Explore the driving forces behind 27 Illinois counties’ move to break free from Chicago and Cook County. Economic aspirations, culture, and more – it’s a story worth following.

We’re Bruce and Karen Carlson. We recently moved to the Metro East area of Illinois. It’s a whole new world out there. Our goal with this website is to share our exploration of the Metro East area. As we find businesses and services we use in our daily lives, we’ll share how these businesses and services have helped make our lives better and easier to live.

We’re calling our move to the Metro East area retirement, but we’re not quite sure what that means. By sharing our story with you, we hope you too will gain a better sense of what the Metro East area has to offer and how their businesses and services can improve your lives and build a better community.

I was looking at current news items for the Metro East area I came across a note on Jersey County wanting to inquire about seceding from Illinois and moving to Missouri. Further digging revealed that this is not a new idea. Back in 2020 24 counties voted to explore the idea of moving into a new state and separating from the Chicago and Cook County influence. Three more counties were added after the November 2022 election.

Well, folks, let’s dive deeper into this story. It’s as big as the Prairie State itself! Imagine a land where 27 counties in Illinois decide they’ve had enough, and they’re ready to go their own way, separate from the Windy City and Cook County. Why, you ask? Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty reasons that have folks talking about this intriguing idea.

Let’s get to the meat and potatoes – the reasons why these 27 Illinois counties are contemplating a separation:

Main Points

Reasons for the Separation

Why am I writing this, you ask? Well, it’s like a good mystery novel unfolding right before our eyes. You will be drawn in because it touches on a fundamental American theme: local control and self-determination. And who doesn’t love a little drama and debate? This story has all the elements of a classic showdown, and it’s happening in the heartland of America. So, keeping with the crazy history of Illinois stay tuned, because this Illinois tango is just getting started!

### Local Control

Picture this: you live in a cozy county tucked away from the big city’s hustle and bustle. But here’s the rub – decisions that impact your daily life are being made in a concrete jungle miles away. It’s like someone trying to pick out your outfit without knowing your style. The folks in these Illinois counties feel that way, and they’re longing for more local control. They want decisions that align with their unique values and needs. This desire for autonomy, for shaping their own destiny, is a powerful motivator in the quest for separation.

Taxes, Taxes, Taxes

Now, let’s talk greenbacks. It’s no secret that Chicago and Cook County can have a rather hefty tax bill. Property taxes, sales taxes, you name it – they add up. Some residents in these counties believe they’d be better off with a lighter tax burden outside the city limits. Money talks, and in this case, it’s hollering for relief. Lower taxes might just be the golden ticket that leads these counties down the path of separation.

Economic Freedom

In the land of opportunity, economic freedom is a siren song that’s hard to resist. A number of folks argue that managing their economic destiny independently could spark prosperity in their communities. They envision businesses flourishing, new jobs springing up, and economic growth like they’ve never seen before. This vision of economic freedom is a powerful driving force behind the separation movement.

Cultural Divide

Culture matters and it’s not just about deep-dish pizza and blues music. There’s a palpable sense of cultural difference between urban Chicago and these rural or suburban counties. The traditions, values, and way of life in the counties can be markedly distinct. Some residents want to preserve their unique cultural identity and traditions without feeling overshadowed by the city’s urban buzz.

Infrastructure Concerns

What’s more frustrating than hitting potholes on your way to work every day? Residents in some of these counties argue that city-focused spending has left their infrastructure needs unmet. Whether it’s roads, bridges, or other essential services, they believe they’ve been getting the short end of the stick. Fixing these infrastructure concerns is a significant part of their argument for separation.

Political Representation

Ever felt like your voice gets lost in the crowd? Some residents in these counties do. They believe that by breaking away from the Windy City’s shadow, their voices could be heard louder and clearer. Smaller communities might offer them a more direct line to their elected officials, where their concerns won’t be drowned out by the clamor of urban politics.

I must say, this is one compelling saga! Each of these points paints a vivid picture of the motivations driving this movement. The reader will be drawn in because it’s not just about politics – it’s about identity, finances, and dreams of a brighter future. It’s like a storyline plucked from a novel, and it’s happening in the heart of America. So, buckle up, because this Illinois tale is far from over!


As we close the book on this chapter, the story of these 27 Illinois counties seeking separation from the bustling embrace of Chicago and Cook County is far from over. It’s a tale of local control, economic aspirations, cultural identity, infrastructure woes, and the quest for a stronger voice in the political arena. This isn’t just a geographical divide; it’s a reflection of the diverse tapestry that is America. The desire for autonomy is a powerful undercurrent in this story, and it keeps the flame of this debate burning bright. So, keep your eyes on the horizon, because the heartland of America is where the plot thickens, and the drama unfolds. The future remains uncertain, but one thing’s for sure – this is a story we’ll be watching with bated breath.

Final wrap up

I wanted to put a bit of a positive and light-hearted spin on the article overall. However, it is becoming clear that our state of Illinois and the country are becoming polarised. We are losing our sense of community and becoming surfdoms. Yes, we need people to have different points of view.

But we need to be able to share our thoughts and hear other’s thoughts. To find ways to see how the sharing of ideas between ourselves and others can find solutions to our challenges. This is the purpose of this article and website. To share what others are doing, to learn and think of other ways of seeing, and to build a community that can answer the problems we all face. To build a better world and provide opportunities for growth.

We hope you are enjoying these articles and are willing to continue to follow along as we share our adventures of learning about life in southern Illinois, This is an exciting area and we are so happy to be part of this area. Our lives are being fulfilled by the people we are meeting. Bruce & Karen.