Most of Illinois Cities Shrink in Latest U.S. Census Report


Chicago remains the nation’s third most populated city, but it was No. 2 in the total number of people leaving the city limits.

Population estimates of incorporated areas with more than 50,000 people were released by the U.S. Census this week. The data reveals towns in Texas and California saw big gains in people moving in. Georgetown, Texas, had the highest rate of growth of 14.4%. The nine fastest-growing cities were in the southern part of the country, six of them being in Texas.

National leader New York remains the most populated city, but lost 123,104 people in the most recent data. Chicago ranked third largest, but the Windy City came in second for the total number of people leaving at nearly 33,000.

“That’s exclusively driven by domestic outmigration, people choosing to leave the city of Chicago for other areas of the state or other states entirely most of the time,” Bryce Hill of Illinois Policy said.

Chicago isn’t the only Illinois city losing population.

“Eighty-five percent of communities in Illinois are shrinking,” Hill told The Center Square. “So of the state’s 1,296 incorporated places, 1,108 lost population from July 2021 to July 2022, leading to a total decline of 104,000 residents.”

Behind Chicago’s loss of nearly 33,000 people, Aurora lost 1,470. Cicero declined by 1,394. Evanston lost 1,142. Skokie and Palatine each lost around 1,000. Arlington Heights, Schaumburg, Berwyn and Des Plaines each lost more than 900 people. Rockford, Oak Lawn, Elgin, Peoria, Mount Prospect, Decatur and Oak Park each lost more than 800 people.

Hoffman Estates, Tinley Park and Waukegan each lost more than 700 people. Joliet lost 517. Orland Park, Springfield and Wheaton lost more than 400. Champaign lost 97.

Many Illinois Democrats who hold the majority of seats at the statehouse and in the Illinois congressional delegation have denied the state’s continued population decline despite repeated reports of the state losing tens of thousands of people nearly every year over the past decade.

U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Schaumburg, has demanded the Census revise Illinois’ population upwards.

“As I previously noted, those PES findings not only helped to dispel years of false narratives about Illinois’ purported decline driven by Census Bureau products but also raised serious questions for Illinois officials as to the reliability of the Census Bureau’s results more broadly,” he said in a letter to the U.S. Census in March.

U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Peoria, said his Democratic colleagues are wrong.

“The policies put in place by Illinois, high taxes, high crime, lack of a good business climate, continues to cause people to leave Illinois,” LaHood told The Center Square.

Illinois lost a congressional seat in the 2020 reapportionment following the Decennial Census showing a shrinking state.

Not all of Illinois shrank. The latest Census data shows Bloomington and Normal grew by about 33 combined people. Bolingbrook grew by 363. Naperville led the state’s incorporated areas over 50,000 with 483 more people. .

The Census data indicates the United States “remained a nation of small towns” with 60% of the country’s population living in towns smaller than 50,000.

***Courtesy of the Illinois Radio Network***

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