WBEZ | demographics http://www.wbez.org/tags/demographics Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Can Chicago brag about the size of its Polish population? http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/can-chicago-brag-about-size-its-polish-population-113490 <p><p><em>Editor&#39;s note: This story about the number of Poles and folks of Polish ancestry has a related <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/poland-elsewhere-why-so-many-poles-came-chicago-113578" target="_blank">companion piece, which explains what drove successive waves of Polish migration to Chicago in the first place</a>.</em></p><p>Chicago is a proud city. We have a lot to brag about:<a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/building-skyscrapers-chicagos-swampy-soil-111658" target="_blank"> amazing architecture</a>, an expansive<a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/how-has-chicago%E2%80%99s-coastline-changed-over-decades-104328" target="_blank"> lakefront park system</a>, and <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/beyond-deep-dish-exploring-chicagos-other-native-foods-112815">distinctive cuisine,</a> to name a few. This year, we even had opportunities to brag about the Chicago Cubs.</p><p>Sometimes, though, we brag about things that may not actually be true. Questioner Todd Leiter-Weintraub wonders about one such boasting point.</p><p>&ldquo;It was something my father told me,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;He&rsquo;s a smart guy, but he likes to remind people how smart he is so he was like &lsquo;You know, Todd, Chicago has the largest Polish population outside of Warsaw. I bet you didn&rsquo;t know that.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>Todd does know, because he&rsquo;s heard it a half-dozen times already. But recently, he&rsquo;s been wondering if it&rsquo;s actually true. After all, Chicago has changed a lot since the 1980s, when his dad enjoyed trotting out that impressive &ldquo;fact.&rdquo; His question for Curious City:</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><em>Is it really true that the Chicago is the largest Polish City outside of Warsaw?</em></p><p>Todd&rsquo;s dad, Jay Weintraub, is not the only one who thinks so. Curious City has six other queries about whether or not we are actually No. 1 outside of Warsaw. We thought it would be simple: Just find a demographer who knows the answer. Bam. Done. But the question of who is No. 1 outside of Poland turns out to be surprisingly complex. For one thing, the answer changes over time, and it depends on what you mean by &ldquo;Chicago.&rdquo; There are also different metrics for measuring &ldquo;Polish&rdquo; in different time periods, and in other countries.</p><p>In taking it on comprehensively, we&rsquo;re breaking new ground: As far as we can find, nobody has conducted a study that compares the leading candidate cities and metropolitan areas over the decades. Read on for an evaluation of who gets bragging rights in the contest for demographic &ldquo;Polishness&rdquo; between cities, and the separate and perhaps <a href="http://america2050.org/pdf/beyondmegalopolislang.pdf" target="_blank">more relevant </a>contest between metropolitan regions.</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Ancestry city to city</span></p><p>Questioner Todd Leiter-Weintraub says he&rsquo;s sure his father was referring to the city of Chicago, not the Chicago region, when he repeated his claim, so we&rsquo;ll start there.</p><div class="image-insert-image ">Right away, we can say Chicago is not the largest Polish city outside of Warsaw because there are two cities, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Łódź" target="_blank">Łódź</a> and<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wroc%C5%82aw" target="_blank"> Wroclaw</a>, that at any given time, appear to have a&nbsp;<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_and_towns_in_Poland" target="_blank">larger population</a> (by definition Polish) than Chicago&rsquo;s Polish ancestry. But if we reframe the question to find the largest Polish city outside of Poland, that sets up a nice rivalry between Chicago and a couple of other major cities you&rsquo;ve probably heard of. In this contest, sticking to the city limits is, well, limiting, but Chicago is still a strong contender. After all, Chicago is famous for welcoming tens of thousands of Polish immigrants in the 19th century. According to Chicago historian Dominic Pacyga, Poles saw Chicago as a land of opportunity.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/city limits category usa.png" style="height: 349px; width: 400px; float: right;" title="(WBEZ/Logan Jaffe)" /></div></div><p>&ldquo;If you can&rsquo;t make it in Chicago, you can&rsquo;t make it anywhere,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;You had the stock yards, you had the tanneries, you had the steel mills, tremendous industrial growth in the 19th century just attracted people.&rdquo;</p><p>By 1920 there were 151,260 Polish-born people living in Chicago, and by 1930 &mdash; six years after the federal government drastically <a href="http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/publication/2008/03/20080307112004ebyessedo0.1716272.html#axzz3pOVmnds4" target="_blank">limited the number of Poles who could immigrate</a> &mdash; there were about 400,000 people of Polish &ldquo;stock&rdquo; as measured by the census. In the 1950s, Chicago got a boost as tens of thousands of Poles displaced by WWII settled here. And we got yet another boost in the 1980s, when Chicago welcomed Polish political refugees during the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/13/opinion/the-rise-and-fall-of-solidarity.html" target="_blank">tumultuous Solidarity period in Poland</a>.</p><p>However, as early as the 1950s, successful well-established Polish-Chicagoans have done what other immigrant groups in Chicago do: move out to the suburbs. And while Chicago certainly received many Poles over the years, other American cities also saw their share of Polish immigrants during all of those migrations, particularly Detroit, Pittsburgh and New York. When immigration to Chicago started to taper off back in 2007, newspaper accounts reported that <a href="http://voicesofny.org/2012/02/new-york-dethrones-chicago-as-the-largest-polish-city-outside-of-warsaw/" target="_blank">Chicago had been passed</a>&nbsp;by New York City. Unfortunately, these accounts were only half-right.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/chicagonycpolishchart4.png" style="height: 357px; width: 620px;" title="New York City surpassed Chicago's Polish population sometime before 1940. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">Based on the best information we can find, New York has been ahead of Chicago for at least 35 years, and possibly much longer than that. Currently, a quick search of the U.S. Census American Factfinder reveals that, as of 2014, the city of Chicago is behind New York in its Polish ancestry population. That survey puts Chicago at about 150,000 and New York at about 205,000. But when you look at the historic census data, it&rsquo;s clear that if New York &ldquo;passed&rdquo; Chicago, it was much earlier than 2007.