Among peer cities, only Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Chicago fared worse.

The new data released Thursday focused only on state totals. It showed that Illinois had 12.58 million residents as of July 1, and Missouri 6.18 million. The estimates had Missouri as the 18th-largest state, and Illinois at No. 6. 

Read the full story on the St. Louis Business Journal website.

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