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Chicago Area Population Growth Lags Other Major Cities


Oh Chicago, why can’t you be more like Houston (pictured)? Of the 20 most populated metros in the US, the Texas town ranked No. 1 in population growth from 2010 to 2013, while Chicago was down in 18th place (with a growth rate of about 20,000 people annually) and its slow growth rate (.22%) is expected to continue over the next 15 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council writes. While we’re strong on small-business jobs, tech startups, top-tier talent (140,000 graduates/year) and No. 1 as a freight hub, Chicago could benefit hugely from a growth rate comparable to the top 20 metros’ average. We’d gain, yearly: 75,000 new residents, $4.2B of personal income and $271M in state and local tax funds, the MPC reports. How we get there: Cut down on the terrible commute times and traffic, improve access to public transit and offer opportunities for economic and social advancement to all, they say.