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/nyc-chicago-population.png" style="height: 230px; width: 350px; float: right;" title="Source: American Community Survey 2014 estimates" /></div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">The U.S. Census Bureau provides reliable &ldquo;Polish-Ancestry&rdquo; data back to 1980, and New York was ahead then. Before that, the U.S.Census Bureau measured &ldquo;foreign stock,&rdquo; which includes immigrants and second-generation Polish-Americans. According to the data we could find, New York&rsquo;s Polish &ldquo;stock&rdquo; was ahead of Chicago&rsquo;s at least as far back as 1940. Chicago may have been ahead of New York around the turn of the century, but New York has definitely been No. 1 since 1980 &mdash; and likely decades earlier.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">How could this be true? Joseph Salvo, a demographer in New York&rsquo;s Department of City Planning, says it&rsquo;s not so surprising.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&ldquo;I want to be fair to Chicago here. New York is three times the size of Chicago. Our sheer size gives us a large volume of people,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;For that reason, we can surprise people when it comes to the size of groups.&rdquo;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Salvo points out that while there may be more people of Polish ancestry in New York, they&rsquo;ve always been more diffuse and spread out than in Chicago. And, because it is a smaller city, Chicago has a much higher percentage of people with Polish ancestry &mdash; 20 percent compared to just over two percent in New York. While New York has always had a handful of predominantly Polish neighborhoods, it has never had anything like Chicago&rsquo;s &ldquo;Polish Downtown,&quot; which has twice the area of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York&rsquo;s biggest historically Polish neighborhood.</div><p>Salvo also thinks the long misperception might have something to do with other differences between the Polish populations in New York and Chicago. He observes some of the largest Polish ancestry neighborhoods in New York tend to be heavily Jewish and believes New York&rsquo;s Polish population probably includes large numbers of Jews of Polish descent. Chicago also has Jews with Polish ancestry, but not as many as New York.</p><p>Salvo says when comparing New York to Chicago, Chicagoans may not take into account Jews of Polish ancestry, because of the historical significance of the Polish Catholics: &ldquo;My wife works at a school that is run by the Sisters of the Resurrection, a Polish order with very very deep roots in Chicago. I&rsquo;m always hearing stories about the nuns and how they [visit] Chicago. So I want to give Chicago some credit, the Polish Catholic population in Chicago is quite legendary in some ways.&rdquo;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/city%20limits%20category%20global.png" style="float: right; height: 349px; width: 400px;" title="(WBEZ/Logan Jaffe)" /><span style="font-size:24px;">But what about Europe?</span></p><p>Legendary or not, it&rsquo;s a bit hard to accept we&rsquo;re No. 2 to New York. And there may be worse news. We&rsquo;ve been focusing on the U.S., but immigration from Poland to the U.S. has declined in the last 10 years. Poland, on the other hand, is still losing many young, talented workers to other countries. If they&rsquo;re not coming here, where are they going?</p><p>Pick up any European newspaper for the answer. You can read about Poles migrating all over Europe: Ireland, Germany, Sweden, and most of all, the United Kingdom. Because of that, we estimate London passed New York and Chicago as the biggest Polish city outside of Poland sometime between 2011 and 2014.</p><p>Here&rsquo;s why we think that&rsquo;s the case. In 2004 the U.K. opened its borders and labor markets to the European Union, and hundreds of thousands of Poles took the opportunity to migrate. Since the 1990s, Poles have learned English in school, and the wages and standard of living in the U.K. are much higher than those in Poland.&nbsp;Richard Butterwick-Pawlikowski, a Polish-Briton and a Professor of Polish-Lithuanian History at University College London says that Poles were initially quite welcome, but over time, things changed. &ldquo;Reaction to Polish migration has become more hostile in the last few years,&rdquo; he says, pointing to pressures put on education, social and health services.</p><p>Butterwick-Pawlikowski says Poles are scapegoats &mdash; <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/business-29910497" target="_blank">studies show they pay more in taxes</a> than they receive in social benefits. And despite complaints from British-born workers, he says, Polish migrants remain welcome in the eyes of employers.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;If you&rsquo;re a British employer and you&rsquo;ve got the choice between an educated polite immigrant from Poland, with really very good English, and a great work ethic, and a local born person who is uneducated, unqualified, unwilling, unable to treat customers properly, then it&rsquo;s a no-brainer: You&rsquo;re going to go for the immigrant,&rdquo; he says.</p><p>Whether they&rsquo;re welcome or unwelcome, most of the Polish migrants have stayed, and many have become citizens.</p><p>Does London actually have more Poles than New York and Chicago? The most recent reliable numbers come from the 2011 British census, which indicated there were about 150,000 people in London who were born in Poland, still fewer than New York or Chicago. But since then, the total number of Polish people in the U.K. has grown by<a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2856046/Britain-home-1-3m-eastern-Europeans-Poles-KRAKOW.html"> 75 percent or more</a>. If you assume that London has maintained its share of the overall growth, then London&rsquo;s Polish population would be over 250,000, nearly 50,000 more than New York. Again, no expert we encountered knows the exact number, but Richard Butterwick-Pawlikowski agrees our estimate is plausible.</p><p>Which means, Chicago is the city with the third largest Polish population outside of Poland. Bad news for anybody who wants to boast about Chicago.</p><p>If you&rsquo;ve ever succumbed to buying the urban legend yourself, you shouldn&rsquo;t feel too bad. According to <a href="http://www.robparal.com/" target="_top">Rob Paral, a Chicago-based demographer</a>, it&rsquo;s easy for a city to love the legend of identifying with a group and then exaggerate the numbers &mdash; and that goes for Polish-Americans as well as much smaller groups.</p><p>&ldquo;There are a number of groups where people will tell you &lsquo;There are about a hundred thousand of us in Chicago,&rsquo;&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;Unfortunately, if you added up all the 100,000 groups, we&rsquo;d be a city of 10 million or something.