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Illinois' General Obligation Bond Rating Downgraded

With the August 29 S&P downgrade of Illinois’ general obligation debt rating, all three major rating agencies (S&P, Moody’s and Fitch) have given Illinois the lowest rating it has earned in more than a decade.

The chart below outlines historical comparisons. Interestingly, the last downgrade did not result from a change in economic or fiscal conditions but rather resulted from the lack of action on a particular fiscal problem: pension reform. This highlights the need for a credible plan to assure investors, businesses and taxpayers of the future fiscal stability of Illinois. The rating downgrade illustrates that Illinois’ problems result from political, rather than economic, weakness. -David Merriman


2012 data:, Standard and Poor's Brief History of US State Credit Ratings, July 2012; Moody's Investor Service; Fitch Ratings

2011 data:

2010 data:

2009 and earlier data: