Report: Rockford ranks third in Midwest cities declining in population


Business Insider names the 20 Midwestern cities with the most out-migration, Rockford ranked number three.

According to Census Bureau data between 2010 and 2018, the Forest City lost 20,375 residents.

“We have our problems yes, but with violent crime being down this year, no raise in property taxes, I think we’re in the right direction,” said Rockford Alderman Tony Gasparini (D-2nd).

Nine of the 20 Midwest cities mentioned are in Illinois. Housing experts say the list shows it’s not just a Rockford issue but a statewide problem.

“When you have a growing pension problem, high property taxes, things like that,” said Rockford Area Realtors CEO Conor Brown. “You have people across the state that are kind of looking at other possible options.”

Despite Rockford’s mention on the list, residents believe there’s a lot the city has to offer.

“Our museums, just wonderful restaurants,” said Brown.

“Airport, the casino, downtown Rockford, the Northern corridor, 7th Street,” said Gasparini.

Gaspirini has lived in Rockford his entire life and believes it’s the perfect place for families.

“We have inexpensive houses,” said Gaspirini. “We have wonderful schools from district 205 to our private schools.”

In fact, Rockford Area Realtors say the average home is on the market for less than 30 days.

“We got a lot of people that are moving here for manufacturing, aerospace, distribution,” said Brown. “Medical has been a huge driver in our region. People are taking a hard look at Rockford as a their next home.”

Ohio was second to Illinois in out migration, with four cities appearing on the list.

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