Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Illinois
The two major political parties claim that their policies will lead to better outcomes. What does the data show?
At Ballotpedia, we explored these issues in a three-part study, Who Runs the States.
This page takes a specific look at how Illinois performed in the study.
Background about the study
- See also: Ballotpedia: Who Runs the States
Part One examines the partisanship of state government from 1992-2013. Part Two establishes a State Quality of Life Index (SQLI), aggregating a variety of existing state indices into one measurement. Part Three will overlay the two reports, looking for trends and correlations.
Part 1: Partisanship analysis
From 1992 to 2013, there were Democratic governors in office for the first 11 years while there were Republican governors in office for the last 11 years. During the final 11 years of the study, Illinois was under Democratic trifectas.
Across the country, there were 493 years of Democratic governors (44.82%) and 586 years of Republican governors (53.27%) from 1992-2013.
Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
From 1992 to 2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Illinois State Senate for 12 years while the Republicans were the majority for 10 years.
Across the country, there were 541 Democratic and 517 Republican state senates from 1992 to 2013.
Illinois House of Representatives
From 1992 to 2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Illinois State House of Representatives for 20 years while the Republicans were the majority for 2 years. The Illinois State House of Representatives is one of 18 state Houses that was Democratic for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992 and 2013.
Across the country, there were 579 Democratic and 482 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992 to 2013.
Partisan control changes
There were four partisan control changes in Illinois during the study period, the same as the average number of changes in the 50 states.
Part 2: State Quality of Life Index (SQLI)
Illinois’s average ranking over the course of the study period was 19.05, which puts it at 19 in the overall SQLI ranking.
- The year that Illinois had the highest ranking was 1997, in which it ranked 5th.
- The year that Illinois had the lowest ranking was 2012, in which it ranked 42nd.
- The index type that Illinois had the highest ranking in was State Government Spending/GDP, in which it ranked 5th.
- The index type that Illinois had the lowest ranking in was 24/7 Wall Street’s Best and Worst Governed States, in which it ranked 48th.
|Illinois SQLI 1992-2012|
|24/7 Wall St Best/Worst Governed States||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||43||49||48|
|America's Health Rankings||31||32||35||34||34||33||29||27||30||31||31||30||29||27||23||28||29||29||29||30||30|
|Chief Executive Magazine Best and Worst States for Business Survey||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||17||8||40||42||45||45||48||48|
|CNBC Top States for Business||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||39||30||25||30||22||26|
|Forbes Best States for Business||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||44||40||35||24||37||41||38|
|Govt. Employment Share Population||8||7||7||11||11||9||9||9||7||6||8||6||6||6||8||7||7||7||8||8||8|
|Personal Income Per Capita||8||8||8||7||6||6||6||9||9||11||10||11||11||13||11||12||13||14||13||16||16|
|Real GDP per capita||12||11||10||10||10||9||10||11||12||10||11||11||12||13||13||13||13||14||17||16||N/A|
|S&P Credit Rating||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||22||21||20||18||17||20||21||24||49||49||49||49|
|State Govt. Spending/GDP||4||2||1||4||5||3||3||4||5||5||6||6||9||5||4||5||6||8||10||7||N/A|
|State & local tax burden||29||28||27||27||26||23||22||23||22||31||31||28||29||28||30||27||30||43||40||N/A||N/A|
|Tax Freedom Day||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||44|
|Unfunded Pension Liabilities per capita||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||49||49||49||N/A|
Part 3: Partisanship and SQLI Overlay
Illinois was one of eight states to demonstrate a dramatic partisan shift in the 22 years studied. A dramatic shift was defined by a movement of 40 percent or more toward one party over the course of the study period.
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Illinois state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. For a period of two years (1995 and 1996), Illinois had a Republican trifecta between two periods of divided government (1992-1995 and 1997-2002). Between 2003 and 2013, Illinois has had a Democratic trifecta. For four straight years, Illinois was in the top-10 in the SQLI ranking between 1997 and 2000 under divided government. Illinois slipped into the bottom-10 in the ranking in the year 2012 (41st) under a Democratic trifecta. The state had its most precipitous drop in the SQLI ranking between 2006 and 2007, dropping nine spots. Illinois had its biggest leap in the SQLI ranking between 1996 and 1997, rising eight spots in the ranking.
- SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 27.10
- SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 11.50
- SQLI average with divided government: 11.78
- Ballotpedia:Who runs the states
- Governor of Illinois
- Illinois State Senate
- Illinois House of Representatives
- Note: The average rank is compiled by adding up all years of rankings and then dividing by 21 to obtain the average state ranking. This average figure is ranked relative to the rest of the 49 states to derive an overall SQLI ranking.
State of Illinois
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | Comptroller | Auditor General | Superintendent of Education | Director of Insurance | Director of Agriculture | Director of Natural Resources | Director of Labor | Chairman of Commerce Commission |