If 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 rural counties are losing population or adding relatively few people, while Chicago and the collar counties are becoming more congested.
“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.”The report relies on Census reports not yet made public, interpreted by sworn Census agents (meaning people with security clearances whose public reports must be checked to protect confidentiality.) Overall, though, Illinois chased out 10,000 residents on net during 2014. The Census reports are insufficiently disaggregated to identify immigration, legal or illegal, in the population ticking the Hispanic ethnicity box during enumeration.
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.