CARBONDALE, Ill. (KWQC) – With the general election just four weeks away, a new poll asks people in Illinois if they would stay or if they would go. The poll conducted by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University found that 47 percent of respondents say they would like to move and 51 percent prefer to remain in the state. Less than 2 percent said they didn’t know. But, when asked if it was somewhat likely or likely they would leave the state in the coming year, nearly 80 percent said it was unlikely.
Taxes are the single biggest reason people want to leave, the weather is next, followed by government and jobs. Specifically, 27 percent cite taxes as the motive for departing, 16 percent say weather, 15 percent cite government and 13 percent name jobs and education.
“Not much can be done about the weather but policy makers can do something about perceptions of the quality of services, tax competitiveness, tax fairness and educational and job opportunities,” said David Yepsen, director of the institute.
People under 50 are much more likely to want to leave than the rest of the population. Fifty-seven percent of millennials (under 35) want to leave the state while 58 percent of those between 35 and 50 want to leave. Only 29 percent of adults over age 66 want to leave Illinois
The poll also found 84 percent of Illinois voters said the state was headed in the wrong direction while only 10 percent said it was on the right track. On a brighter note, there are 52 percent who say the quality of life in their area ranges from excellent to good.
The poll of 1000 registered voters was taken Sept. 27-Oct 5 and has a margin for error of 3.1 percentage points.
The survey was paid for with non-tax dollars from the Institute’s endowment fund. More can be found at simonpoll.org.