Illinois’ political muscle withers with shrinking population

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — In the middle of the last century, Illinois was king of the nation’s middle. Chicago had 3.6 million residents, nearly double that of Los Angeles. Its influence on the national stage, politically and otherwise, was undeniable. But the U.S. Census last month revealed that during the past decade, Illinois lost population for the first time. Gov. J.B. Pritzker says the loss of 18,000 was less than anticipated. A Brookings Institution expert says Illinois has trouble keeping and attracting young people. Planning experts say Illinois must modernize its tax structure and build better jobs for young people to reverse the trend. 

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