&rdquo;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/metro%20category%20global2.png" style="height: 349px; width: 400px; float: right;" title="(WBEZ/Logan Jaffe)" /><span style="font-size:24px;">Let&rsquo;s compare metros for a change</span></p><p>We may not be a city of ten million, but our metropolitan area is almost that big. And if you think about it, &ldquo;Chicago&rdquo; has come to mean more than &ldquo;the city of Chicago&rdquo; to most people in the area. The city might be the economic heart of the region, but<a href="http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/323.html" target="_blank"> hundreds of thousands</a> of people commute into the city from the suburbs. And if you look at Polish ancestry census figures, provided by demographer Rob Paral, you see that the number of Chicago residents with Polish ancestry began to decline in the 1980s, all the while growing in the suburbs. Dominic Pacyga says Polish-Americans in the region are now &ldquo;mostly suburban.&rdquo;</p><p>The Chicago metro is actually more suburban than the New York metro. About half of the people in the New York metro live outside of New York City. In our metro, it&rsquo;s more like two-thirds, and people of Polish ancestry are five times more likely to live in the suburbs than the city.</p><p>Which means, that when it comes to comparing Polish ancestry of metropolitan areas, we win! The Chicago area has a Polish ancestry population of just less than 900,000. New York&rsquo;s is closer to 800,000, and London&rsquo;s is much smaller. Translation: The Chicago metropolitan area is the largest Polish metropolitan area outside of Poland.</p><p>That large Polish and Polish-American population has had a real impact. You can r<a href="http://www.chicagoelections.com/po/about-the-chicago-election-board.html" target="_blank">egister to vote</a> in Polish. You can get a Polish interpreter<a href="http://www.advocatehealth.com/luth/body.cfm?id=141&amp;action=detail&amp;ref=381" target="_blank"> if you go to the right hospital</a>. There are fifty-two Catholic Churches in the Archdiocese of Chicago that offer Mass in Polish, and there are 104 priests who speak Polish. We have <a href="http://www.polskieradio.com/" target="_blank">Polish radio</a> and <a href="http://www.polvision.com/" target="_top">Polish TV</a>.</p><p>For a more personal spin, take the story of Kasia McCormick and her family, the Krynskis. She came with her parents as a baby in the 1980s, political refugees from the Soviet-controlled Polish government. Her father worked construction at first, and her mother taught pre-school, but now the family has a<a href="http://domitp.com/electric-potato-grater" target="_blank"> business importing goods from Poland</a> to sell in Chicago. They bring in Polish clothing, China, and Christmas ornaments, among other goods. She says there are so many Poles and Polish-Americans that one of their best-selling imports is an appliance only used to make potato pancakes.</p><p>&ldquo;If you ever grated potatoes by hand,&rdquo; she says, &ldquo;you would probably look for an electric potato grater your second time because it&rsquo;s so much work. I think we&rsquo;re one of the only places in the states that actual carry that.&rdquo; The Krynskis rely on a large Polish community here for their livelihood.</p><p>That Polish community has also influenced Chicago&rsquo;s sense of itself. Paral says Chicago likes to identify with Polish working-class culture. He cites a phrase used by Mike Ditka, the legendary Polish-American football coach.</p><p>&ldquo;Ditka used to say the Chicago Bears were a &lsquo;<a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1986-01-19/features/8601050626_1_chicago-magazine-sunday-s-super-bowl-mike-ditka" target="_blank">Grabowski team&rsquo;</a>,&rdquo; referring to a typical-sounding Polish name. &ldquo;It was his way of saying we don&rsquo;t finesse things. We&rsquo;re not fancy. We&rsquo;re just kind of tough and we get the job done. Chicago was always kind of proud of that and reveled in it.&rdquo;</p><p>According to historian Dominic Pacyga, Chicago&rsquo;s Polishness is legendary in Poland itself, and it doesn&rsquo;t matter whether Chicago&rsquo;s is the largest Polish city or not.</p><p>&ldquo;It is the Polish home in America. And it&rsquo;s a symbol of opportunity for most people, a place where you know where you go and talk to people and people will understand you. I&rsquo;m not just talking about language here,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;That will remain for the foreseeable future. Unless the next wave of immigrants are from Mars.&rdquo;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/ToddWeintraub%20Photoedited.jpg" style="height: 201px; width: 270px; float: left;" title="Questioner Todd Leiter-Weintraub with his wife, Sharon. " /><span style="font-size:24px;">More about Todd &ldquo;I know, Dad, because you already told me six or seven times&rdquo; Leiter-Weintraub</span></p><p>Our questioner Todd Leiter-Weintraub grew up in Highland Park and now lives in the suburb of Western Springs. As far as he knows, he is not Polish-American, but he claims to be an &ldquo;Eastern-European mongrel&rdquo; with Czech, Russian, and German ancestry. He writes catalog copy for WW Grainger, and uses the Oxford comma in his<a href="http://www.grainger.com/category/compressed-air-treatment/pneumatics/ecatalog/N-c94?ssf=3" target="_blank"> descriptions of compressed air treatment</a> solutions. He says his father, Jay Weintraub, will get a kick out of this story, even if it means he&rsquo;s only half right.</p><hr /><div><p dir="ltr"><a href="https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AvOb6ZXA4k6bjebQbYwf9ehJyaKLCWYb_6OayDUgdJA/edit?usp=sharing" name="notes" target="_blank"><span style="font-size:10px;"><em>Notes and citations for demographic data</em></span></a></p><p dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:10px;"><em>FN 1 Whenever possible, we use Polish &quot;Ancestry&quot; as documented in the U.S. Census Bureau since 1980. &ldquo;Ancestry&rdquo; is self-reported, which means anybody who claims they have Polish ancestry &mdash;immediate or quite distant &mdash; counts. For periods before 1980, or cities outside the US, we use different metrics, which we explain in the relevant sections</em></span></p><p dir="ltr"><em style="font-size: 10px;">FN2: &ldquo;Stock&rdquo; is a different measurement than ancestry. It refers to anybody who was born in Poland, or who has a parent born in Poland. As such, it excludes third generation Polish-Americans or people whose ancestry goes back even farther.</em></p><p dir="ltr"><em style="font-size: 10px;">FN3 Since &quot;foreign stock&quot; only includes first and second generation Polish-Americans, it&#39;s possible Chicago&#39;s Polish &ldquo;ancestry&rdquo; population &mdash; as measured in today&rsquo;s terms &mdash; might have been higher than New York&#39;s from 1940 to 1980 if Chicago had more third or fourth generation Polish-Americans in that period.