Does a “medium sized suburb” have 20,000 residents?

I recently saw a headline comparing a group of people to the population size of a suburb:

Photo by Ingo Joseph on

Nearly 20,000 Cook County residents holding revoked FOID cards — enough to populate a medium-sized suburb

More population comparisons from later in the story:

Arthur Jackson, first deputy chief of police for the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Department, told legislators over the years, 33,000 Cook County residents’ firearm owner’s identification cards have been revoked because of violent felony convictions, domestic violence charges or serious mental health issues.

That’s more than the entire population of Highland Park in Lake County.

Of that total, “nearly 20,000” have not turned in their cards — more than the population of north suburban Deerfield.

“Medium” is between “small” and “large.” The smallest suburbs can be just a few hundred or a few thousand people while the largest suburbs can have several hundred thousand residents. Is nearly 20,000 in the middle?

The comparisons to specific suburbs might be more helpful, particularly if people know something about Highland Park or Deerfield. They can picture these communities and then make the connection to the number of people with revoked FOID cards.

Other comparisons that might be better: the number of people in a basketball arena, the number of students at a college, the number of people at a concert.

I am not sure that a “medium-sized suburb” is clear enough to help people understand the number at question here.

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