Chicago, Illinois Population 2021

2,679,080
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Chicago is a city located in Cook County Illinois. It is also the county seat of Cook County. With a 2020 population of 2,679,080, it is the largest city in Illinois and the 3rd largest city in the United States . Chicago is currently declining at a rate of -0.28% annually and its population has decreased by -0.61% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 2,695,600 in 2010. Chicago reached it's highest population of 3,620,960 in 1950. Spanning over 234 miles, Chicago has a population density of 11,783 people per square mile.

The average household income in Chicago is $90,713 with a poverty rate of 18.39%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $1,112 per month, and the median house value is $258,000. The median age in Chicago is 34.6 years, 33.9 years for males, and 35.4 years for females.

The latest estimate for the population of Chicago, Illinois comes from the US Census Bureau. They confirmed that, in July 2011, there were 2,707,120 people living in the city of Chicago. The population has been estimated to be approximately 2,679,080, with slow growth and declines attributed to violence, tax increases and issues with schools.

This estimate is based on extrapolating the 2010 census data, which reported that the city was home to 2,695,598 people. The 2010 census showed a dramatic drop of almost 7% over the previous ten years, so if the Census Bureau's 2011 figures are correct, they would appear to show Chicago tentatively entering a new period of growth.

The 2016 estimated population of 2.7 million makes Chicago the third largest city in the United States, behind New York City (8.55 million) and Los Angeles (3.97 million). Chicago is by far the largest city in Illinois, with the next largest city, Aurora, being under 200,000 people.

Population of the Chicago Metropolitan Area

Today, Chicago the city makes up only just over a quarter of the wider Chicago-Joliet-Naperville Metropolitan Area's population. According to data from the 2010 census, the CJN Metro Area is home to an impressive 9,504,753 people. In 2016, this number is estimated to be around 9,554,598. Like the city of Chicago, the CJN Metro Area is also the third largest in the US, behind New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island (20.18 million) and the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana (13.34 million) metro areas.

As the population of Chicago itself has gradually fallen, the population of its wider metro area has grown, representing both natural growth in those areas and a gradual move of the city's workforce into its suburbs. Like Chicago itself, the northern suburbs are relatively more affluent than its southern suburbs.

Chicago Diversity

The city's white population is found primarily in the Northern part of the city, and its black community in the Southern part of the city (as can be seen from this map, in which red dots represent Whites, blue dots represent Blacks and orange dots represent Hispanics.) The geographical distribution of race in Chicago is mostly a result of Chicago's historically racist housing allocation policy, which forced its black population into the cheaper Chicago South Side.

Looking back into historical data also shows some interesting trends – non-Hispanic whites made up 59% of the residents of Chicago in 1970, falling to just 31.7% in 2010 – which indicates that many of the people leaving the city over the past few decades for the suburbs have been from among its relatively more affluent white population.

Chicago Census 2010 - further reading

The best source for official data about Chicago from the 2010 census is, of course, the official census website. The census.gov Chicago quick facts page contains not only high-level data on Chicago's population, but also more detailed statistics on the average income in Chicago, the city's age distribution, its businesses, and other important facts.

You can also find some interesting data, including some useful Chicago population maps at the University of Chicago library website and a great news portal covering the 2010 census as it applied to the Windy City at the Chicago Tribune newspaper.

Finally, just as a word of caution to indicate that published statistics aren't always the final word, this article in the Chicago Tribune reports that Mayor Rahm Emanuel is challenging the results of the 2010 census. He believes that the census undercounted the city's population by around 200,000 people. Why is this so important to him? Because millions of dollars of federal subsidies, which are allocated based on relative population, are at stake.

Just around 200 settlers founded the town of Chicago in 1833, and almost immediately this small town on the US frontier became a boom town. Seven years later, the census came to town for the first time and recorded a healthy population of 4,000. Every ten years the census came, and almost every time it registered that the city's population had doubled or more. By the time the 1890 census rolled around, over a million people were living in Chicago, America's second largest city.

Growth, fueled by wave after wave of immigration; continued right up until 1950, where Chicago reached its highest ever population of 3,620,962.

Ever since then, Chicago has, like so many of America's grand cities, been in decline. Almost every census since 1960 has recorded a drop in population – sometimes as much as 10% in a decade – as the city's population gradually moves outwards to the more hospitable surrounding suburbs.

Chicago Demographics

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

  • White: 49.99%
  • Black or African American: 29.62%
  • Other race: 10.58%
  • Asian: 6.63%
  • Two or more races: 2.85%
  • Native American: 0.31%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.03%
The current population of Chicago, Illinois is 2,679,080 based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates. The US Census estimates the 2018 population at 2,701,420.The last official US Census in 2010 recorded the population at 2,695,600.

Chicago, Illinois Population 2021

2019 and 2020 population is estimated by projecting the raw 2018 numbers.

Year Population Growth Growth Rate
20219,407,300-25,620-0.27%
20209,432,920-25,620-0.27%
20199,458,540-25,620-0.27%
20189,484,160-29,950-0.32%
20179,514,110-19,550-0.21%
20169,533,660-18,890-0.20%
20159,552,550-7,880-0.08%
20149,560,43010,2400.11%
20139,550,19022,1000.23%
20129,528,09027,2200.29%
20119,500,87030,2400.32%
20109,470,6300.00%

Chicago Metro Area Population by Year

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White1,354,59049.99%
Black or African American802,46029.62%
Some Other Race286,55310.58%
Asian179,5306.63%
Two or More Races77,0902.85%
American Indian and Alaska Native8,4950.31%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander8160.03%
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Chicago Population by Race

Chicago Population Pyramid $2021

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Chicago Median Age

34.6


Total

33.9


Male

35.4


Female

Chicago Adults

There are 2,143,210 adults, (336,969 of whom are seniors) in Chicago.

