The Park Place Economist


The state of Illinois has had one of the highest rates of outbound migration in America. This paper evaluates the impact of out-migration on the communities these people leave behind, in particular the financial hub of Chicago and the small city of Bloomington. These cities are compared to the growth city of Phoenix, whose population has exploded in this decade and is one of the most popular destinations for those migrating out of Chicago and Bloomington. Human capital theory suggests that highly educated people with high wage potential are more likely to migrate than less educated people. This paper uses the American Community Survey Census database to test the hypothesis that communities with outbound migration (Chicago and Bloomington) face increases in poverty and lower levels of educational attainment on average than the cities with inbound migration (Phoenix). This hypothesis is explored through difference-in-difference and OLS regression analysis of poverty, education, and standard of living variables.