Illinois, the Land of Lincoln, has its undeniable appeal. However, for many residents – particularly those in Chicago – the desire for lower costs, warmer weather, or simply a new adventure sparks the idea of relocation. If you're considering a move, you're not alone. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau highlights a consistent outward migration from Illinois in recent years.

With so many amazing states to choose from, how do you decide where to go? This comprehensive guide will delve into the factors that attract Illinois residents to new destinations. We'll analyze the cost of living, employment opportunities, climate, and quality of life. Additionally, we'll highlight how professional long-distance moving services can transform a potentially stressful relocation into a smooth and successful experience.

Top 15 States Attracting Illinois Residents: Where Are People Moving?

How Many People Leave Illinois Every Year?

Several states consistently rank high on the list of destinations for Illinois residents seeking a change of pace, highlighting the analysis of migration patterns of states people from Illinois are considering. Let’s explore some of the popular choices and what makes them appealing:

#1. Florida

The Sunshine State is a perennial favorite, particularly for retirees. Its year-round warmth, beautiful beaches, and endless outdoor activities are an irresistible draw. On top of that, Florida boasts a lower cost of living than Illinois and has no state income tax, making a relocation from Chicago to Miami especially tempting for those looking to boost their savings.

#2. Texas

The Lone Star State offers a unique blend of vibrant cities, wide-open spaces, and a thriving economy. With no state income tax and a lower cost of living compared to Illinois, Texas attracts Illinois residents seeking new opportunities and a change of scenery. Whether you're drawn to the tech hub of Austin, the bustling metropolis of Dallas, or the energetic city of Houston, consider exploring moving services for your relocation from Illinois to Texas.

#3. California

The Golden State, with its iconic coastline, diverse landscapes, and thriving tech industry, continues to be a magnet for those seeking the West Coast lifestyle. While the cost of living can be higher, especially if you choose to move to Los Angeles, California's abundant high-paying jobs and vibrant cultural scene make it a worthwhile trade-off for many.


#4. Arizona

Escape harsh winters and embrace Arizona's desert warmth! With breathtaking landscapes perfect for hiking and exploring, and bustling cities like Phoenix and Tucson offering a vibrant mix of urban living and outdoor adventures, it's no wonder Illinois residents flock here. Plus, Arizona's budget-friendliness compared to Illinois makes the transition even easier.

#5. Tennessee

Experience genuine southern hospitality, scenic landscapes, and affordable living in the Volunteer State. Tennessee's lack of state income tax and overall lower costs create an inviting environment for families and retirees. Immerse yourself in the legendary music scenes of Nashville and Memphis, savor mouthwatering cuisine, and enjoy the welcoming atmosphere that Tennessee is known for.

#6. Colorado

Trade skyscrapers for towering mountains! Colorado beckons Illinois residents who crave outdoor adventure, a thriving craft beer scene, and a vibrant lifestyle. While some areas have a higher cost of living than Illinois, the strong job market and exceptional quality of life make Colorado incredibly appealing.


#7. South Carolina

Embrace coastal charm, historic cities, and warm Southern hospitality in South Carolina – an affordable alternative to Illinois with a slower pace of life. Cities like Charleston and Greenville seamlessly blend rich history with modern amenities and cultural attractions.

#8. Indiana

Seeking familiarity with lower costs? Neighboring Indiana could be the perfect fit. It offers a comfortable Midwestern feel, a generally lower cost of living than Illinois, and a robust job market, especially in manufacturing and healthcare. Cities like Indianapolis and Fort Wayne provide a nice blend of urban living and cultural attractions.

#9. Georgia

The Peach State welcomes you with open arms, diverse landscapes, and an expanding economy. Georgia generally boasts lower living costs compared to Illinois, and the state's strong job market, particularly in bustling Atlanta, offers exciting opportunities. Ensure a smooth transition by exploring comprehensive moving services for your relocation to Georgia.

#10. Michigan

Experience the beauty of the Great Lakes and Michigan's four distinct seasons. With an abundance of outdoor activities, the state appeals to nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Michigan's recovering economy provides diverse job prospects across various industries.

