I was looking at Census Bureau data recently on population change in metropolitan statistical areas from 2010 to 2019. Here is what I found about Chicago:
The data shows the Chicago MSA lost nearly 3,000 residents over the decade. This is something urbanists, demographers, and Chicago area leaders have been tracking and trying to explain.
The data above helps provides details on this population change. The net migration data shows the region gained nearly 200,000 residents via international migration. If you rank all of the MSAs over the decade, Chicago was #10 on the list of international migrants. Chicago continues to be an important center for immigrants (even as it lags behind New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Houston, Washington, Boston, Dallas, San Francisco, and Seattle).
This means that if the Chicago area had fewer international immigrants, it would have lost a lot more people. If international migration was more like San Diego or Tampa or Minneapolis, the region would have lost more than 50,000 people. While I suspect few in the Chicago region would like to lose any residents over a decade, the situation would be much worse without the city and region continuing to attract immigrants.
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