Edge city Schaumburg sees growing minority population, declining white population

The Chicago suburb of Schaumburg has attracted attention in recent decades for being an edge city. The community, full of office parks as well as Woodfield Mall, was mentioned six times in the book that defined edge cities. New 2010 Census figures suggest Schaumburg reflects larger population trends in the suburbs:

U.S. Census figures for 2010 showed that while the overall population of Schaumburg dipped 1.5 percent in the last decade to 74,227, most minority groups grew and the white population decreased by nearly 12 percent.

“It’s good to have that kind of mix as far as population is concerned,” said Village President Al Larson. “That says that Schaumburg is a very attractive place to come to.”

The largest minority group is Asians that number 14,731, according to the census. That’s about 38 percent more than 10 years ago…

Schaumburg’s changes are happening elsewhere,  said Mike Maly, who chairs the Sociology Department at Roosevelt University. He’s studied census numbers and the changing demographics of the Chicago area.

“What’s happening in Schaumburg is part of a larger trend in suburban Cook County,” Maly said. Minority groups are moving out of the city, and into the suburbs. At the same time, the white population seems to be moving to the outskirts of the suburban area, he said.

So like many suburbs, Schaumburg is experiencing growth in the minority population. But it is also interesting to note that the Schaumburg’s total population declined and the white population dropped by over 11 percent. Some questions should emerge out of this:

1. What is the long-term future of Schaumburg? Declining population in a suburb is not particularly a good sign.

2. Where exactly is the white population going in the Chicago suburbs? If you look at the interactive map here, one might guess that the whites are moving to the outer edges of the Chicago region.

3. On one hand, it sounds good that more minorities are moving to the suburbs, particularly communities like Schaumburg. But if white residents are moving out of these places where minorities are moving, are the same issues of residential segregation simply going to be reproduced in the suburban landscape?

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