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Chicago’s Latino population expands, black population plummets

Monday, Sep 18, 2017

* I didn’t get to this story last week

Hispanics are officially the second-largest ethnic or racial group in Chicago, based on Census data released Thursday.

Hispanics formed 29.7 percent of Chicago’s population in 2016, based on Census estimates. The population climbed 17,751 over the previous year to 803,476.

Meanwhile the black population dropped by more than 40,000 in one year. There are now 793,852 black Chicagoans, about 29.3 percent of the population.

Since 2000, Chicago’s black population has dropped by more than 250,000 people.

The largest racial group in Chicago is white residents. There are an estimated 882,354 white Chicagoans, about 32.6 percent of the population.

* Sun-Times

Alden Loury, director of research and evaluation at the Metropolitan Planning Council, cautioned that Census data includes “a healthy margin of error.” Experts had expected the Hispanic population to overtake the black population in Chicago, but not this soon, he said.

It’s the first time the Hispanic population has ranked second in the city, and it’s thought to be the first time in at least 50 years that the number of black residents has dipped below 800,000, according to Loury.

“The Latino community has been bolstered by healthy business development and growth, with strong economic centers in Little Village and elsewhere on the Southwest Side,” Loury said.

“We’ve seen nearly the exact opposite for the deeply segregated black neighborhoods on the South and West sides,” Loury said, adding that the city’s historically violent 2016 likely affected the plunging black population, which previously declined by more than 180,000 between 2000 and 2010.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Blue dog dem - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 2:42 pm:

    Do we have wny Latino Lt. Gov running mates yet?

  2. - Tone - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 2:48 pm:

    We have a latina Lt. Governor now.

  3. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 2:58 pm:

    It would seem the relatively small increase in Hispanic population is from natural birth rate, as thrughout the country there’s been a steady flow of reverse migration to Mexico for years.

  4. - MOON - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 3:00 pm:

    Does the Hispanic population count include only citizens or also illegals?

  5. - Real - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 3:05 pm:

    As a black person living in Chicago think these statistics are not accurate. In the city and many of the suburbs I come across more black people than hispanic people.

  6. - Iggy - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 3:11 pm:


    Chicago is also the most segregated city in America, that might have something to do with it lol.

  7. - Real - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 3:15 pm:

    Chicago is also the most segregated city in America, that might have something to do with it lol.

    As a Chicago resident this is common knowledge. This also does not stop a person from traveling throughout the city despite it being segregated. I stand by my previous remarks.

  8. - Jim 'e" - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 3:18 pm:

    Moon, I’m guessing people are people, so the numbers also includes the large number of illegal immigrants from Europe.

  9. - IllinoisBoi - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 3:20 pm:

    This phenomenon — a return of blacks to the South from other parts of the county — is sometimes called the “New Great Migration.” It’s been going on since 1965 and accelerating in recent years. Apparently, the people moving to the south are usually college-educated, middle-class, or retirees. See

  10. - Tone - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 3:23 pm:

    This is not surprising, other than it came a little quicker than projected.

    Chicago lost about 200,000 african americans from 2000-2010. And each census estimate from 2010-now have showed the same trend. Just look at CPS enrollment, hispanics outnumber blacks there now.

  11. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 3:39 pm:

    I cannot wait for the next redistricting and ward map

  12. - H-W - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 3:40 pm:

    When I first stared teaching in Illinois (Millikin University, 1995), I used to say Chicago was 40% white, 40% Black, and 20% Latino (just for ballpark purposes). Today, Chicago is 30% Black, 30% Latino, and 33% white. That is an amazing demographic transition in just two decades.

  13. - Grand Avenue - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 3:42 pm:

    Latinos would be 1/3 of the City Council if they didn’t vote for Blancos like Ed Burke, Mike Zalewski & Marty Quinn.

  14. - Amalia - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 3:46 pm:

    think these numbers are real. they represent total people, not just voting eligible….citizens. and in my experience driving around, this is reality. the west side is changing. yes, redistricting discussions will be messy at all levels.

