Chicago

Chicago Bleeds Population for Second Year in a Row

Time to call it a trend?

|

Deep dish pizza
Shinyshot / Dreamstime.com

For a second year in a row, the metropolitan Chicago area lost more residents than it gained. Not only that, the losses are increasing.

Those are the latest figures released from the U.S. Census. The greater Chicago area (not just the city, to be clear) lost 19,570 in 2016. The area saw a net loss of 11,324 people the previous year. Chicago is the only metropolis among the top 10 cities in America to lose population.

Given the massive dysfunction of the operations of the City of Chicago, it's easy to find something to blame or explain the losses that fits your pre-existing political attitudes and be absolutely correct. It's got serious violent crime problems and serious police abuse issues. Chicago and the state of Illinois force massive tax burdens onto its citizens and then direct that money both to powerful union and private sector crony interests. All of these various reasons have been blamed by citizens heading elsewhere. The Chicago Tribune has been asking them:

By most estimates, the Chicago area's population will continue to decline in the coming years. Over the past year, the Tribune surveyed dozens of former residents who've packed up in recent years and they cited a variety of reasons: high taxes, the state budget stalemate, crime, the unemployment rate and weather. Census data released Thursday suggests the root of the problem is in the city of Chicago and Cook County: The county in 2016 had the largest loss of any county nationwide, losing 21,324 residents.

Experts say the pattern goes beyond just the Chicago region. For the third consecutive year, Illinois lost more residents than any other state in 2016, losing 37,508 people, according to U.S. census data released in December.

Last year, a specialized study on the migration habits of wealthy people worldwide noted that Chicago was a massive outlier among American cities in that it was losing rich people. The report predicted that a notable outward migration of millionaires is a canary-in-a-coal-mine warning that others will soon follow suit. That seems to be the case now. The new report indicates that close to half of the people who left Cook County last year—more than 9,000 of them—were African American. Of course, some of those African-American folks are probably wealthy, too, but it's also very clear that these are people looking for economic opportunities that they aren't able to find in Cook County.

Another interesting detail gleaned from the report: Immigration to America declined, even in major cities, over the last decade. But most of these cities continued to grow due to population increases among native residents. That didn't happen to Chicago.

Reason has written extensively about Chicago's many problems, from its inability to rein in police misconduct, its inability to manage its public employee pensions in an economically sound fashion, its inability to stand up to teachers' unions demands even as they bankrupt the school system, even its tendency to cheat its citizens with corrupt, crony-driven red-light camera systems and revenue-driven plastic bag taxes. We have a special tag for stories about Chicago's municipal operations, and it's not to highlight how great they are. Read more Chicago-based Reason writing here.

Advertisement

NEXT: Crying Mom Arrested for Accidentally Leaving Baby in Parking Lot

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Last year, a specialized study on the migration habits of wealthy people worldwide noted that Chicago was a massive outlier among American cities in that it was losing rich people.

    Progressive success story!!

  2. I blame all the new Chicago Whatever shows on NBC.

  3. Scott you and the other article are making me hungry with the spaghetti and pizza pics

    Please stop!

    1. If it’s that thick, it’s bread with toppings or a pie, not a pizza.

      1. You poor delusional man

      2. A pie? Like a pizza pie?

  4. I don’t see what the problem is with Chicago. I mean, it’s entirely owned by the Democrats so where could the…oooh…wait. I think I see it now. Will the real Kwame Kilpatrick please stand up?

  5. Last year, a specialized study on the migration habits of wealthy people worldwide noted that Chicago was a massive outlier among American cities in that it was losing rich people.

    It has to be Chicago-specific, and my guess it is related to the violence, because New York has the police abuse and tax burdens, etc, and seemingly everyone and their mother wants to move there. I mean, people are moving in flocks and droves to places like Houston, and even to some degree Boston, and there are people from Boston in Boston and they still move to Boston!

    Also, I am not usually one to engage in pizza wars, but that picture looks disgusting. I’d rather have a square slice of Detroit-style – or brunch with DanO – than I would have a slice of that pizza in the picture.

    1. “Brunch with DanO” is the worst euphemism for masturbation yet.

    2. It has to be Chicago-specific, and my guess it is related to the violence, because New York has the police abuse and tax burdens, etc, and seemingly everyone and their mother wants to move there.

      I agree with this. There are lots of cities that have all of these structural problems and more, but it people don’t feel safe, they’ll leave.

      And Brunch with DanO was Citizen X’s nickname in grade school.

    3. What about ‘Quad City’ style pizza?

      Also, deep dish pizza is a work of art. Only a plebeian would find it disgusting. Good day, sir

    4. I don’t know where that pizza is from, but having grown up north of Chicago, and loving some Gino’s or Due’s when I can get it, I wouldn’t eat what is in that picture either…mostly due to whatever that green stuff is on top.

      1. I’m going to guess that pizza came from Lou Malnati’s or Gino’s

    5. The violence would explain the 9,000 African-Americans leaving as the violence is concentrated in the worst black neighborhoods.

      The rest of the people that leave are all former city employees who, once they retire, get the hell out to escape the outrageous property taxes that go to pay city employees. A retired Chicago cop, teacher, or fireman living in the city limits is as rare as hen’s teeth.

  6. Chicago is bleeding people out of its wherever.

  7. Ask yourself why a city exists, other than an accidental conglomeration of bodies. Does Chicago have anything going for it other than being a place to densely pack human beings into? The answer may suggest why people are leaving.

  8. RE: Chicago Bleeds Population for Second Year in a Row
    Time to call it a trend?

    “For a second year in a row, the metropolitan Chicago area lost more residents than it gained. Not only that, the losses are increasing.”

    What’s wrong with these people?
    Don’t they know Chicago is the new People’s Paradise of the Midwest?
    Don’t they know Chicago (and the People’s Republic of Illinois) is wise enough to tax the parasitic bourgeoisie out of existence?
    Don’t they know the wise and kind slave masters ruling over them are prudent enough to have the most onerous gun control laws in the USA so more innocent people can be killed by violent thugs?
    Don’t these people leaving know the State of Illinois is so deep in debt that at one time it didn’t pay their lottery winners their winnings?
    Don’t they know that through progressive ideas and ideals Chicago is quickly become the New Detroit?
    What’s wrong with these people who are leaving the Land of Lenin?
    Don’t they know they are a part of something new and wonderful in the midwest?
    How myopic can you get?

  9. They’ve all gone to cities with lower taxes, lower crime, and lower cost-of-living so they can shit all over the new place. The next city to go down the drain will be the one all the Chicagoans are moving to.

  10. So… what are your thoughts on Sicilian-style pizza?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.