#11. North Dakota

North Dakota might not be your first thought when leaving Illinois, but hear us out! It boasts a surprisingly low unemployment rate and a booming energy sector, offering ample job opportunities. Plus, the significantly lower cost of living compared to Illinois makes it a smart choice for those seeking a budget-friendly lifestyle.

#12. New York

The Empire State promises a dynamic, exhilarating lifestyle unlike anywhere else. While it's crucial to keep in mind the higher cost of living compared to Illinois (particularly for a move from Chicago to New York City), New York offers unparalleled possibilities: world-renowned cultural attractions, prestigious educational institutions, and a booming job market across a multitude of industries.

#13. Washington


Fall in love with Washington! The Evergreen State seamlessly blends breathtaking scenery – mountains, forests, and a spectacular coastline – with a high quality of life and robust economy. The Seattle area is a major technology and innovation hub, while other parts of the state offer a relaxed pace and endless opportunities for outdoor adventures.

#14. Virginia

Virginia delivers a perfect mix: rich history, diverse landscapes, and the perks of living near Washington, D.C. Enjoy a strong job market (especially in government and tech sectors) and a relatively lower cost of living compared to its Northeastern neighbors.

#15. Missouri

The Show-Me State strikes the right balance between affordability, vibrant cities, and a diverse economy. Missouri's lower cost of living compared to Illinois is a major draw. Major cities like St. Louis and Kansas City provide a range of cultural attractions, job opportunities, and an exciting environment.

7 Factors to Consider When Choosing a State to Move To

Choosing the ideal state for your move from Illinois involves a careful analysis of the factors that matter most to you. Let's dive into the crucial things to consider:

#1. Cost of Living

Your new state's cost of living will directly impact your budget and overall lifestyle. Thoroughly research the following crucial expenses in your potential destinations:

  • Housing: Investigate median home prices, rental rates, and property taxes. Factor in whether you plan to buy or rent, and whether your ideal type of housing is abundant and within your price range.
  • Transportation: Evaluate car-related costs (gas, insurance, upkeep), public transportation options and fares, and the ease and expense of your potential commutes.
  • Groceries and Daily Needs: Compare prices for groceries, utilities, and other everyday necessities. Think about how these costs align with your lifestyle and budget in your new home.
  • Healthcare: Research average health insurance premiums, typical medical costs, and the accessibility of healthcare providers in different states.

#2. Job Market

A strong job market in your field is critical for a successful move. Here's what to analyze:

  • Industry Growth: Investigate which industries are thriving (and which are struggling) in potential states. Areas with expanding economies and a growing need for your skills are the most promising.
  • Job Availability: Check the number of open positions in your profession in each state, as well as the level of competition for those jobs.
  • Salary Ranges: Compare typical salaries for your career path in different locations. Make sure your earning potential matches the cost of living and supports your financial goals.
  • Networking Opportunities: Research networking possibilities and the potential for career growth in states you're considering. Look into industry groups, events, and your ability to connect easily with others in your field.

#3. Climate

Climate is a major factor in how much you'll enjoy life in a new state. Carefully consider your preferences:

  • Temperature: Do you crave year-round warmth, distinct seasons, or something in between? Thoroughly research average temperatures and seasonal changes in each state you're considering.
  • Precipitation: Think about your tolerance for rain, snow, or other precipitation. Compare average rainfall and snowfall in different locations.
  • Sunshine: If lots of sunshine makes you happy, investigate the average number of sunny days per year in each potential state.
  • Extreme Weather: Be aware of risks like hurricanes, tornadoes, or blizzards in certain areas. Decide if you're comfortable with the potential for those events.

