So much for a Chicago exodus: City’s population growth beats expert predictions

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What that means wasn’t immediately clear. But a separate analysis prepared by political consultant and demographer Frank Calabrese found once-booming Aurora actually lost 17,000 residents, or 8.77 percent of the total, and slower-than-usual 1.97 percent growth in Joliet.

In Chicago, both current Mayor Lori Lightfoot and ex-Mayor Rahm Emanuel hailed the city’s growth as a positive development. It certainly is compared to the prior decade of 2000-2010, when the city lost 200,000 residents, or 6.9 percent of its total population.

But remember all of those stories a few years ago about a return-to-the-city trend all over the country?

That indeed happened, according to the new data, and Chicago joined in the trend as growth in Latino, Asian, mixed-race, and, to a lesser degree, white residents offset a Black exodus from the city. 

However, other big cities did better. And not just Sun Belt places such as Houston, Dallas and Phoenix. Mega-city peers Los Angeles and New York grew 7.7 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively. Even Philadelphia added more people faster than Chicago, growing 5.1 percent.

Some of that likely has to do with international immigration patterns. Other aspects undoubtedly involve socio-economic factors after a decade in which Chicago seemed to grow relatively more slowly, but also more richer. A city that as recently as 2000 had 9 Black residents for every person of Asian background now has a ratio of well under 4 to 1.

More data will be coming out soon – and all of it fodder for upcoming congressional and local reapportionments.  It’s going to take some time to determine exactly what’s happening here.

UPDATE—One other absolutely fascinating factoid, this from Chicago demographer Frank Calabrese: The county with the biggest population drop in the country by percentage was Illinois’ own downstate Alexander County, home of historic (and vanishing) Cairo. The county lost more than a third of its residents in the past decade, 2,298 people, or 36.4 percent.

via Crain’s Chicago Business

August 14, 2021 at 08:17AM

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