Leaders Discuss Peoria's Shrinking Population - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Leaders Discuss Peoria's Shrinking Population

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PEORIA, Ill. (WEEK) -

Since its founding, Illinois population has increased. Until the 1970's the same was true with Peoria. At the 1970 census, the city was at its peak. Nearly 127,000 people called the River City home.

But that trend reversed in the 80's. Besides a slight bump in the 2000's, population in Peoria has been declining since then but local leaders like Mayor Jim Ardis say Peoria isn't the problem.


"Peoria's doing a lot of the right things to keep people here, the unfortunate side of it is is that we're still in the state of Illinois that has significant challenges," said Ardis. 

He says it's a state issue.

"What we have to do is keep our eye focused on stability here and also urge our representatives in Springfield to help get that budget under control, help business to understand what the plan is for getting us on the right track," said Ardis. 

State Senator Chuck Weaver says taxes are driving people away. And when people leave, they take a lot of revenue from Illinois.

"One of the biggest problems we have is when you look at outflow of people versus inflow of people in the state of Illinois, the average salary leaving is $77,000 the average salary coming is $57,000, so we're pushing business owners out of the state, very troubling," said Weaver. 

State Senator Dave Koehler says while a budget was passed, the state government needs to be more reliable.


"The state needs to be number one a stable and predictable force within this economy," said Koehler. 

The Census Bureau reports Peoria at around 115,000 people in 2010. 
As of 2017 the number is just under 113,000. 

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