Illinois Population 2021

12,569,321
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The 2015 Census estimates put the population at 12,859,995, which was a decrease from the 2014 numbers. Illinois is one of only 7 states that has a negative growth rate in 2016. At -0.17% per year, it is ahead of only West Virginia. Between 2000 and 2010, the population of Illinois grew by a mere 3.3%, compared to the national average US population growth of 9.7%.

The 2018 population estimates Illinois is the sixth largest state in the USA based on population.

Illinois Surface Area and Population Density

The total area of Illinois is 57,914 square miles, with a population density of 230 people per square mile.

Most of the Illinois population is heavily concentrated in the North East of the state in the metropolitan area of Chicago. Chicago, which is home to 2,720,546 people, remains the largest city in Illinois. This city dwarfs the state's other cities, including the capital of the state. The next largest is Aurora, with 200,661 people.

This marks one of Illinois' defining features -- although it has a large urban population, it is spread through a number of smaller cities. Including Chicago, there are twelve cities (including the city of Springfield, the state's capital) with more than 75,000 people.

Many of these smaller cities make up a part of the Chicago Metropolitan Area (prosaically also known as Chicagoland), which holds between 8.3 and 9.8 million people, depending on how you classify its boundaries.

Cook County is the largest county in Illinois, housing 5,238,216 people. The next largest county is neighboring Dupage, with 933,736 people. Almost half of the Illinois population can be found in just those two counties.

Illinois Gender and Religion Statistics

The median age in Illinois is 37.4 years of age, with a slight gender difference over the state- 50.9% female and 49.1% male.

In religious terms, Illinois shows its preferences with a 71% preference for Christian based faiths, a 6% affiliation with non-Christian based faiths, and 22% of the population being unaffiliated with any particular religion.

Illinois Boundary, Census, and Statehood History

Illinois was included in the Northwest Territory established in 1787 and then in Indiana Territory (1800). Illinois Territory was established in 1809, and included virtually all of present-day Wisconsin and portions of Minnesota and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Illinois was admitted as a State on December 3, 1818 with essentially its present boundaries.

In 1790 the Northwest Territory had no census coverage. The population shown for 1800 is the total of two counties and one community in present-day Illinois, at that time part of Indiana Territory. Knox County, Indiana Territory, also included some population in what is now Illinois. In 1810, the returns for the two counties of Illinois Territory included some settlements in present-day Wisconsin. The northern part of the State was not fully covered by the census until 1830.

Illinois Demographics

According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Illinois was:

  • White: 71.53%
  • Black or African American: 14.20%
  • Other race: 5.93%
  • Asian: 5.47%
  • Two or more races: 2.57%
  • Native American: 0.26%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.04%

Illinois Population History

Illinois saw massive growth throughout the 19th century, from a measly 2,458 people in 1800 to nearly 5 million in 1900. This rise made Illinois the 3rd largest state by the turn of the century. Growth continued into the 20th century, albeit at a slower pace.

Illinois Population Growth

In Illinois' cities, population growth has stalled. Chicago was, for much of its early history, one of America's fastest growing cities. Between 1850 and 1930, the city grew by at least 25% each decade, and in some decades it doubled or even tripled in size. However, from the 1960s onwards, Chicago has been steadily shrinking and a city which was home to 3.5 million people in 1960 is home to just 2.7 million today.

Illinois Population Projections

If the current decline continues, Illinois will fall back to the 6th spot in state rankings at the 2020 Census, behind Pennsylvania.

Some estimates expect Illinois to see growth again by 2020, and possibly reach 13.1 million in 2020.

Based on data from the 2010 Census, Illinois has the 14th highest percentage of African Americans across all states. Based on 2011 data, the state also has the 5th highest Hispanic population in the country with over 2 million Hispanic residents, and the 10th highest percentage of Hispanics that account for its diverse total population.

In recent years, Illinois has seen significant declines in its white population, with numbers dropping from 83.5% of the total population in 1970 to 63.3% just 40 years later. According to 2011 data, almost 50% of the population under the age of 1 were minorities.

According to data from 2007, over 1.7 million people in Illinois were foreign-born. This represented, at the time, almost 14% of the population. Over 48% of Illinois' foreign-born inhabitants came from Latin America, while almost one-quarter of the total number came from Asia. It is estimated that over 58% of the total 1.7 million foreign-born inhabitants recorded were not US citizens.

Illinois Growth Rate

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Illinois Population Rank

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Illinois Population 2021

Illinois Facts

When looking at population growth of the state of Illinois by county, the data show that the majority of counties have seen population declines. However, there were still a handful of counties that saw small rates of growth, based on data taken from the 2010 Census and again during 2015 estimates taken by the US Census Bureau. During this 5-year period, Kendall County exhibited the most growth at a rate of 6.98%. Other counties that saw growth during this time period include Kane County at 2.86%, Champaign at 3.66%, and Monroe at 2.63%.

There were far more counties that experienced declines in population. This includes Alexander County, which by far had the biggest decline percentage at over 17%. Other counties with declining populations include Mason at 6.49%, Livingston at 5.66%, and Cass at 5.77%, among others.

