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During its first century as a city, Chicago grew at a rate that ranked among the fastest growing in the world. Within the span of forty years, the city's population grew from slightly under 30,000 to over 1 million by 1890. By the close of the 19th century, Chicago was the fifth largest city in the world,[1] and the largest of the cities that did not exist at the dawn of the century. Within fifty years of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the population had tripled to over 3 million.[2] Within Chicago today, there are forty languages spoken by more than 1,000 people.

Contents

Population

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1840 4,470
1850 29,963 570.3%
1860 112,172 274.4%
1870 298,977 166.5%
1880 503,185 68.3%
1890 1,099,850 118.6%
1900 1,698,575 54.4%
1910 2,185,283 28.7%
1920 2,701,705 23.6%
1930 3,376,438 25.0%
1940 3,396,808 0.6%
1950 3,620,962 6.6%
1960 3,550,404 −1.9%
1970 3,366,957 −5.2%
1980 3,005,072 −10.7%
1990 2,783,726 −7.4%
2000 2,896,016 4.0%
Est. 2008 2,853,114 −1.5%
source: [3]

As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 2,896,016 people, 1,061,928 households, and 632,909 families residing within Chicago. More than half the population of the state of Illinois lives in the Chicago metropolitan area. The population density of the city itself was 12,750.3 people per square mile (4,923.0/km²), making it one of the nation's most densely populated cities. There were 1,152,868 housing units at an average density of 5,075.8 per square mile (1,959.8/km²). Of the 1,061,928 households, 28.9% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.1% were married couples living together, 18.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.4% were non-families. The median income for a household in the city was $38,625, and the median income for a family was $46,748. Males had a median income of $35,907 versus $30,536 for females. Below the poverty line are 19.6% of the population and 16.6% of the families.

The racial makeup of the city was 41.97% white, 36.77% black, 4.35% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.36% Native American, 13.58% from other races, and 2.92% from two or more races. 26.02% of the population were Hispanic of any race. 21.72% of the population was foreign born; of this, 56.29% came from Latin America, 23.13% from Europe, 17.96% from Asia and 2.62% from other parts of the world.[4] The 2007 community survey for the U.S. Census showed little variation.[2]. Chicago has the fifth highest foreign-born population in the country.

The main ethnic groups in Chicago include African, Irish, German, Italian, Mexican, English, Bulgarian, Greek, Chinese, Lithuanian, Polish, Romanian, Serbian, Swedish, Ukrainian, Dutch and Puerto Rican. Many of Chicago's politicians have come from this massive Irish population, including the current mayor, Richard M. Daley. Poles in Chicago constitute the largest ethnically Polish population outside of the Polish capital, Warsaw, making it one of the most important Polonia centers,[5] a fact that the city celebrates every Labor Day weekend at the Taste of Polonia Festival in Jefferson Park.[6] The Chicago Metropolitan area is also becoming a major center for Indian Americans and South Asian Americans. Chicago has the third largest South Asian American population in the country, after New York City and San Francisco.

Thematic map of black population centers. This is the largest non-white ethnic group in the city of Chicago.

While most of Chicago and its surrounding area are generally regarded as being somewhat racially segregated, Chicago's unique culture arises from it being a melting pot, with nearly even percentages of whites and African Americans as well as sizeable populations of Hispanics and Asians. The white, African American and Hispanic communities extend radially outward from the center of the city, one result of which is the heavily gerrymandered 4th congressional district.

From 1850, when Germans constituted one-sixth of Chicago's population, until the turn of the century, people of German descent constituted the largest ethnic group in the city, followed by Irish, Poles, and Swedes. In 1900, 470,000 Chicagoans—one out of every four residents—had either been born in Germany or had a parent born there. Although their numbers had dropped because of reduced emigration from Germany, World War I had made it unpopular to acknowledge one's German heritage, 22 percent of Chicago's population still did so in 1920.[7].One of the most distinct of these German groups were the Volga Germans, or ethnic Germans living along the Volga River in Russia where they largely clustered in Jefferson Park on the city's Northwest Side. Coming to the area mostly between the years 1907-1920, by 1930 450 families of Volga German families were living in this area, most of whom originated from Wiesenseite.[8]