</em></p><p dir="ltr"><em style="font-size: 10px;">FN4 FN: The UK census doesn&#39;t measure ancestry, but it does measure both Polish language speakers, and the number of people born in Poland. These are both tools we can use to obtain a conservative estimate of the number of Britons of Polish heritage. Anecdotally, we understand that there are tens of thousands of Polish-Britons who emigrated in earlier periods, including following World War II. This would suggest the &quot;ancestry&quot; population in 2011 would be higher than 150,000 but we can&#39;t say how much higher.</em></p></div><p><em>Corrections: An earlier version of this story misstated the point of comparison between the&nbsp;Chicago metropolitan area and areas within Poland. The most appropriate comparison is: The Chicago metro area&nbsp;is the largest Polish&nbsp;</em><em>metropolitan area&nbsp;</em><em>(Polish immigrants and people of Polish ancestry) outside of Poland.&nbsp;</em></p><p><em>We regret we misspelled Kasia McCormick&#39;s maiden name. The proper spelling is Krynski.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Mon, 26 Oct 2015 09:28:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/can-chicago-brag-about-size-its-polish-population-113490 Native numbers: How many Chicagoans were born in the city? http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/native-numbers-how-many-chicagoans-were-born-city-109680 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/134447060%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-j67Bc&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><em>Editor&#39;s note: Representatives of the Ozinga family are profiled in the accompanying podcast episode and in a multimedia presentation below. At the time of this story&#39;s release, the family-owned construction company was not an underwriter of WBEZ&#39;s Curious City series. As of Apr 30, 2014, the company underwrites Curious City&#39;s broadcast and podcast.&nbsp;</em></p><p>As of May 1, 2014, the family-owned construction company&nbsp;</p><p>Tracy Miller noticed something about Chicago when she moved here nine years ago. &ldquo;I meet many people who say they are native Chicagoans,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;It seems like there are more natives still residing here than in other cities I have lived in.&rdquo;</p><p>Miller came here from Austin, Texas. Before that, she&rsquo;d lived in Dallas and Los Angeles. In all of those cities, she says, &ldquo;Everybody is from somewhere else.&rdquo; But Chicago seemed different. That prompted her to ask Curious City:<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Robert and Tracy in studio FOR WEB.jpg" style="height: 300px; width: 300px; float: right;" title="Tracy Miller, left, asked Curious City about multi-generational families in Chicago. Reporter Robert Loerzel, right, helped her find an answer. (WBEZ/Jennifer Brandel)" /></p><p style="text-align: center;"><em>&ldquo;How many people live here who were born here, and what about the previous generations? There seems to be many generational families that call Chicago home.&rdquo;</em></p><p>It&rsquo;s a simple question, but the answer is complicated &mdash; and hard to pin down. We&rsquo;ll confess upfront that we haven&rsquo;t been able to come up with a statistic that precisely answers Tracy&rsquo;s question. But the <a href="http://www.census.gov" target="_blank">U.S. Census Bureau</a> <em>does </em>collect some data that gets us close to an answer.&nbsp;Those census statistics suggest that the presence of local natives varies quite a bit across Chicago&#39;s neighborhoods and racial groups &mdash; while the city, as a whole, has a &quot;native&quot; profile close to the national average.</p><p><strong>Chicago: Stuck in the middle</strong></p><p>As most people know, the Census Bureau counts &mdash; or at least, it tries to count &mdash; every single person in the country once every 10 years. But the agency also asks more detailed questions in something called the <a href="http://www.census.gov/acs/www/" target="_blank">American Community Survey</a>, or ACS. And that&rsquo;s where we can find some useful information.</p><p>Unfortunately for us, the Census Bureau doesn&rsquo;t ask Chicagoans: &ldquo;Were you born in Chicago?&rdquo; And it doesn&rsquo;t ask, &ldquo;Where were your parents born?&rdquo; But the ACS <em>does </em>ask people if they were born in the same state where they&rsquo;re living.</p><p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s not actually a bad place to start,&rdquo; says <a href="http://www.robparal.com" target="_blank">Rob Paral</a>, a local expert in analyzing census data. &ldquo;If you live in Chicago and your parents are born in Illinois, it probably means you were born in Chicago.&rdquo;</p><p>According to <a href="http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_5YR/B05002/1600000US1714000" target="_blank">the most recent numbers</a> (a five-year estimate for the years 2008 through 2012), Chicago had 2.7 million people. Almost 1.6 million of those Chicagoans were born in Illinois. Half a million were born somewhere else in the U.S. And 570,000 were immigrants from other countries.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><a name="illinois"></a><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="420" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" scrolling="no" src="http://cf.datawrapper.de/X7fAV/1/" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="610"></iframe></p><p>The key statistic here to answer Tracy&rsquo;s question is 58.5 percent &mdash; that&rsquo;s the percentage of Chicagoans born in Illinois. Of course, that figure includes some people who were born in the suburbs or downstate. But it&rsquo;s a good bet that a significant number of these people are native Chicagoans.</p><p>How does that compare with the rest of the country? Well, as it turns out, the percentage of Chicagoans born in Illinois is almost exactly the same as the national average of Americans born within their current state of residence, which is 58.7 percent. So, if you were expecting a statistic showing how special Chicago is &mdash; cue the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJxCdh1Ps48" target="_blank">sad trombone</a> music &mdash; it looks like we&rsquo;re actually pretty average.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><a name="cities"></a><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="420" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" scrolling="no" src="http://cf.datawrapper.de/eCHjy/2/" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="610"></iframe></p><p>And how does Chicago stack up against other cities? Well, Chicago <em>does </em>have more local natives than <a href="http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_5YR/B05002/1600000US3651000" target="_blank">New York City</a> (where the rate is 49.8 percent) and <a href="http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_5YR/B05002/1600000US0644000" target="_blank">Los Angeles</a> (43.7 percent). But Chicago&rsquo;s percentage isn&rsquo;t actually all that higher than the figures for two of the cities where Tracy used to live. In <a href="http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_5YR/B05002/1600000US4819000" target="_blank">Dallas</a>, 55.3 percent of the residents were born in Texas. And 52.3 percent of the people living in <a href="http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_5YR/B05002/1600000US4805000" target="_blank">Austin</a> are native Texans.