Skip navigation

You say goodbye, I say Hello

Without growth among Hispanics, Illinois population would have plunged 80,000 from 2010 to 2014 July 21, 2015

NIU Newsroom

HispanicIf not for the steady growth of the Hispanic sector from 2010 to 2014, the population of Illinois would have plummeted by nearly 80,000 people, says a Northern Illinois University researcher who examines U.S. census data.

The NIU Center for Governmental Studies receives embargoed U.S. Census Bureau reports several times each year as one of three coordinating agencies of the State Data Center Network. While the latest report focused on counties, NIU researchers are able to extrapolate that data to draw statewide, regional and even national conclusions.

“The face of ethnicity in Illinois is rapidly changing,” NIU researcher Sherrie Taylor says. “As whites and blacks are leaving the state, Hispanics are moving in and being born at a rate that not only replaces, but exceeds, those losses in many counties.”

Numbers in Cook County demonstrate the changes afoot.

From 2013 to 2014, the total population of Cook was essentially unchanged, dropping by a miniscule 179 people. However, if 12,740 Hispanics had not moved into the county, the population would have tumbled by 13,000.

In Chicago’s collar counties, the numbers were smaller, but the scale of the change was much greater. In Lake County and DuPage counties, for every white that left the counties, two Hispanics moved in or were born. Statewide last year, 89 of 102 counties benefited from Hispanics moving in to replace those who are leaving.

Other findings for 2013-2014:

  • Whites are moving out of Illinois. More than 33,000 whites left the state. Cook County (-3,384), Winnebago County (-2,614) and DuPage County (-2,590) saw the largest declines in white population. Only 10 counties showed gains in that category, with Kane and Kendall County growing the most with 1,666 and 1,039 new white residents, respectively.
  • Blacks are also moving out of Illinois. Among blacks, there was a net population decline of 4,200, making them the second-largest group departing the state. Cook County alone lost 9,000 African-Americans, about half of whom left the state while the rest relocated to other Illinois counties. (Note: Hispanics are classified as an ethnicity – not a race – and their numbers cut across many racial groups including, but not limited to, white, black and Asian.)
  • Asians are moving into Illinois. In the year studied, 18,200 Asians moved into the state. In several counties, including DuPage, Will and Lake, Asians were the second-fastest growing ethnic group.
  • More minorities among the young. Minorities comprise at least 40 percent of the population for residents ages 40 and younger. Among those ages 5 to 9, minorities account for 49.3 percent of the population (the largest percentage of any age group) but only 16 percent of those 85 or older (the lowest percentage of any age group).

Overall, the latest U.S. Census Bureau data shows Illinois had nearly 10,000 fewer residents in 2014 than in the previous year – the largest numerical decline of any state in the nation and the first statewide population dip since the mid-1980s.

Tom Parisi, NIU Media and Public Relations

CGS Contact

Center for Governmental Studies

Northern Illinois University
148 North 3rd Street
DeKalb, Illinois 60115-2828

Phone: 815-753-1907
Fax:  815-753-7278