#4. Lifestyle Amenities

The things you love to do make a huge difference in where you love to live! Factor in these important aspects when comparing states:

  • Outdoor Recreation: If you're an outdoor enthusiast, research the abundance of parks, trails, lakes, rivers, and other natural areas in each state.
  • Cultural Attractions: Does a vibrant arts scene matter to you? Explore the museums, galleries, theaters, music venues, and historical sites in each potential location.
  • Entertainment and Dining: Get a sense of the restaurant, bar, nightlife, and entertainment scene in various cities or regions of a state.
  • Shopping: Consider the range of shopping experiences, from charming boutiques to major retail chains, to ensure you'll find what you need.

#5. Healthcare

Access to quality healthcare is crucial, especially if you have ongoing health needs or are approaching your senior years. Assess healthcare options in potential states by considering:

  • Quality of Healthcare Facilities: Research the rankings and reputations of hospitals, clinics, and specialists using reliable sources like the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program or U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings.
  • Availability of Healthcare Providers: Make sure there are enough primary care doctors, specialists, and other providers in your area. Check average appointment wait times to gauge how accessible care might be.
  • Health Insurance Options: Explore the range and affordability of health insurance plans in each state, including both employer-sponsored coverage and individual market choices.

#6. Taxes

Taxes can take a big bite out of your paycheck, so it's crucial to compare tax burdens in potential states. Pay attention to these key areas:

  • State Income Tax: Rates and brackets vary widely. Some states, like Florida and Texas, have no state income tax, offering a significant financial edge.
  • Sales Tax: This directly impacts the cost of everything you buy. Compare sales tax rates in states you're considering.
  • Property Taxes: A major factor for homeowners! Property tax rates can vary greatly between states and even between different towns within a state.
  • Other Taxes: Depending on your situation, be aware of potential estate taxes, inheritance taxes, or local taxes that might apply.

#7. Transportation

How easy it is to get around your new state will impact your daily life. Analyze these aspects of transportation in each potential location:

  • Public Transportation: Research the availability, affordability, and reliability of bus, train, subway, and light rail systems. Figure out if public transportation is a realistic option for your commute and other needs.
  • Traffic Congestion: Heavy traffic adds time and stress to your life! Investigate traffic patterns in specific cities and areas within your potential state. Consider alternative transport methods like biking or carpooling if traffic is a concern.
  • Road Infrastructure: How well-maintained are roads, highways, and bridges? Can you easily navigate within and between cities in the state?
  • Walkability and Bike-Friendliness: If walking or biking are important to you, look for cities and neighborhoods with sidewalks, bike lanes, and dedicated trails, making these activities safe and enjoyable.

Planning Your Move: How Alliance Moving & Storage Can Help

You've made the excitingdecision to leave Illinois – now let's make the moving process itself as stress-free as possible! That's where Alliance Moving & Storage comes in. We offer the expertise and services to make your relocation smooth and successful.

Here's how we'll simplify your move:

  • Long-Distance and Local Moving: Whether you're moving across town or across the country, our experienced movers will handle every detail of your relocation. We'll carefully pack, load, transport, and unload your belongings with the utmost care.
  • Packing Services: If packing feels overwhelming, our professional packers will expertly secure your possessions using top-quality materials, ensuring their protection during the move.
  • Storage Solutions: Need to temporarily store items during your transition? We offer secure, climate-controlled storage options to keep your belongings safe.
  • Moving Supplies: We've got you covered with boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, furniture pads, and anything else you'll need to streamline the packing process.
  • Expert Guidance: Our dedicated move coordinators are here to support you every step of the way. We offer advice, answer questions, and work diligently to ensure your move is as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Let Alliance Moving & Storage take care of the complex logistics of your move, so you can focus on the joy of starting fresh in your new home!

Embrace Your New Adventure! Let Alliance Moving & Storage Pave the Way

Leaving Illinois opens a world of possibilities! Whether you dream of sunny beaches, vibrant cities, or stunning mountain vistas, your perfect destination awaits. Do your research, follow your heart, and choose the state that calls to you.

When you're ready to embark on this exciting journey, Alliance Moving & Storage is your trusted partner. With meticulous planning, our expert movers, and a spirit of adventure, your move from Illinois will be the seamless start to the next amazing chapter of your life. Just get in touch with us and let's start!