The Peoria metro area’s population dropped by 3,437 people in a 12-month span according to figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. The figures were for July 2017 to July 2018.
The nonpartisan Illinois Policy Institute, in a news release outlining the census report, said every metropolitan area of the state had a population drop for the first time on record.
The Institute claimed people were moving from Illinois “to other states in search of better economic opportunities.”
Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis said a lot of the blame falls on state policy makers.
“We don’t like to see any decrease but the State of Illinois and a lot of the policies in Springfield are driving a lot of people out statewide and Peoria is not immune from that,” Ardis told 1470 and 100.3 WMBD. “No matter what city, Peoria or any other city in the state, is not going to be successful in bringing new jobs and new employers here if the state is enacting new laws that are driving them out.”