Illinois is losing residents.
Common explanations for why include high taxes, unfriendly business policies or the state's growing pension debt.
An article from the watchdog group Better Government Association examines those claims. The BGA's senior editor, Bob Secter, says they distract from a deeper look at demographic trends.
He says outside of the Chicago area, population has been slowly shrinking.
"That is a trend that is replicated across the Midwest. Less populated rural areas, smaller cities outside the main metropolitan areas... are not doing well."
Meanwhile, Secter says the African-American population in Chicago has been dropping and there are fewer immigrants moving to the city.