Nearly 30% of Illinois residents are packing their bags and leaving the Prairie State.  The reason why isn't what you think, trust me.

Times change as we get older, especially after you get married, start having families, and find cities that will better suit your financial stability.

I'm 26 years old, so I still have some time to figure out whether I want to stay here in Rockford or move away to a completely different state.

If you ask most people my age, they would probably say they want to up and leave for three reasons:

  1. because of high crime
  2. to move closer to family and friends
  3. they need a change of scenery

Read More: Top Reasons People Are Moving Out Of Illinois 

The reason I would finally move out of Rockford wouldn't be any of that.  I've had my fill of traveling when I was younger, have a career I love so much, and stay away from areas in town where crime seems to be an issue.

I'd move only if a job opportunity presented itself that was too good to turn down.  Luckily, I'm not the only person in Illinois who thinks this way.

Apparently, it doesn't take much to persuade residents to move to a different state.


30% Of Illinois Residents Move Away For A Reason That Doesn't Involve Crime

Job changes are the deal-breakers for a lot of us.

A significant salary increase, incredible benefits, and an environment where you can make so many more connections are all great reasons to relocate.

Clearly, Illinois doesn't offer enough for residents to stick around.  On top of the financial side of things, weather doesn't help either.

"11 percent of Americans reported having moved at least once in their lives to find better weather. And a lot of research shows that sun and warmth can indeed boost your mood." [theatlantic]

Related: People Leaving Illinois Move to This Florida City Most Often


Well... I think I changed my mind.  I would also move out of Illinois so I don't have to deal with harsh winters, black ice, and all the maintenance I'd have to put my car through to prepare for every season.

So, for anybody trash-talking Illinois because they think people are ONLY leaving because it's a "bad" state to live in, show them this and prove them wrong.

LOOK: Here are the 25 best places to live in Illinois

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Illinois using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

25 Worst Places to Live in the State of Illinois

Using real stats from the FBI and the Census' American Community Survey these are the worst places to live in Illinois

Gallery Credit: Sweet Lenny