Polish market in Chicago

Poles in Chicago constituted the largest ethnically Polish population outside of Warsaw before 1918 when Poland reemerged as an independent state, making it one of the most important Polonia centers today,[5], a fact that the city celebrates every Labor Day weekend at the Taste of Polonia Festival in Jefferson Park.[6] The Southwest Side is home to the largest concentration of Górals (Carpathian highlanders) outside of Europe; it is the location of the Polish Highlanders Alliance of North America. The city also has a large Assyrian population, numbering as many as 80,000[9] and is the location of the seat of the head of the Assyrian Church of the East, Mar Dinkha IV. Chicago also hosts the headquarters of the largest Lutheran body in the United States, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.[10] It has the second largest Mexican American population in the U.S. behind Los Angeles. The city is the home to a large Romanian American community with more than 100,000.[11]

The Chicago Metropolitan area is also becoming a major center for Indian Americans and South Asian Americans. Chicago has the third largest South Asian American population in the country, after New York City and San Francisco. The Devon Avenue corridor on Chicago's north side is an example of this, as it is one of the largest South Asian neighborhoods in North America. There are also around 185,000 Arabs in Chicago and with the majority located in the suburban parts of Cook County around Chicago. There are about 75,000 more Arabs who live in the five counties around Cook County including Lake, Kendall, Will, and DuPage. [3] [4]

As of the 2007 US Census American Community Survey the largest white ancestries were:[12]

1950 Ethnic Map of Chicago

Chicago also has a massive Irish American population, with many residing on its South Side. Many of the city’s politicians have come from this population, including current mayor Richard M. Daley. Historically, and to this day, there has been particularly substantial Irish American presence in Chicago's Fire and Police Departments. The Irish have been a fundamental part of the city for over 150 years. They laid the foundations for many of the city's Roman Catholic churches, schools and hospitals. To this day, the Irish are still very much active in the city's politics. One can notice the sheer size of the community on daily basis but especially on St. Patrick's Day.

Polish people in Chicago have been very prevalent from the city's early history and were influential in the economic and social development of Chicago. Today Poles in Chicago make up the largest ethnically Polish population of any city outside of Poland [13] making it one of the most important centers of Polonia, a fact that the city celebrates every Labor Day weekend at the Taste of Polonia Festival in Jefferson Park.[6] The Southwest Side is home to the largest concentration of Gorals (Carpathian highlanders) outside of Europe. The southwest side is also the location of the Polish Highlanders Alliance of North America. Many Polish churches are found in Chicago, built in the Polish Cathedral style of architecture, and can be seen from the Kennedy Expressway, other roadways, public transportation routes, as well as in the neighborhood street.

One of Chicago's largest white ethnic community are of German origin. When the Great Plains opened up for settlement in the 1830s and '40s, many German immigrants stopped in Chicago to earn some money before moving on to claim a homestead. Those with skills in demand in the city could — and often did — stay. From 1850, when Germans constituted one-sixth of Chicago's population, until the turn of the century, people of German descent constituted the largest ethnic group in the city, followed by Irish, Poles, and Swedes. In 1900, 470,000 Chicagoans — one out of every four residents — had either been born in Germany or had a parent born there. By 1920 their numbers had dropped because of reduced emigration from Germany but also because it had become unpopular to acknowledge a German heritage, although 22 percent of Chicago's population still did so.[14]

Chicago has one of the largest concentrations of Italian Americans in the US, with more than 500,000 living in the metropolitan area.[15] Chicago has the third largest Italian American population in the United States, behind only New York and Philadelphia. Chicago's Italian community has historically been based along the Taylor Street and Grand Avenue corridors on the West Side of the city, there are significant Italian populations scattered throughout the city and surrounding suburbs. While the best-known Chicagoan of Italian descent is probably still Al Capone, Italian Americans have contributed to Chicago's cultural, political, civic and economic scene.

Other prevalent European ethnic groups include the Czechs, and Ukrainians. At the turn of the 20th century, Chicago was the third-largest Czech city in the world, after Prague and Vienna.[16] There are approximately 14,000 Ukrainians living within the Chicago city limits[17]. There is a large African American population located mostly on Chicago’s South and West Sides. The Chicago metropolitan area has the third largest African American population, behind only New York City and Atlanta. Chicago has the largest population of Swedish Americans of any city in the U.S. with approximately 123,000. After the Great Chicago Fire, many Swedish carpenters helped to rebuild the city, which led to the saying "the Swedes built Chicago."[18] Swedish influence is evident in Andersonville on the far north side.

