05/23/2013 02:21 pm ET Updated May 23, 2013

Chicago Population Growth: Census Data Shows Windy City Growing -- But More Slowly Than Other Hubs

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Chicago is on the slow climb when it comes to population growth according to new numbers released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Windy City's population rose about 10,000 between July 2011 and July 2012 to just over 2.7 million, making it the slowest growing of any other major U.S. city, according to the Associated Press.

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Though the city's population has been inching upward, it hasn't been fast enough to close the gap left by a massive loss of some 200,000 people from the previous decade. Demographer Ken Johnson of the University of New Hampshire told the Sun-Times Chicago's growth reflects a recession-driven trend of fewer people moving out of urban centers.

“The recession has frozen the population into place, so it can’t move,” Johnson said. “Places like Chicago or the inner suburbs which were losing so many migrants just aren’t losing them anymore at the same rate.”

Rockford and Waukegan were the only top 10 largest cities in Illinois to lose population.

Amalgamated Toronto overtook Chicago as North America's fourth-largest city by a few thousand bodies earlier this year (despite the fact that Chicago's actual metro area is more than 30 percent larger than Toronto's).

Chicago was the second-largest U.S. city for for the better part of the 20th century; Chicago overtook Philadelphia as of the 1890 census and remained the nation's second most populous until it fell behind Los Angeles in the 1990s.



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