Lots Of People Are Leaving Illinois–Here’s What They Miss Most

It’s no secret that Illinois is losing population at a pretty good clip, and that we lead the Midwest in something called “outbound migration,” which is just a fancy way of saying “residents heading for the exits.”

But what do former Illinoisans look back on fondly once they’ve relocated away from the Land of Lincoln? I’m sure that some who have left Illinois will say they don’t miss a thing. For others, it’s a different story entirely.

For me, living briefly out of state in the 80s, it was the central time zone. Seriously. I hated the 11:00pm news, and back then Monday Night Football started at 9pm eastern time, which pretty much sucked. Not a big thing, but I missed CST.

Not Surprisingly, People Who’ve Left Illinois Miss Things Like Certain Foods, And, If You Can Believe It, Cold And Snow

To do a little research on this post, I made a few phone calls to friends and former coworkers who called Illinois home at one point in their lives, to get their take on what they missed about Illinois.

Snow storms, snow shoveling, snowball fights.

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How could anyone miss this sort of winter adventure? (Getty Images)

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Yeah, it’s gotta be tough giving up fun like this. (Getty Images)

Portillo’s, deep dish pizza, and their Chicago-style hot dogs.

Illinois’ plentiful cornfields.

A front-row seat to the Bears-Packers rivalry.

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Less of this would be good. (Getty Images)

Illinois’ incredible displays of fall colors.

Along the Rock River, (Getty Images)

Along the Rock River, (Getty Images)

Starved Rock, (Getty Images)

Starved Rock, (Getty Images)

And finally, one of the best answers to the question about what people miss when they leave Illinois:

Mountains of sweet corn.

LOOK: Here are the 25 best places to live in Illinois

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Illinois using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from realtor.com.

On the list, there’s a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

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Changes to downtown Rockford in a little over 10 years.

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