More minorities in the Chicago suburbs leads to new issues

The Chicago Tribune discusses some of the growth in minority population in the Chicago suburbs as well as the challenges this poses to these communities:

“Immigration is coming right to the suburbs because of jobs and because there are networks that have been established in the suburbs,” said Chicago-based demographer Rob Paral.

The greatest number of new suburbanites were Hispanics. More than 62,000 Latino residents settled in Will County, many in Aurora, Joliet and Bolingbrook.

Bolingbrook also saw its Asian population more than double, with a surge of Indian, Pakistani, Filipino and Chinese residents, village officials said. In Naperville, the black, Hispanic and Asian populations were each up by 70 percent or more, while the still much larger non-Hispanic white population dipped slightly…

“When you talk about the challenges of integration, part of the problem is that some of these communities were not built to sustain or increase by 150 percent, let alone by people whose language is from a different country,” said Sylvia Zaldivar-Sykes, executive director of the Lake County Community Foundation.

This will pose some interesting challenges to many suburban communities. Having new residents in the community might lead to reconsidering the characters of these suburbs: how will residents and other communities view themselves and other suburbs? New programs or services will require more money, something in short supply in our current era of suburban budget shortfalls. And in the long run, what will the white residents in these communities do – move to other suburbs, as many whites have done in the past, or stay within their changing communities?

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