Chicago Shrink Wrap

Are there fewer people in Chicago? New census numbers say yes

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2011  |  Updated 8:17 AM CDT
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Does Chicago feel a little less dense lately?

That's because its population decreased in the past 10 years, according to 2010 census data released Tuesday. And the city's loss is the suburbs' gain.

Chicago's population decreased by nearly 7 percent since 2000, with 200,418 packing up and moving to "collar" counties beyond Cook County, which also saw a population drop. This is in stark contrast to the boost Chicago saw in the 1990s when 4 percent more residents moved to town.

Meanwhile, suburban areas became more diverse between 2000 and 2010, seeing a 65 percent growth in the Hispanic population in Kane County and a more than 50 percent boost in African-American communities in McHenry and DuPage counties.

Chicago's six-county area region grew nearly 3 percent to 8.3 million. Aurora now is the second-largest city in Illinois, beating out Rockford.

Chicago's decreased population could translate to fewer federal dollars distributed based in part on number of residents.

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