Chicago Age Dependency

50

Age Dependency Ratio

18.7

Old Age Dependency Ratio

31.4

Child Dependency Ratio

Chicago Sex Ratio

Female

1,391,740

51.36%

Male

1,317,790

48.64%

Chicago Population by Age

Chicago Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

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Chicago Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married66.9%33.1%
All45%55%
Male44.1%55.9%
Female35.3%64.7%
Non Family33%67%

45.0%

Rate of Home Ownership

Chicago Households and Families

Type Count Average Size Owned
All1,066,8302.4845
Non Family500,0251.3133
Married349,8363.4466.9
Female162,9683.6835.3
Male54,0003.5944.1

3.42

Average Family Size

2.48

Average Household Size

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Chicago Households by Type

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Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade140,3977.49%
9th to 12th Grade138,5297.39%
High School Graduate422,42022.53%
Some College324,78917.32%
Associates Degree108,6455.79%
Bachelors Degree435,95923.25%
Graduate Degree304,28116.23%
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Chicago Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Chicago Educational Attainment by Race

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Race Total High School Bachelors
White709,486676,916452,072
Black538,072458,183115,097
Hispanic468,098320,34477,398
Other Race169,881105,36121,191
Asian133,391116,23980,643
2+ Races39,60935,76019,213
Native American6,0314,3751,452
Islander550454172

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 95.41%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among white people with a rate of 63.72%.

Chicago Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Average Male Female
Overall$43,327$47,776$39,740
Less Than 9th Grade$24,331$27,140$19,980
High School Graduate$27,879$31,340$23,933
Some College$34,269$40,754$30,217
Bachelors Degree$61,197$67,928$54,678
Graduate Degree$77,179$90,850$69,336

$43,327

Average Earnings

$47,776

Average Male

$39,740

Average Female

Chicago Earnings by Educational Attainment

Chicago Language by Age

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Chicago Language

63.98% of Chicago residents speak only English, while 36.02% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 24.12% of the population.

Chicago Language

Chicago Poverty by Race

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Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
Black784,065229,54529.28%
Hispanic771,534141,46218.34%
White879,69278,1668.89%
Other284,65855,83619.62%
Asian175,04331,37917.93%
Multiple75,71212,80016.91%
Native8,2971,79421.62%
Islander75422129.31%

18.39%

Overall Poverty Rate

16.45%

Male Poverty Rate

20.22%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Chicago

The race most likely to be in poverty in Chicago is Islander, with 29.31% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Chicago is White, with 8.89% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 2.99%. Among those working part-time, it was 21.07%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 32.21%.

Chicago Poverty

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Name Poverty
Less Than 9th Grade27.75%
High School19.73%
Some College15.45%
Bachelors or Greater6.28%

Chicago Poverty Rate by Education

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Rate Poverty
Female Unemployed42.32%
Male Unemployed34.34%
Female Employed8.94%
Male Employed6.21%

Chicago Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Chicago Income by Household Type

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Name Median Mean
Households$58,247$90,713
Families$69,363$107,921
Married Families$98,405$140,276
Non Families$45,180$68,691
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Income by Household Type

Chicago Marital Status

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Marriage Rates

35.5%

Overall Marriage Rate

37.4%

Male Marriage Rate

33.7%

Female Marriage Rate

Chicago Married by Age and Sex

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Chicago 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 35-44.

Chicago Marital Status by Race

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Chicago Marital Status

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67,539

Number of Veterans

62,092

Male Veterans

5,447

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam23,663
Second Gulf War11,359
First Gulf War10,628
Korea5,276
World War II2,656

Chicago Veterans by War

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Age Group Veterans
65 to 7418,439
75+16,387
35 to 5415,093
55 to 6411,633
18 to 345,987

Chicago Veterans by Age

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Name Veterans % of Total
White32,5262.93%
Black29,1824.73%
Hispanic8,3991.51%
Other Race2,1021.03%
2+ Races2,0654.27%
Asian1,3420.87%
Native American2563.66%
Islander6610.46%

Chicago Veterans by Race

Chicago Veterans by Education

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11.39%

Veteran Poverty Rate

29.45%

Veteran Disability Rate

Chicago Veterans by Education

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66.9%

Labor Force Participation

61.5%

Employment Rate

8.1%

Unemployment Rate

Chicago Employment by Age

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Chicago Employment by Race

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Chicago 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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59.19%

Born in Chicago

79.36%

Native Born

20.64%

Foreign Born

11.26%

Non Citizen

9.38%

Naturalized

Place of Birth

79.36% of Chicago residents were born in the United States, with 59.19% having been born in Illinois. 11.26% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.

Chicago Place of Birth

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
20212,679,080-7,450-0.28%
20202,686,530-7,450-0.28%
20192,693,980-7,440-0.28%
20182,701,420-9,650-0.36%
20172,711,070-5,650-0.21%
20162,716,720-7,620-0.28%
20152,724,340-2,730-0.10%
20142,727,0701,3400.05%
20132,725,7306,5900.24%
20122,719,14011,0300.41%
20112,708,11010,6300.39%
20102,697,480-198,540-0.71%
20002,896,020112,2900.40%
19902,783,730-221,340-0.76%
19803,005,070-364,290-1.14%
19703,369,360-181,040-0.52%
19603,550,400-70,560-0.20%
19503,620,960224,1500.64%
19403,396,81020,3700.06%
19303,376,440674,7402.25%
19202,701,700516,4202.14%
19102,185,280486,7002.55%
19001,698,580598,7304.44%
18901,099,850596,6658.13%
1880503,185204,2085.34%
1870298,977186,80510.30%
1860112,17282,20914.11%
185029,96325,49320.96%
18404,4700.00%

Chicago Population by Year