Illinois Population Growth Rate by County

Illinois Population Density by County

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White9,134,90371.53%
Black or African American1,813,59014.20%
Some Other Race757,2315.93%
Asian698,5245.47%
Two or More Races328,4462.57%
American Indian and Alaska Native33,4600.26%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander4,4770.04%
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Illinois Population by Race

Illinois Population Pyramid $2021

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Illinois Median Age

38


Total

37


Male

39


Female

Illinois Adults

There are 9,879,105 adults, (1,942,534 of whom are seniors) in Illinois.

Illinois Age Dependency

61

Age Dependency Ratio

25

Old Age Dependency Ratio

36

Child Dependency Ratio

Illinois Sex Ratio

Female

6,498,459

50.89%

Male

6,272,172

49.11%

Illinois Population by Age

Illinois Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

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Illinois Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married83%17%
All66%34%
Male58%42%
Non Family51%49%
Female48%52%

66.0%

Rate of Home Ownership

Illinois Households and Families

Type Count Average Size Owned
All4,846,134366
Married2,295,456383
Non Family1,736,372151
Female591,628348
Male222,678358

3

Average Family Size

3

Average Household Size

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Illinois Households by Type

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Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade419,2594.83%
9th to 12th Grade517,7835.96%
High School Graduate2,254,52425.95%
Some College1,784,17520.54%
Associates Degree700,5338.06%
Bachelors Degree1,831,43821.08%
Graduate Degree1,178,58713.57%
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Illinois Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Illinois Educational Attainment by Race

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Race Total High School Bachelors
White5,706,9305,375,2792,214,175
Hispanic1,218,055824,178181,772
Black1,165,5131,008,393252,398
Asian492,177446,395319,207
Other Race431,849265,39544,767
2+ Races130,813117,34349,471
Native American22,29416,6864,295
Islander2,8502,496939

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 94.19%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 64.86%.

Illinois Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Average Male Female
Overall$43,390$51,881$35,689
Less Than 9th Grade$25,258$29,783$19,924
High School Graduate$31,625$39,315$25,055
Some College$38,395$48,471$30,836
Bachelors Degree$58,803$72,286$48,829
Graduate Degree$76,258$95,641$64,162

$43,390

Average Earnings

$51,881

Average Male

$35,689

Average Female

Illinois Earnings by Educational Attainment

Illinois Language by Age

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Illinois Language

76.84% of Illinois residents speak only English, while 23.16% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 13.51% of the population.

Illinois Language

Illinois Poverty by Race

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Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White7,665,980647,6328.45%
Black1,736,570453,27126.10%
Hispanic2,150,592345,19816.05%
Other751,579131,25017.46%
Asian685,04674,31410.85%
Multiple320,82551,18715.95%
Native32,4785,32716.40%
Islander4,33654712.62%

12.49%

Overall Poverty Rate

11.22%

Male Poverty Rate

13.70%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Illinois

The race most likely to be in poverty in Illinois is Black, with 26.10% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Illinois is White, with 8.45% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 2.30%. Among those working part-time, it was 15.03%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 20.91%.

Illinois Poverty

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Name Poverty
Less Than 9th Grade22.49%
High School12.96%
Some College9.58%
Bachelors or Greater4.20%

Illinois Poverty Rate by Education

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Rate Poverty
Female Unemployed34.88%
Male Unemployed28.76%
Female Employed6.97%
Male Employed4.54%

Illinois Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Illinois Income by Household Type

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Name Median Mean
Households$65,886$92,395
Families$83,279$110,401
Married Families$99,963$128,878
Non Families$39,188$56,939
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Income by Household Type

Illinois Marital Status

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Marriage Rates

48.0%

Overall Marriage Rate

49.0%

Male Marriage Rate

46.0%

Female Marriage Rate

Illinois Married by Age and Sex

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Illinois Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over 65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 45-54.

Illinois Marital Status by Race

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Illinois Marital Status

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570,264

Number of Veterans

530,302

Male Veterans

39,962

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam208,588
First Gulf War97,457
Second Gulf War88,921
Korea51,593
World War II23,658

Illinois Veterans by War

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Age Group Veterans
65 to 74161,876
75+148,301
35 to 54124,711
55 to 6490,662
18 to 3444,714

Illinois Veterans by Age

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Name Veterans % of Total
White472,3266.54%
Black74,2205.44%
Hispanic29,3662.00%
2+ Races8,9095.26%
Asian6,5831.18%
Other Race6,5821.26%
Native American1,4095.49%
Islander2356.90%

Illinois Veterans by Race

Illinois Veterans by Education

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6.78%

Veteran Poverty Rate

28.04%

Veteran Disability Rate

Illinois Veterans by Education

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65%

Labor Force Participation

61%

Employment Rate

6%

Unemployment Rate

Illinois Employment by Age

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Illinois Employment by Race

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Illinois Employment by Education

Origin of Non-Citizens

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Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

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67.08%

Born in Illinois

85.93%

Native Born

14.07%

Foreign Born

6.94%

Non Citizen

7.14%

Naturalized

Place of Birth

85.93% of Illinois residents were born in the United States, with 67.08% having been born in Illinois. 6.94% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.

Illinois Place of Birth

  1. US Census State Population Estimates - Most recent state estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  2. US Census County Population Estimates - Most recent county estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  3. American Community Survey (2009 - 2013)
  4. Census QuickFacts
  5. Historical Populations of States and Counties (1790 - 1990)

Sources