The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Census Announces Population Figures, Probably Wrong Again

By vouchey in News on Apr 15, 2005 12:05PM

Chicagoist is one of those people who actually pours over census data in its spare time. As a result, we've come to view Chicago area population estimates with skepicism, such as those 2004 numbers announced yesterday. The big story is that once again, Cook County lost about 20,000 people, while the Collar Counties gained about 65,000 people.

We have no doubt that the Collars are growing that fast. Take a trip out to Elgin's new sub-divisions, and you'll believe 70,000 more people have moved to Kane County in the past five years. But a quick look at the graph we made of Census data from the past fourteen years shows a curious bump in Cook County numbers. That bump is the (surprise!) correction the Census made when they received hard counts from Chicago in 2000. While DC number crunchers had been expecting a steady drop of Chicagoans since 1990, when they got real numbers, they found an additional 96,000 people living in the city they hadn't been looking for. What the heck?

Anyone living in Chicago can tell you, lots of people are moving into the city, in lots of places. Not only is there tons of new residential construction downtown, but throughout the city -- and density is increasing. Vacated neighborhoods have turned a corner. Like Taylor Street near Western Ave. Or Kenwood.

Chicagoist will continue to bear the brunt of the Census' errors, and then in 2011, we will enjoy seeing the new correction, and yet another bump on the trend line. Population data geeks unite!