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Old Posted Aug 6, 2019, 7:39 PM
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Chicago: a tale of seven cities

an interesting piece on current demographic trends in Chicago from the Sun-Times.

the biggest things to note are the large population swings in the northside and the south lakefront so far this decade compared to 2000 - 2010.


Quote:
Chicago: a tale of seven cities
Of those distinct parts of the city, five are on the way up, one is treading water, and one remains in steep decline. That’s a big change since 2010.






1. Central Area
The booming core — neighborhoods within two miles of City Hall — has been Chicago’s chief magnet for new residents for more than two decades. Its population has grown by almost 100,000 since 2000 and today almost certainly exceeds 250,000.

Chicago had the fastest-growing downtown population of any U.S. city between 2000 and 2010, according to the Census Bureau. Given the accelerated growth rate since then, it’s reasonable to think the same will be true this current decade.


2. North Side
This vast area is home to nearly 1.2 million people. With the central area, it accounts for more than half the city’s population and most of its wealthy neighborhoods.

The North Side’s affluence has spread to the Near West Side, making the two indistinguishable in terms of income, property values and such. So I’ve lumped them together here.

You can head west from the Loop today and see signs of revival as far as Western Avenue, even Kedzie Avenue in some places. Twenty years ago, who’d have thought it?


3. Far West Side
The population of this predominantly African American area plummeted between 2000 and 2010, but the loss since then has slowed. Black people continue to depart in significant numbers, but they’ve been replaced to an extent by Hispanics.


4. Southwest Side
This area remains below the county’s median for income, property values and educational attainment but is seeing growth in population and households, again due to an influx of Hispanics.


5. Far Southwest Side
These communities on the edge of the city — including Beverly, Morgan Park and Mount Greenwood — have been stable for years and remain so. The hilly terrain and quality housing in parts of the area are part of the appeal.


6. Far South Side
The Far South Side lost nearly 100,000 people between 2000 and 2010 and is on track to lose another 80,000 by the end of this decade. The continuing decline offsets gains elsewhere in the city and explains why Chicago’s population has fallen the past few years.

This area has some of the city’s oldest middle-class, black neighborhoods, including Chatham and Auburn-Gresham. All have been losing population in the wake of the community’s overall deterioration.


7. South Lakefront
This could be the most interesting part of the city. For decades, the south lakefront was in free fall, losing thousands of dwellings and tens of thousands of people. Huge tracts are now vacant.

Since 2010, though, the area has started to grow — again in part due to the expansion of the Asian community beyond its base in Chinatown, coupled with the slowing departure of African Americans. Even now, streets like Drexel Boulevard, once among the most elegant in the city, retain a good deal of their former charm. New residential construction, halted by the recession, is resuming.
full article: https://chicago.suntimes.com/columni...ity-crossroads
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Old Posted Aug 6, 2019, 8:22 PM
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Why is the Far West side separated into two sections and one part not simply a part of SW side?
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Old Posted Aug 6, 2019, 8:24 PM
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Probably because the West Side is almost entirely black and pretty bombed-out, while the SW side is overwhelmingly Mexican and quite vibrant.

You cross railroad tracks in Little Village and it's a dramatic change.
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Old Posted Aug 6, 2019, 8:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JManc View Post
Why is the Far West side separated into two sections and one part not simply a part of SW side?
do you mean the Far Southwest Side?

Ed probably segregated them out and placed them together because they are whiter, wealthier, and more "cops & firemen"* than the more working class areas they are immediately adjacent to.



(*) the city of chicago has a residency requirement for all city workers, and many of these folks flock to the very extreme edges of the northwest and southwest sides.
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Old Posted Aug 6, 2019, 8:27 PM
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Why is the Far West side separated into two sections and one part not simply a part of SW side?
I-294 is a barrier that keeps the density and demographics different in these two areas. More black residents on the west side, Hispanic residents on the southwest side. Near Southwest side is much denser plus feels more a part of the city than the far southwest side, which is more leafy residential.