</p><p>How is that possible? Remember how Tracy said that everybody in those cities &ldquo;is from somewhere else&rdquo;? That isn&rsquo;t just her imagination. Austin has been one of the country&rsquo;s fastest-growing cities, and it has twice as many people today as it did in 1985. It could be that Dallas and Austin have a bunch of people born in other parts of Texas &mdash; a higher percentage than the number of downstate and suburban Illinois natives who live in Chicago. That&rsquo;s the sort of detail that these broad Census Bureau numbers don&rsquo;t reveal.</p><p>Which cities have the lowest percentages of locally born people? Several of these places are in Nevada. Only 1 out of 4 Las Vegas residents is a native Nevadan. On the other end of the spectrum, Jackson, Miss., has the highest rate of locally born people &mdash; 80.3 percent &mdash; among U.S. cities with populations over 100,000. Other cities ranking high on the list include Peoria, Buffalo, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Detroit and Cleveland. In those places, roughly 3 out of 4 residents are living in the state where they were born &mdash; beating Chicago&rsquo;s percentage.</p><p>However, looking at census data for the entire city of Chicago doesn&rsquo;t tell the whole story. &ldquo;When people ask me questions about Chicago, I start to chop the city up in ways that tend to be illuminating,&rdquo; Paral says. &ldquo;I think: &lsquo;Well, what&rsquo;s the experience for whites, blacks, Latinos?&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Uneven &lsquo;Illinoisness&rsquo;</strong></p><p>So let&rsquo;s chop. How do the numbers vary for Chicago&rsquo;s racial groups? About <a href="http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/10_SF4/B05002/1600000US1714000/popgroup~451" target="_blank">55.8 percent of white Chicagoans </a>(not including Hispanic whites) were born in Illinois. And as far as white Chicagoans born in other states, more than half come from the Midwest.</p><p>A little <a href="http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/10_SF4/B05002/1600000US1714000/popgroup~400" target="_blank">less than half of the city&rsquo;s Hispanic or Latino</a> residents were born in Illinois. That&rsquo;s below the city average, which isn&rsquo;t surprising. After all, <a href="http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_1YR/B05006/1600000US1714000" target="_blank">more than 260,000 Chicagoans were born in Mexico</a>, far outnumbering any other immigrant group. And only <a href="http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/10_SF4/B05002/1600000US1714000/popgroup~457" target="_blank">21.4 percent of Chicago&rsquo;s Asian-Americans </a>(another segment of the population dominated by recent immigrants) were born in Illinois.<a name="race1"></a></p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="420" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" scrolling="no" src="http://cf.datawrapper.de/22RAS/2/" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="610"></iframe></p><p>But <a href="http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/10_SF4/B05002/1600000US1714000/popgroup~453" target="_blank">75 percent of Chicago&rsquo;s African-Americans</a> were born in Illinois. Paral says the vast majority of the city&rsquo;s young blacks were born here, but older generations include many who arrived from the South during the period known as the Great Migration, roughly from 1910 to 1970. Almost 80 percent of those black Chicagoans who were born in other states come from the South.<a name="race2"></a></p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="420" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" scrolling="no" src="http://cf.datawrapper.de/NQdzs/2/" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="610"></iframe></p><p>Geography offers another way of chopping up the numbers. We created a map showing the percentage of Illinois natives &mdash; let&rsquo;s call it &ldquo;Illinoisness&rdquo; &mdash; in each of Chicago&rsquo;s census tracts. The map shows huge differences. There&rsquo;s a part of the Mount Greenwood neighborhood on the Southwest Side with an astronomically high Illinoisness of 94.7 percent. Meanwhile, the Illinoisness is just 25.2 percent in a section of Streeterville on the North Side. Both areas are predominantly white, but Streeterville is more of a magnet for people moving into Chicago from other states and countries.<a name="map"></a></p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="420" scrolling="no" src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-assets/curiouscity/Generations/generationsPercentIllinoisans1.html" width="620"></iframe></p><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/map%20key%201.png" style="width: 278px; height: 50px; float: left;" title="" /></div><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Paral hadn&rsquo;t seen our map when we asked him what he thought it would show. &ldquo;You would find a high percentage in the African-American areas and the white ethnic areas, such that we have them anymore in Chicago &mdash; like Irish Beverly, for example,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;You&rsquo;d probably see it also on the Far Northwest Side, which is kind of a similar thing, and then in those areas by Midway Airport. Those are sort of the last bastions of white ethnics who are not Latinos in Chicago.&rdquo;</p><p>And sure enough, that&rsquo;s pretty much what our map looks like.</p><p><strong>&lsquo;Nativeness&rsquo; over time</strong></p><p>All of this shows how your perceptions might vary depending on which neighborhoods you live in or frequent. And the more neighborhoods you know, the more you&rsquo;ll realize how complex this topic is.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/flickr%20samuelalove.jpg" style="height: 275px; width: 400px; float: left;" title="Tracy Miller, who got us started on this investigation, used to live in Chicago's Ukrainian Village neighborhood, an area still home to many Eastern European immigrants who settled there in the early 1900s. Tracy says there seems to be a lot more connectedness in Chicago than in other cities she's lived in. (Flickr/samuelalove)" /></p><p>When Tracy Miller asked this question, she told us a little about her experiences. Before moving to Lincoln Park, she lived for seven years in Ukrainian Village. &ldquo;Super old neighborhood,&rdquo; she says, recounting how she met families who&rsquo;d lived there for three generations or more. As for Chicago in general, she says, &ldquo;The people that live here now are still directly connected to the history of the city. To me, there&rsquo;s a lot more of that connectedness than &hellip; in other cities.