* Greg Hinz…
Chicago lost population for the third year in a row last year, the only one of the nation’s top 20 municipalities to hold that streak.
According to new estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau, the decline of 8,638 in the year ended June 30, 2016, was rather small, just 0.3 percent of the total population. But combined with other Census data, the figures suggest that while the city is adding Asians, Latinos and whites, African-Americans continue to depart in large numbers, perhaps propelled by better job prospects and safer communities elsewhere. […]
According to the new estimates, Cook County, too, has lost people for three years, and at a faster rate: down about 21,000, or 0.4 percent in the past year. DuPage, Lake and McHenry counties also saw their populations dip, as did Cook suburbs including Arlington Heights, Evanston, Schaumburg, Skokie and Tinley Park. […]
And cities on the edge of the metro area that saw strong population gains prior to the sub-prime mortgage recession have been able to regain just a fraction of their prior magic. For instance, Naperville, Joliet and Elgin in the last year saw gains of just 0.2 percent to 0.3 percent.
Chicago’s population plunge continues to be a result, mostly, of losing residents to other states. About 89,547 residents left Chicago and its surrounding suburbs for other states in 2016, a number that couldn’t be offset by new residents and births, according to an analysis of census data released in March. The number of people leaving the Chicago region is the highest since at least 1990.
More than any other city, Chicago has depended on Mexican immigrants to balance the slow growth of its native-born population. During the 1990s, immigration accounted for most of Chicago’s growth. After 2007, when Mexican-born populations began to fall across the nation’s major metropolitan areas, most cities managed to make up for the loss with the growth of their native populations. Chicago couldn’t.
The entire Midwest has been losing residents, census data show. Detroit lost 3,541 residents from 2015 to 2016, and Milwaukee lost 4,366. But job and business opportunities are still stronger in neighboring Midwestern states than in Illinois, sending more Chicagoans to other parts of the Midwest than vice versa, experts said.
The greatest number of Illinois residents in recent years went to Texas, followed by Florida, Indiana, California and Arizona, according to 2013 Internal Revenue Service migration data.
* Finger-pointing via DNAInfo Chicago…
Both Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office and Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office suggest political factors might be related to the population issues.
“Chicago’s population grew each of the first three years the mayor was in office, but since taking office the governor has driven uncertainty in every corner of the state, and Chicago has not been immune from the effects,” mayoral spokesman Grant Klinzman said. “The fact that the State of Illinois is leading the nation in population loss and the loss of college students is a direct result of a lack of leadership by Governor Rauner and the instability he has created.”
Eleni Demertzis, spokeswoman for Rauner, pointed to some factors specific to Chicago.
“Let’s review what’s happened in Chicago the past two years under Mayor Emanuel: The city’s property taxes and fees have skyrocketed; it has surging violence; and it has threatened to close schools due to decades of fiscal mismanagement,” she said.
So, the governor’s office finally admits that a top dog can make matters much worse over the course of two short years?
Not a good move.