The city center now is growing faster than ever, having gained an estimated 42,423 people from 2010-15. But the population of the non-lakefront South Side is dropping even quicker, falling about 50,000 in the same period. The number of non-Hispanic whites, Asians and people of Hispanic descent is growing, but the number of non-Hispanic blacks is dropping.Also:
The new data come from the 2015 American Community Survey, which is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and was released last week.
The Census Bureau in 2012 reported this area grew faster in the first decade of the century than any downtown in the country, adding 48,000 people. But with an unprecedented construction wave underway, growth has hit the gas, with the area—roughly the Loop, plus the Near North, Near South and Near West sides—growing almost as much in five years as it did in the previous 10.The map above illustrates where the people are going or leaving. As you see the far south side has lost almost 50,000 people. The bottom number you see, I believe is long term population loss.
The area now is home to an estimated 238,259 residents. That's enough to make it the second largest city in Illinois, if it were counted by itself.
The population is also growing in the north section of the city—roughly the North and Northwest sides, plus the demographically similar area around the West Side Medical Center, the Southwest Side and the South Side lakefront—which Zotti puts together with a few inland neighborhoods that are close by public transit to well-paying downtown service jobs. Each of those lost considerable population between 2000 and 2010, but each now is gaining people.
So which specific neighborhoods on the south side are losing people:
But the city is still losing people in Austin and other neighborhoods west of the United Center. And the total number of residents inland from the lakefront, or Far South Side, continues the free-fall that began in the last decade. Total population there has gone from 526,750 to 476,903, ACS figures show.Now the challenge is to reverse these many trends.
That's a remarkable drop of nearly 10 percent—in just five years.
Among once-solidly middle-class, industrial African-American neighborhoods that are being hammered:
Overall, the population figures roughly track income data that I wrote about earlier this year, in which other demographers suggested Chicago is turning into three cities: one prosperous and growing, one vanishing, and the third treading water.
- Auburn Gresham, off 7,159 residents to an estimated 45,842.
- Englewood, down 6,911 people, to 26,121.
- West Englewood, down 6,552, to 32,156.
- Roseland, which lost 5,141 residents and is down to 42,305.
- Chatham, which has 31,359 residents after losing 3,664.