&rdquo;</p><p>Tracy owns Duran European Sandwich Cafe, at 529 N. Milwaukee Ave. in West Town, so she&rsquo;s gotten to know other merchants, and she&rsquo;s often struck by how long they&rsquo;ve been in business. &ldquo;I get all of my restaurant supplies from Herzog (Store Fixture Co.) His father started it. It&rsquo;s been there for 60 years,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;Or the sausage shop on Halsted, where I get the potato salad &mdash; those guys have been there for 60 years.&rdquo;</p><p>On the other hand, Tracy is well aware that Chicago attracts young people from other places &mdash; college students and recent graduates without any roots here. &ldquo;I have a lot of young, hip kids working for me that are all between the ages of 21 and 30,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;Most of them are from a three- or four-state radius. They&rsquo;ve all grown up somewhere and they&rsquo;ve come here to kind of create their life.&rdquo;</p><p>Author <a href="http://edwardmcclelland.com" target="_blank">Edward McClelland</a> wrote about this phenomenon in his 2013 book &ldquo;<a href="http://edwardmcclelland.com/index.php?page=nothin-but-blue-skies" target="_blank">Nothin&rsquo; But Blue Skies: The Heyday, Hard Times, and Hopes of America&rsquo;s Industrial Heartland</a>.&rdquo; He observed: &ldquo;Chicago is the drain into which the brains of the Middle West disappear. Moving there is not even an aspiration for ambitious Michiganders. It&rsquo;s the accepted endpoint of one&rsquo;s educational progression: grade school, middle school, high school, college, Chicago.&rdquo; And the presence of those young people drives down Chicago&rsquo;s Illinoisness rate.</p><p>Answering the historical part of Tracy&rsquo;s question is just as challenging as the first part. Does Chicago have an unusually large number of families who have been here for generations?</p><p><a href="http://zeega.com/162133" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Oz_History_Pics_015.jpg" title="The Ozinga family immigrated to the Chicago area from the Netherlands in 1891. We talk with third and fourth-generation descendants Jim and Marty Ozinga IV about what it's like to live in a multi-generational family. Click to launch the slideshow. (Photo courtesy Ozinga family)" /></a></p><p>&ldquo;My gut sense is that, yeah, for the most part Chicago is a more rooted place than the cities on the coasts,&rdquo; says Matt Rutherford, curator of genealogy and local history at the <a href="http://www.newberry.org/genealogy-and-local-history" target="_blank">Newberry Library</a>. &ldquo;It just seems like there&rsquo;s less transience here, that there&rsquo;s more rootedness.&rdquo; But he adds, &ldquo;It is actually, surprisingly, a complex question. &hellip; I don&rsquo;t know of a better data-driven way to get at this. It&rsquo;s a fascinating question.&rdquo;</p><p>Unfortunately, census data don&rsquo;t reveal whether people&rsquo;s parents, grandparents and great-grandparents lived in the same cities where they are now. But <a href="http://www.census.gov/prod/www/decennial.html" target="_blank">census reports</a> do give us a picture of how Chicago&rsquo;s population changed over time.</p><p>Throughout the late 1800s, 40 to 50 percent of Chicagoans were European immigrants. In 1900, their most common places of origin were Ireland, Germany, Poland, Sweden and Bohemia (now part of the Czech Republic). A fourth of the city&rsquo;s population was Illinois natives. And the final fourth was people who&rsquo;d come here from other states. Their most common states of origin were New York, Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan.</p><p>&ldquo;When you look at Chicago&rsquo;s history ... in the mid- to late 19th century, we find a lot of transients,&rdquo; Rutherford says. &ldquo;Immigrants coming, settling, moving through, particularly with the settlement of the American West.&rdquo; Some of these people stayed in Chicago only a couple of years, he says. But many others put down roots.</p><p>It&rsquo;s helpful that the Census Bureau used to ask people where their parents were born. Thanks to that information, we can calculate how many Chicagoans were children of immigrants. From 1890 through 1920, about three-fourths of Chicagoans were either immigrants or children of immigrants<a name="trends"></a>.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Chicago%20population1.png" style="margin: 5px; height: 444px; width: 610px;" title="" /></p><p><span style="text-align: center;">Chicago&rsquo;s immigrant population reached a peak in 1930, when the city was home to about 859,000 people born in foreign countries &mdash; almost entirely from Europe &mdash; plus 1.3 million children of immigrants, for a total of 2.2 million. That was 65 percent of the city&rsquo;s overall population, which also had a growing number of African-Americans at the time.</span></p><p>So, what happened to all of those people? Obviously, many stayed in Chicago. They had children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Some moved away or died without children. In fact, when we look at today&rsquo;s census numbers, it&rsquo;ll become clear that a lot of these folks left Chicago &mdash; more on that in a moment &mdash; but there&rsquo;s no doubt that many stayed and put down roots. Quantifying exactly how many is the difficult part. But if you look at the trends over time, you can see what happened.</p><p>After a while, those immigrant families were no longer considered immigrants. They were Americans. Their kids and grandkids were counted in the census as Illinois natives.</p><p>&ldquo;I wonder how much that sense of finding a home away from home for these groups really contributed to this permanence of place,&rdquo; Rutherford says. &ldquo;You&rsquo;ve got &mdash; really, throughout Chicago&rsquo;s history &mdash; these different waves of immigrants coming in. ... There had to be some cohesion, something that stuck them all together. And that place ended up being Chicago.&rdquo;</p><p><em><span style="font-size:10px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><a name="ozingazeega"></a>The Ozinga family immigrated to the Chicago area from the Netherlands in 1891. Listen to third and fourth-generation descendants Jim and Marty Ozinga IV talk about what it&#39;s like to live in a multi-generational family and how that&#39;s affected their 85-year-old family business. (below)</span></span></em></p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" height="480px" mozallowfullscreen="" src="http://zeega.com/162133/embed" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>After 1930, the number of new immigrants arriving in Chicago tapered off. Meanwhile, the migration of African-Americans into the city continued. As those blacks from the South put down roots here, their children and grandchildren joined the ranks of native Chicagoans.</p><p>Chicago&rsquo;s population hit a peak of 3.6 million in 1950, and then it started declining, as people began moving out to the suburbs and elsewhere. By 1970, only 22.2 percent of Chicagoans &mdash; or about 748,000 people &mdash; were immigrants or children of immigrants. (That appears to be the last year when census data is available on parents&rsquo; birthplaces, so we don&rsquo;t know what the percentage is today.)