City-proper Chicago is 227.34 square land miles and most of that land is on what's considered the "south side" generally, lots of different neighborhoods in that area.
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Old Posted Aug 6, 2019, 8:30 PM
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Originally Posted by JManc View Post
Why is the Far West side separated into two sections and one part not simply a part of SW side?
Likely because this isn't entirely about geographics, but about parts of the city that have different demographic/economic forces in effect.

So one neighborhood could be gentrifying while another neighborhood 6 blocks away could be experiencing gang violence.

The author is trying to separate Chicago into 7 cities that are experiencing different realities, with only loosely defined geographies.
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Old Posted Aug 6, 2019, 8:31 PM
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I-294 is a barrier that keeps the density and demographics different in these two areas.
huh? the tri-state doesn't go through any part of the city of chicago.

well except for that tiny one-block wide strip of land along foster that connects ohare to the city.
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Old Posted Aug 6, 2019, 8:33 PM
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huh? The tri-state doesn't go through anby part of the city of chicago.

Well except that tiny one-block wide swath along foster that connects ohare to the city.
290*
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Old Posted Aug 6, 2019, 8:36 PM
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Yes, Far Southwest Side.
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Old Posted Aug 6, 2019, 8:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Handro View Post
290*
but Jmanc misspoke, he was not asking why the far west and southwest sides are separate. he was asking why the far SOUTHWEST side was made up of two non-contiguous parts.

as i said earlier, the answer is likely demographics.



besides, the ike doesn't separate the far west side from the southwest side on that map. none of the city's expressways separate anything on that map.

the boundary between the far west and the southwest side on the map is the BNSF tracks. the same boundary between south lawndale (little village) and north lawndale, which as we all know, are pretty different worlds.
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Last edited by Steely Dan; Aug 6, 2019 at 9:29 PM.
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Old Posted Aug 6, 2019, 9:38 PM
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but Jmanc misspoke, he was not asking why the far west and southwest sides are separate. he was asking why the far SOUTHWEST side was made up of two non-contiguous parts.

as i said earlier, the answer is likely demographics.



besides, the ike doesn't separate the far west side from the southwest side on that map. none of the city's expressways separate anything on that map.

the boundary between the far west and the southwest side on the map is the BNSF tracks. the same boundary between south lawndale (little village) and north lawndale, which as we all know, are pretty different worlds.
Ah, my response was to his original question--why the west and southwest sides were separated. And I didn't look at any map, I was speaking generally as to why the community areas would be split in a discussion about demographics. I suppose the boundaries you are referring to are just as arbitrary as mine, yet generally the same.
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Old Posted Aug 6, 2019, 10:17 PM
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now that we have the issues of west side boundaries sorted out, let's get back to the meat of this story: most neighborhood areas of chicago are no longer in population free-fall like they were last decade.

from 2000-2010, only the central area saw any population gain. the other 6 neighborhood divisions all lost people, cumulatively an across the board decline of 244,696 people!

and so far this decade, the central area is not only growing even faster than last, but 4 of the 6 neighborhood regions have turned the corner from population loss to population gain. and the far west side, while still losing people, has radically slowed its population loss. it's really now just the far southside where chicago's rather extreme population loss continues unabated.

so far this decade, the 6 neighborhood regions have lost a cumulative 30,655 people, but that's almost entirely because of the unrelenting decline of the far southside. without the far southside, the other 5 neighborhood regions have actually gained 26,488 people so far this decade. quite a remarkable turnaround from the 147,567 people those 5 regions cumulatively lost last decade.

and when you add that gain of 26,488 to the central area's gain of 49,792, you get a respectable gain of 76,280, but the far southside's loss of 57,143 wipes the majority of that gain away. perhaps chicago will finally get over that hump in the next decade.


so the current demographic story of chicago really is a lot more nuanced than the conventionally understood "growing prosperous downtown & northside and declining ghetto westside & southside".
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Last edited by Steely Dan; Aug 7, 2019 at 12:34 AM.
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Old Posted Aug 6, 2019, 11:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
now that we have the issues of west side boundaries sorted out, let's get back to the meat of this story: most neighborhood areas of chicago are no longer in population free-fall like they were last decade.

