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It's the same old song when it comes to Illinois' population woes.

Population in the Land of Lincoln is declining from top to bottom.

U.S. Census Bureau numbers show declines in 86 of the state's 102 counties. That's an increase from 2017, when the population of 80 counties dropped.

Since 2010, population has declined in 93 of 102 counties.

Who's leaving and why? There's nothing new about the answer to that question either.

The predominant reason is that working-age residents (age 25-54) have concluded that there are better economic opportunities in other states, predominantly low-tax states like Texas.

After studying the census figures, the Illinois Policy Institute concluded that those leaving are better educated and have higher incomes than those they leave behind.

Illinois' current unemployment rate is a low 4.4 percent. It's been declining gradually as national unemployment figures have dropped to near-record lows.

But those who follow the economic news know, Illinois does not have a climate that encourages job creators either to relocate their companies to Illinois or expand their current operations in this state.

Two huge central Illinois employers — State Farm Insurance in Bloomington and Caterpillar in Peoria — have moved thousands of jobs to other states in the belief that they'll be more welcome in another environment.

In response to this problem, the state has done nothing but offer some special incentives to some employers rather than develop policies that would help all employers.

So, after a while, the people decide to go elsewhere. The numbers don't lie — that's why it's time for the state's elected officials to believe them and act accordingly.