Where Did All the Chicagoans Go?

March 28, 2011

The Census Bureau has released some new facts about Illinois and the 2010 Census, and some of the statistics are startling.

Let’s start with the Windy City, which is still the third largest city in the country, despite the fact that more than 200,000 Chicago residents have moved out over the last decade.

In fact, out of the 10 largest cities in the U.S., Chicago was the only one to have lost population since 2000 (-6.9 percent).

Not only that, but out of the top 10 largest counties, Cook County was the only one to have lost population over the last 10 years (-3.4 percent).

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On the other side of the Illinois coin, Kendall County was the fast-growing county in the country after a 110 percent population boost from 2000 to 2010. Only one other county in the nation doubled in size between censuses.

Will County’s Plainfield more than tripled in size and was the sixth fastest-growing city in the U.S.

In Aurora, 54,909 moved to town, the most of any Illinois city. Aurora’s population of 197,899 was enough to unseat Rockford as the state’s second-largest city.

Aurora’s 38.4 percent growth spurt was impressive, but Joliet’s 38.8 percent increase was the highest pace in the state and enough for it to replace Naperville as Illinois’ fourth-largest city.

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While Chicago is losing residents, Illinois’ smallest town gained enough in population to lose its title.

The small town of Kaskaskia experienced a 55 percent population growth from 2000 to 2010.

In real numbers, the population increased from nine to 14 residents.

Valley City, however, fell from 14 to 13 residents over the last decade and is now Illinois’ smallest town, a distinction it held after the 1990 Census as well.

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The top 10 largest cities in the country with populations over 1 million, according to the 2010 Census Report:

1. New York 8,175,133

2. Los Angeles 3,792,621

3. Chicago 2,695,598

4. Houston 2,099,451

5. Philadelphia 1,526,006

6. Phoenix 1,445,632

7. San Antonio 1,327,407

8. San Diego 1,307,402

9. Dallas 1,197,816

10. San Jose 945,942

For more information on all the numbers, visit

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