Chicago Growth Is Flagging?

Background Reading


flickr: Nic McPhee Just another work day in Minneapolis

flickr: Nic McPhee
Just another work day in Minneapolis

This post is the second in a series of three. Read the other two.

We last looked at Census data that showed that of the top 20 most populated regions in the U.S., Chicago ranked 18th in population growth. From 2010 to 2013 it grew by just about 20,000 people annually, about 0.22 percent, substantially less than most peer regions across the country. That matters because if Chicagoland grew at the average rate of the top 20 metros, we’d gain, for example, $271 million in state and local tax revenues and $4.2 billion in personal income annually.


Anyone who knows folks (as do I) who have moved away to Minneapolis and later returned to Chicago (to their deep regret) is aware that Chicago has an ‘image problem‘. And at the top of the list is ‘gun violence‘.

The other big problem with this study is that the City of Chicago is indeed eight times larger than Minneapolis. So even if the same number of people are moving into each city in a given year the percentages look more favorable for Minneapolis.

If Chicago can indeed bring in larger numbers of high tech workers and do so without having to drastically raise property taxes it should be able to get its school system in order. But at present the one thing most glaringly wrong with Chicago is that it is losing families with children.

And that makes sense on several levels. If you are afraid of ‘gun violence‘ it follows that you are going to be worried about the safety of your children. And if the killing of Hydia Pendleton were not enough the fact that it took place in the neighborhood of the POTUS himself means that no one is safe. And that my friend outweighs all the ‘bike lanes‘ you could every possibly build.