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Reason Foundation

City of Chicago Population Declines as Its Region Decentralizes

Samuel Staley
February 18, 2011, 8:13am

The U.S. Bureau of the Census revealed a shocker for residents of the Windy City earlier this year: The city's population has fallen by almost 200,000 in the past year. The city has 2.7 million resident and the 2009 estimate was 2.85 million according to urbanist Aaron Renne over a Newgeography.com. Of course, the annual population estimates are just that, estimates, and the decennial numbers are far more accurate. Nevertheless, Chicago's population decline is still important.

Rather than focus on the decline, however, Renne makes several important observations:

Chicago is still an example of revitalizaton, and the redevelopment inside "The Loop" and downtown is something to herald. But, the point remains, even Chicago can't shake from global patterns of population decentralization as Bob Bruegmann, Joel Kotkin, Wendell Cox and others have observed.


Samuel Staley is Research Fellow


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