The city has a large population of Bulgarians (about 200,000+), Lithuanians,[19] Croats, Greeks and the second largest Serbian population of any city in the world.[20] Chicago has a large Romanian American community with more than 100,000,[21] as well as a large Assyrian population with about 80,000. The city is the seat of the head of the Assyrian Church of the East, Mar Dinkha IV, the Evangelical Covenant Church,[22] and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America headquarters.[10]

Chicago has the third-largest South Asian population in the United States, especially many Indians and Pakistanis who live in the city. The Devon Avenue corridor on the north side is one of the largest South Asian neighborhoods/markets in North America. Chicago has the second-largest Puerto Rican population in the continental United States,[23] after New York City, and the second largest Mexican population in the United States after Los Angeles.[24] There are about 185,000 Arabs in Cook County with another 75,000 in the five surrounding counties. Chicago is the center of the Palestinian and Jordanian immigrant communities in the United States.[25][26]

The city saw an increase of 20,606 people from July 1, 2007 to July 1, 2008 according to census data. This marks the second consecutive year of population increase, while still not yet returning to the official Census 2000 population level.

Households

Chicago Demographics
2000 Census Data Chicago Illinois US
Total population 2,896,016 12,419,293 281,421,906
Population, percent change, 1990 to 2000 +4.0% +8.6% +13.1%
Population density 12,750.3/mi² 223.4/mi² 79.6/mi²
Median household income (1999) $38,625 $46,590 $41,994
Per capita income (1999) $20,175 $23,104 $21,587
Bachelor's degree or higher 25.5% 26.1% 24.4%
Foreign born 21.7% 12.3% 11.1%
White 41.97% 73.5% 75.1%
Black 36.77% 15.1% 12.3%
Hispanic/Latino origin (of any race) 26.02% 12.3% 12.5%
Asian 4.35% 3.4% 3.6%

There are 1,061,928 households, of which 28.9% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.1% were married couples living together, 18.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.4% were non-families. Of all households, 32.6% are made up of individuals and 8.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.50.

Of the city population, 26.2% were under the age of 18, 11.2% were from 18 to 24, 33.4% are from 25 to 44, 18.9% from 45 to 64, and 10.3% 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 94.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $38,625, and the median income for a family was $42,724. Males had a median income of $35,907 versus $30,536 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,175. Below the poverty line were 19.6% of the population and 16.6% of the families. Of the total population, 28.1% of those under the age of 18 and 15.5% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

Population estimates in 2008 put the number of people in the city proper at 2,853,114, while suburban populations continue to grow, with estimates at 9,785,747 for the combined city and suburbs.

See also

References

  1. ^ Top 10 Cities of the Year 1900
  2. ^ "Chicago Growth 1850-1990: Maps by Dennis McClendon". University Illinois Chicago. http://tigger.uic.edu/depts/ahaa/imagebase/chimaps/mcclendon.html. Retrieved 2007-08-19.  
  3. ^ Gibson, Campbell (June 1998). Population of the 100 Largest Cities and Other Urban Places in the United States: 1790 to 1990. U.S. Bureau of the Census - Population Division.
  4. ^ Census 2000 Demographic Profile: Chicago
  5. ^ a b America the diverse - Chicago's Polish neighborhoods (5/15/2005) USA Weekend Magazine.
  6. ^ a b c America the diverse - Chicago’s Polish neighborhoods (5/15/2005)USA Weekend Magazine.
  7. ^ Germans
  8. ^ March 1995 issue of the Newsletter of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia "German Russians in Chicagoland"
  9. ^ http://www.jaas.org/edocs/v10n2/yoab2.pdf
  10. ^ a b Contact Us. ELCA.org.
  11. ^ About Us. Romanian Museum in Chicago at www.romanianmuseum.com.
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ List of cities in Poland
  14. ^ Germans
  15. ^ "Italians", Encyclopedia of Chicago.
  16. ^ Czechs and Bohemians
  17. ^ Ukrainians
  18. ^ Chicago Stories - Swedes in Chicago (2006). WTTW.com. Accessed June 5, 2006.
  19. ^ Cities Guide Chicago - A hard-knock life (2006). Economist.com.
  20. ^ Serbian Delegation (4/30/2004). WTCC Weekly News at www.wtcc.org.
  21. ^ About Us. Romanian Museum in Chicago at www.romanianmuseum.com.
  22. ^ www.covchurch.org.
  23. ^ Alternative Guide to Chicago, Humboldt Park, Office of Multicultural Student Affairs at the University of Chicago.
  24. ^ Mexican Hometown Associations, Xochitl Bada, PBS.
  25. ^ "Palestinians", Encyclopedia of Chicago.
  26. ^ "Little Arabia on Chicago’s Northwest Side", Ray Hanania.

External links

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