I’ve been a resident of Cook or DuPage county’s for most of my 47 plus years here in the Chicagoland area. In the city, Oak Park, Lisle Naperville several times, Bensenville and for the last 19 years here in Hinsdale. I’m a midwest guy with Ohio roots so I’m pretty comfy with all that comes with living here, but of late it has started to ware on my psychy. The weather, traffic, taxes and just the overall mismanagement of life here in Illinois is taking it’s toll. I’m not ready to hang it up yet and retire, but Susie and I have talked about moving somewhere warmer and more user friendly when we do stop working! The reason I mention any of this is it seems there are a lot of folks making the move elsewhere. Where does your road lead? New census data shows the Chicago area lost population for the fourth consecutive year, continuing a statewide trend of decline that could threaten future federal funding, economic prosperity and political representation for those left behind. The metro Chicago area lost an estimated 22,068 residents from 2017 to 2018, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released Thursday. While New York and Los Angeles also shrank, the Chicago region saw bigger decreases both in total numbers and in percent change; the area lost 0.23 percent of its population, more than twice New York’s 0.10 percent. As defined by the census, the Chicago metro area stretches from Cook County to its suburbs and includes parts of southeast Wisconsin and northwest Indiana. Despite the population decline, it is still home to nearly 9.5 million people, according to the latest estimates. Cook County, which includes the city of Chicago, declined in population for the fourth year in a row, with an estimated loss of 24,009 residents or 0.46 percent from the previous year. While Cook is still the second most populous county in the United States, after Los Angeles County, it’s on a downward trend unseen since the early 2000s, when the county’s population decreased by 144,220 over seven straight years before beginning to rise again. The Census Bureau’s estimates show the largest growth in metro areas was in the South and West, such as in the Dallas and Phoenix areas. Sunshine and lower taxes. That seems to be the biggest draw. So, You stayin’ or goin’?