</p><p>Chicago&rsquo;s foreign-born population began rising again after 1970, as newcomers arrived from Latin America and Asia, but then it started declining again in 2000. Meanwhile, the city&rsquo;s overall population dropped from almost 3.4 million in 1970 to 2.7 million today.</p><p>As the Chicago Tribune noted in a recent editorial, the population has fallen in spite of the fact that Chicago attracts young college grads: &ldquo;The story &hellip; is one of almost uninterrupted out-migration &mdash; an exodus of affluent white families in search of better schools, safer neighborhoods, bigger yards, free parking. For decades, the losses have been cushioned by an influx of immigrants, mostly Hispanic. But still the population fell.&rdquo;</p><p>Even as people came and went, even as people died and babies were born, Chicago&rsquo;s Illinoisness &mdash; that percentage of Chicagoans who were born in Illinois &mdash; has held remarkably steady over the years. For the past half-century, the rate has been hovering just under 60 percent.</p><p><strong>Some reasonable deductions</strong></p><p>If we think back on all of that history as we look at today&rsquo;s census numbers for Chicago, we can make a few educated guesses about Tracy&rsquo;s question. First, let&rsquo;s look at African-Americans. Chicago has 682,000 blacks who were born in Illinois. Many must be the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of blacks who arrived in Chicago during the Great Migration. Some could have local roots going back even further &mdash; they might be descendents of the 14,271 blacks who lived in Chicago in 1890 or the 30,150 who lived here in 1900. But Rutherford says, &ldquo;You&rsquo;re not going to get all that many African-American families here that go back prior to (1910). There was such a huge influx into Bronzeville and other areas in the teens through the &rsquo;40s.&rdquo;</p><p>Latinos and Asian-Americans are less likely to have roots in the city going back many decades. If you look back at 1930 (that year when Chicago&rsquo;s immigrant population hit its all-time high), you&rsquo;ll see low numbers for these groups. Yes, Chicago already had a well-established Chinatown by then, but only 2,757 Chinese-Americans lived in the city. There were 486 Japanese-Americans. And the 1930 census counted 19,362 Mexicans living in Chicago. Certainly, some of the Asian-Americans and Latinos living in Chicago today are descended from those pioneers, but most are likely to come from families who arrived here in the last 50 years.<a href="http://www.chicagoancestors.org/#tab-home" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/tumblr_mzk5a1EBgn1tq9y6bo1_1280.png" style="float: right; height: 386px; width: 450px;" title="The Newberry Library's ChicagoAncestry map can help you learn more about Chicago genealogy and local history. Search their CGS Pioneers collection for information about specific Chicagoans before the Chicago Fire, including this application on behalf of Archibald Clybourn - yes, like Clybourn Ave. (Source: Newberry Library)" /></a></p><p>And there are 480,000 white Chicagoans who were born in Illinois. Surely, a great many of them must be descended from those 2.2 million Chicagoans back in 1930 who were either European immigrants or children of European immigrants. In fact, those numbers make you wonder: Where did all of the other people go? (The suburbs? Cities in other parts of the country &mdash; like, say, Austin, Texas?)</p><p>Now, let&rsquo;s take a look at the <a href="http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_5YR/B04003/1600000US1714000" target="_blank">census numbers about ancestry</a>. It&rsquo;s telling that Chicago&rsquo;s three largest white ethnic groups today &mdash; Germans, Irish and Poles &mdash; were also the biggest groups of European immigrants in 1900. Today, an estimated 204,510 Chicagoans say their ancestry is German or partly German, but only 5,066 were born in Germany. An almost identical number &mdash; 204,495 &mdash; say they&rsquo;re of Irish ancestry, but only 3,453 were born in Ireland.</p><p>Chicago&rsquo;s Polish community includes more people who immigrated in recent years, but it&rsquo;s clear that most of Chicago&rsquo;s Polish-American families have been here a long time: 168,453 Chicagoans say they&rsquo;re of Polish ancestry, but only 43,715 were born in Poland, which ranks No. 2 (behind Mexico) on the list of countries where Chicago immigrants were born.</p><p>None of this is ironclad proof that these German, Irish and Polish families have been living in Chicago for a century or longer &mdash; certainly, some moved here from other places in the U.S. &mdash; but it seems like a reasonable deduction. Most of the immigrants from those countries showed up in Chicago in the late 1800s and early 1900s. And German, Irish and Polish are the most dominant ancestries today among Chicago&rsquo;s white population. Ergo, a significant number of them have been here a long time.</p><p>So, what&rsquo;s the answer to Tracy&rsquo;s question? If you take this complex, nuanced city and try to sum it up in one statistic, Chicago looks pretty average. It doesn&rsquo;t have an especially high number of local natives. But some neighborhoods do. And there&rsquo;s fairly persuasive circumstantial evidence that Chicago&rsquo;s population includes many African-American families who have been here more than half a century and descendents of European immigrants who arrived here even earlier.</p><p>It&rsquo;s hard to come up with a single statistic proving that Chicago is special, but we won&rsquo;t argue with you if you continue to think so.</p><p><em>Robert Loerzel is a freelance journalist and the author of &ldquo;Alchemy of Bones: Chicago&rsquo;s Luetgert Murder Case of 1897.&rdquo; Follow him at&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/robertloerzel" target="_blank">@robertloerzel</a>.</em></p><hr /><p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong><a name="notes"></a>Notes on data: </strong>The term &ldquo;Chicagoan&rdquo; refers to any person permanently residing within Chicago city limits during the years surveyed by the U.S. Census and/or American Community Survey (ACS). ACS 5-year Estimates represent data collected over a 60-month period and do not represent a single year. When possible, we chose to display data collected from ACS 5-year Estimates (as opposed to one or three-year estimates). The five year estimates tend to have smaller margins of error. Racial and ethnic categories roughly correspond to those found in U.S. Census and ACS reports.