BY MARWA ELTAGOURI
Chicago was alone among the nation’s 20 largest cities in losing population last year — and it lost nearly double the number of residents as the year before, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
It’s the city’s third consecutive year of population loss for Chicago. The city’s population fell by 8,638 residents from 2015 through 2016, to 2,704,958. The year before, it declined by 4,934.
The population of the greater Chicago area, defined by the Census Bureau as the city and suburbs extending into Wisconsin and Indiana, is also declining. Numbers made available in March showed a drop of 19,570 residents in 2016 — the biggest loss of any metropolitan area in the country.
Up in South
Illinois’ population fell by more than any other state’s in 2016, down 37,508 people, according to census data released in December.
Population in Southern states was up. The South in 2016 included 10 of the 15 fastest-growing large cities. The population of Texas continues to rise, and the Census Bureau listed five Texas cities as major cities with the largest population increases.
Chicago’s population drop is part of a larger pattern of slowed urban growth in 2016.
During the 2008 recession, families chose to stay in or move to core urban areas, and migration to the suburbs decelerated. Now, as families recover economically, they’re deciding it’s time to move back to the suburbs — a trend experts say may keep city populations steady for the next few years.