Half of Illinois Wants to Leave the State, Missourians Mostly Stay Put: Gallup

May 2, 2014 at 7:00 am
click to enlarge People are a lot less happy with their home state just across the river. - Loco Steve via Flickr, cropped
People are a lot less happy with their home state just across the river.

Half of Illinoisans and a third of Missourians want to move to a different state.

A recent Gallup poll asked Americans if they want to leave their home state. On average, 33 percent of people said they wanted to leave while 65 percent of people said they'd stay put. Missouri came in just above average: 34 percent of Missourians say they'd like to settle down elsewhere, and 65 percent say they're happy where they are.

But the real headline here is how much Illinois residents want to leave the Land of Lincoln. Illinois topped the Gallup ranking with 50 percent of people saying they'd like to leave and 49 percent saying they'd stay.

"Every state has at least some residents who are looking for greener pastures, but nowhere is the desire to move more prevalent than in Illinois and Connecticut," according to Gallup. Connecticut came in second to Illinois, with 49 percent of residents saying they'd like to move.

See also: 6 Questions (And Answers) About Illinois' New Same-Sex Marriage Law

The Gallup poll, which included at least 600 interviews with adults in each state during the second half of 2013, also asked the open-ended question, "What is the main reason you are planning or likely to move?"

In Illinois, 26 percent of people said they wanted to move for work or business reasons, 17 percent said they wanted to move because of the weather, and 15 percent named quality of life or a change as their motivating factor. Gallup didn't have the same information for Missouri because there were too few respondents saying they wanted to leave.

The study makes a distinction between wanting to leave and planning to leave. While most Illinois residents said they wanted to move out of state, only 12 percent said they were at all likely to go in the next year. Eighty percent said they were not too likely or not at all likely to move.

In Missouri, 87 percent of people said they weren't likely to move out in the next year. Twelve percent said they were likely to leave, just two percentage points below the national average.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at [email protected].