from 2000-2010, only the central area saw any population gain. the other 6 neighborhood divisions all lost people, cumulatively an across the board decline of 244,696 people!

and so far this decade, the central area is not only growing even faster than last, but 4 of the 6 neighborhood regions have turned the corner from population loss to population gain. and the west side, while still losing people, has radically slowed its population loss. it's really now just the far southside where chicago's rather extreme population loss continues unabated.

so far this decade, the 6 neighborhood regions have lost a cumulative 30,655 people, but that's almost entirely because of the unrelenting decline of the far southside. without the far southside, the other 5 neighborhood regions have actually gained 26,488 people so far this decade. quite a remarkable turnaround from the 147,567 people those 5 regions cumulatively lost last decade.

and when you add that gain of 26,488 to the central area's gain of 49,792, you get a respectable gain of 76,280, but the far southside's loss of 57,143 wipes the majority of that gain away. perhaps chicago will finally get over that hump in the next decade.


so the current demographic story of chicago really is a lot more nuanced than the oft recited "growing downtown & northside and declining bombed-out ghetto westside & southside".
The good news is, the far south side free fall appears to be slowing while the central area growth appears to be accelerating.
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Old Posted Aug 7, 2019, 1:03 AM
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now that we have the issues of west side boundaries sorted out, let's get back to the meat of this story: most neighborhood areas of chicago are no longer in population free-fall like they were last decade.
The 2000-2010 data are decennial Census data (enumerated count). The 2010-2017 data are annual estimates (sampled). So they aren't comparable, and you can't draw neighborhood-specific conclusions between the two (outside of obvious observations like the core is growing and the fringe generally shrinking).
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Old Posted Aug 7, 2019, 1:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
The 2000-2010 data are decennial Census data (enumerated count). The 2010-2017 data are annual estimates (sampled). So they aren't comparable, and you can't draw neighborhood-specific conclusions between the two (outside of obvious observations like the core is growing and the fringe generally shrinking).
I assumed the author is using a source other than the ACS. I don't think the ACS provides tract level numbers, does it?
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Old Posted Aug 7, 2019, 1:11 AM
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The 2000-2010 data are decennial Census data (enumerated count). The 2010-2017 data are annual estimates (sampled). So they aren't comparable, and you can't draw neighborhood-specific conclusions between the two (outside of obvious observations like the core is growing and the fringe generally shrinking).
I've looked at the census tract estimates for Pittsburgh, and they're ludicrously off from reality. Like showing 10%-15% declines in the student neighborhoods, no growth in a neighborhood which has added 1,000+ apartment units, and population gains in blighted black neighborhoods.

Basically anything below the municipal level in terms of estimates is shit.
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Old Posted Aug 7, 2019, 1:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
The 2000-2010 data are decennial Census data (enumerated count). The 2010-2017 data are annual estimates (sampled). So they aren't comparable, and you can't draw neighborhood-specific conclusions between the two (outside of obvious observations like the core is growing and the fringe generally shrinking).
For sure, census estimates are always a bit suspect, so grains of salt and all of that, but they are also the only thing we have to go on at the moment.

When the actual count is done next year, these trends will obviously come into much clearer focus.
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Last edited by Steely Dan; Aug 7, 2019 at 2:20 AM.
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Old Posted Aug 7, 2019, 1:51 AM
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As an outsider, I've always thought the "northside" would be growing. Why wasn't it and why is the growth still pretty slow?
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Old Posted Aug 7, 2019, 3:06 AM
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As an outsider, I've always thought the "northside" would be growing. Why wasn't it and why is the growth still pretty slow?
New construction (which isn't that high since there aren't THAT many buildable lots) is counteracted by conversions from multifamily to mansions.
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Old Posted Aug 7, 2019, 3:39 AM
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^ yep, gentrification in Chicago neighborhoods often leads to lower population density. Flat deconversions, smaller household sizes, rich NIMBYs blocking new development, etc.
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