* 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.
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.