Leaving Illinois for Alabama

By Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner:

When Paul Serwatka, the reform-oriented mayor of the small Village of Lakewood called it quits on Illinois more than a year ago, he and his family picked out the area of Huntsville, Alabama, for their new home.

“Alabama?” a couple of his Illinois neighbors asked. But Sertwatka isn’t alone in heading for Alabama. It’s attracting many Illinoisans because parts of the state are booming in jobs, investment and population. And it costs a lot less to live there. Serwatka says “we’re not looking back.”

More than 29,000 Illinoisans have moved to Alabama since 2010, according to U.S. Census data. In contrast, just 15,000 Alabamians moved to Illinois over that same time period.

Read more: Wirepoints