  15. - pskila - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 3:47 pm:

    and a lot of them can’t vote…the waves and seasons of change are with the redistricting and mapping…old you gotta love the cesspool aka the Chicago political machine.

  16. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 4:04 pm:

    And, if you have to make some districts and wards majority minority because some minorities don’t vote a ruling a never understood, the white or I guess blanco politicians will fade away. Burke better get his kid elected sooner rather than later

  17. - LevivotedforJudy - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 4:08 pm:

    I’ve thought for a while that the next mayor of Chicago not named Emanuel would be Latino. Gonna go out on a limb now and say her name is Mendoza.

  18. - Irishpirate - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 4:18 pm:

    I thought 20-22K yearly loss of black residents was as bad as it would get. I was wrong.

    It’s even worse because the people moving out tend towards the folks in their 20’s and 30’s who have or will have kids.

    This along with a declining black birth rate explains the massive changes in the population in Chicago Public schools.

    If this continues until April 2020 the city will be slightly less than 25% black. There are now 18 black aldermen. Round 25% up and you get 13. It’s going to be an Old Testament fight as hispanics fight for more seats and the black pols fight to be last in the musiical chair contest.

  19. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 4:37 pm:

    Blacks are apparently figuring out it is safer to live somewhere other than Chicago.

    The daily reminders probably help that process.

  20. - rafa151 - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 4:41 pm:

    2016 Chgo Public Schools survey showed:
    African American: 37.7%
    Asian: 3.9%
    Asian/Pacific Islander (retired): 0.00%
    Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0.2%
    Hispanic: 46.5%
    Multi-Racial: 1.1%
    Native American/Alaskan: 0.2%
    White: 9.9%

    There are reasons why public school student population does not fully reflect the overall city population groups but these numbers give some info esp if you watch the trends.

  21. - Mr B. - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 5:28 pm:

    Article is totally true, from my standpoint. Blacks are migrating to suburbs, especially South Suburbs. Hispanics are edging into a few neighborhoods in Chicago including North Lawndale, Marquette Park and even West Engelwood. I am in real estate by the way. Hispanics are homebuyers and they are snapping up some of the cheap houses in these areas. Also, a few neighborhoods which were mainly African American are depopulating a bit - Engelwood comes to mind.

  22. - Grand Avenue - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 5:36 pm:

    I’ve been seeing new soccer fields open up in parks in black neighborhoods, so I think the City is reading the demographic tea leaves

  23. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 5:52 pm:

    Demolishing the public housing hi-rises, moving many of those residents out of the city through scattered site, almost certainly has played some role in the decline

  24. - Irishpirate - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 6:03 pm:

    The city was losing around 18k blacks a year. Then it jumped a bit to just over 20K. Now it’s at 40K. That’s a mindboggling jump in a short period.

    Only real significant change in the last few years had been the violence/homicide rate in black community. That has to be playing a huge role.

    Doesn’t mean there aren’t other factors.

    If you look at some areas around Marquette Park that went from white to black in the early 90’s they’re now slowly trending from black to Hispanic.

    The city council remap is going to be fun to watch.

    City is basically losing 5 percent of its black population every year. It makes the white flight of the 50’s-70’s look minor.

    Chicago has three things keeping us from losing population. Increasing Asian population centered around Chinatown and flowing down Archer Ave. Increasing Hispanic population mostly through relatively high birth rate and post college whites moving in.

    If Amazon moves here and I think they will the changes over the next two decades will be dramatic.

  25. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 18, 17 @ 10:31 pm:

    They always undrcount the whites in the city to give the blacks more alderpeople. Maybe next time we might get a GOOD Honest count.

  26. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Tuesday, Sep 19, 17 @ 7:26 am:

    “Hispanic” isn’t a race but an ethnic group based on language. So if you are white and Hispanic, or black and Hispanic, or Native American and Hispanic which is counted?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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