Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Why Cook County Dominates Illinois Politics

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

Downstate resentment of Cook County is at an all-time high. Gov. Pat Quinn was elected in 2010 by winning three counties and would have been elected even if he’d only won Cook. Last year, a state representative from Decatur proposed kicking Cook County out of Illinois and setting it up as its own state. 

Why do they hate us so? Probably because few counties dominate their states as thoroughly as Cook County dominates Illinois. We have 40.6 percent of Illinois’ residents. Only three other counties in the U.S. can match that. New Castle County, Del., and Providence County, RI, don’t really count, because they’re in homogenous states too small for regional rivalries. Delaware and Rhode Island are counties that declared themselves states. The only county that dominates a real state as thoroughly as Cook dominates Illinois is Maricopa County, Arizona.
 
Here’s how we compare to other urbanized states.
 
Illinois
Largest county: Cook 5,231,351
State population: 12,875,255
Percentage: 40.6
 
New York: 
Largest county: Kings 2,565,365
State population: 19,570,261
Percentage: 13.1
 
California:
Largest county: Los Angeles 9,818,605
State population: 38,041,430
Percentage: 25.8
 
Michigan:
Largest county: Wayne 1,820,584
State population: 9,883,360
Percentage: 18.4
 
Texas
Largest county: Harris 4,253,700
State population: 26,059,203
Percentage: 16.3
 
Georgia
Largest county: Fulton 977,773
State population: 9,919,945
Percentage: 9.9
 
Ohio
Largest county: Cuyahoga 1,280,122
State population: 11,544,225
Percentage: 11.1
 
Massachusetts
Largest county: Middlesex 1,503,085
State population: 6,646,144
Percentage: 22.6
 
Florida
Largest county: 2,496,435
State population: 19,317,568
Percentage: 12.9
 
Arizona
Largest county: Maricopa 3,817,117
State population: 6,553,255
Percentage: 58.2
 
Washington
Largest county: King 1,931,249
State population: 6,897,012
Percentage: 28
 

Related Topics Pat Quinn, Cook County, Haters
Leave Comments