Illinois loses title of 5th largest state to Pennsylvania

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CHICAGO — The population of Illinois is shrinking. The state is now the sixth largest, losing out to Pennsylvania.

According to the Census Bureau, Illinois lost 33,700 people between July 2016 and July 2017. It’s the worst drop of any state in the country.

Slow economic growth and declining birth rates are some of the contributing factors.

Rural counties and most downstate metro areas saw the most dramatic declines.

On the bright side, Illinois has seen an increased racial, ethnic and gender diversity in the state’s work-aged population.

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