The downtown area of cities used to be the fastest-growing places. Not so much anymore. That's definitely true of 3 Illinois downtown areas that were just ranked among the fastest shrinking places in America.

Blame it on crime or just the general desire of residents to have a more sedate and quite place to live, but downtowns in Illinois aren't what they used to be in most places. There are 3 metros in the Land of Lincoln who were just named among the 40 fastest shrinking in America. Spoiler Alert - none of them were Chicago either. 

This interesting ranking from 24/7 Wall St measured data over a decade to determine which American cities had downtown areas with the biggest population loss. Three of them hail from Illinois.

#37 - Springfield, Illinois - net loss of population in downtown areas - 10.9%

#22 - Decatur, Illinois - net loss of population in downtown areas - 14.7%

#21 - Kankakee, Illinois - net loss of population in downtown areas - 14.9%

For reference, the American city with the biggest loss of people from their downtown area was Albany, Georgia with nearly 40% of the population leaving there. That is staggering.

Illinois is often tagged as the state with the biggest percentage of residents moving elsewhere. This is one of the first times I've seen this directed specifically at Illinois cities, especially those that aren't Chicago.

On the Missouri side of things, St. Joseph also came in the top 40 (or would that be last 40?) at #39 with a population loss downtown of just over 10%. Check out the full ranking to see what other American cities are losing their populations downtown.

Here are the Absolute 10 Best Hospitals in Illinois for 2024

Gallery Credit: Google Maps Street View

More From 100.9 The Eagle, The Tri-States' Classic Rock Station