&nbsp;</span></span></p><p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>Where Chicagoans were born</strong></span></span></p><p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Source: &nbsp;<a href="http://www.census.gov/" target="_blank">U.S. Census Bureau, 2008-2012 ACS Estimates</a></span></span></p><p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>Where Chicagoans were born &mdash; by racial category</strong></span></span></p><p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Source: &nbsp;<a href="http://www.census.gov/acs/www/" target="_blank">2006-2010 American Community Survey Selected Population Tables</a></span></span></p><p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>Where Chicagoans were born &mdash; by racial category (percentages)</strong></span></span></p><p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Source: &nbsp;<a href="http://www.census.gov/acs/www/" target="_blank">2006-2010 American Community Survey Selected Population Tables</a></span></span></p><p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>Percentage of residents born in Illinois</strong></span></span></p><p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Source: <a href="http://www.census.gov/" target="_blank">U.S. Census Bureau, 2008-2012 ACS Estimates</a></span></span></p><p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Notes: Suburbs include those located in DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will Counties, as well as areas of Cook County outside of Chicago.</span></span></p><p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>How many residents live in the state where they were born</strong></span></span></p><p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Source: <a href="http://www.census.gov/" target="_blank">U.S. Census Bureau, 2009 American Community Survey</a></span></span></p><p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>Percentage of Illinois-born residents in Chicago</strong></span></span></p><p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Source: <a href="http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=bkmk" target="_blank">U.S. Census Bureau, 2008-2012 ACS Estimates</a></span></span></p><p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Notes: The margin of error for columns in this data are high, sometimes ranging +/- 100% of an entry&rsquo;s value.</span></span></p><p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>Chicago&rsquo;s population, 1860-2010</strong></span></span></p><p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Source: U.S. Census, except &quot;Born in Illinois&quot; figures for 1860, 1910, 1930, 1940 and 1950 are <a href="https://usa.ipums.org/usa/cite.shtml%20for%20full%20citation" target="_self">estimates from University of Minnesota&#39;s IPUMS-USA database</a>.</span></span></p></p> Mon, 10 Feb 2014 16:32:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/native-numbers-how-many-chicagoans-were-born-city-109680 By the numbers: Refugees in Illinois http://www.wbez.org/news/numbers-refugees-illinois-105106 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/RS6973_AP995610264386 (3)-scr.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A listener&rsquo;s question prompted our <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/question-answered-who-settles-refugees-chicagos-north-side-104781">recent examination of refugee resettlement patterns in Chicago</a>. That inquiry looked at how, and why, refugees have come to occupy apartments mostly in far North Side neighborhoods. It also got us wondering: Who were these refugees, anyhow?</p><p>Well, we can&rsquo;t answer that exact question because nobody keeps precise records of how many refugees live within Chicago&rsquo;s city limits. But we found that there are good data at the statewide level. Once we tumbled down that rabbit hole, we learned a lot &mdash;&nbsp;not just about Illinois&rsquo;s shifting refugee population, but also about recent world history and shifts in American foreign policy.</p><p>Here&rsquo;s the data in chart form. It&rsquo;s a moving timeline that shows how many refugees arrived in Illinois each year since 1980. For each year, the refugees are sorted by country of origin:</p><p><strong>Refugee arrivals in Illinois by country of origin (FFY1980-FFY2012)</strong><br /><a href="#Notes"><em>Notes on the data</em></a></p><p><script type="text/javascript" src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/static/modules/gviz/1.0/chart.js"> { "dataSourceUrl": "//docs.google.com/a/chicagopublicradio.org/spreadsheet/tq?key=0Ai7E2pZ6aCZtdGxjMGpvaVpOeVZScm9uajdTSHZVQ1E&transpose=0&headers=1&range=A1%3AD2839&gid=0&pub=1", "options": { "titleTextStyle": { "fontSize": 16 }, "showChartButtons": false, "showXMetricPicker": false, "showYMetricPicker": false, "showXScalePicker": false, "showYScalePicker": false, "showAdvancedPanel": false, "title": "Refugee arrivals in Illinois by Country of Origin (FFY1980-FFY2012)", "state": '{ "time": "1980", "yLambda": 0, "xZoomedIn": false, "nonSelectedAlpha": 0.4, "xZoomedDataMin": 0, "yZoomedIn": false, "orderedByY": false, "playDuration": 40000, "orderedByX": true, "sizeOption": "_UNISIZE", "xLambda": 1, "colorOption": "3", "duration": { "timeUnit": "Y", "multiplier": 1 }, "yZoomedDataMax": 5000, "dimensions": { "iconDimensions": [ "dim0" ] }, "iconType": "VBAR", "yAxisOption": "2", "uniColorForNonSelected": false, "yZoomedDataMin": 0, "xAxisOption": "2", "xZoomedDataMax": 86, "showTrails": false, "iconKeySettings": [] }' , "vAxes": [ { "useFormatFromData": true, "title": "Left vertical axis title", "minValue": null, "viewWindow": { "min": null, "max": null }, "maxValue": null }, { "useFormatFromData": true, "minValue": null, "viewWindow": { "min": null, "max": null }, "maxValue": null } ], "booleanRole": "certainty", "hAxis": { "useFormatFromData": true, "title": "Horizontal axis title", "minValue": null, "viewWindow": { "min": null, "max": null }, "maxValue": null }, "width": 620, "height": 343, "animation": { "duration": 0 } }, "view": { "columns": [ 0, 1, 2, { "label": "Region", "properties": { "role": "annotation" }, "sourceColumn": 3 } ] }, "chartType": "MotionChart", "chartName": "Chart 3" } </script></p><p><strong>Early resettlement history</strong></p><p>The data on the bar chart start at 1980, when Congress passed <a href="http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/resource/the-refugee-act">The Refugee Act</a>, the legislation that formalized the US resettlement program. But that&rsquo;s not to say refugees did not arrive earlier. &ldquo;The refugee program came into public consciousness in a big way because of the drama of the fall of Saigon and the effort to rescue a lot of people who had helped us in Vietnam,&rdquo; said David Martin, a law professor at the University of Virginia. &ldquo;But it did build on much smaller programs that had been around before that.&rdquo;</p><p>In particular, the US had been admitting refugees from Eastern Europe after World War II. &ldquo;They came through Western Europe,&rdquo; explained Martin. &ldquo;They were processed by voluntary agencies in a cooperative relationship with the US government to do some screening and bring them to this country.&rdquo; Among them were Hungarians, Czechs, and Poles, and large numbers of Jews from Eastern European countries. American non-governmental organizations that claimed ties to those nations, or to the refugees&rsquo; religions, took the lead in bringing them to the US and resettling them. The federal government played a small role.</p><p>Martin said the fall of Saigon in 1975 challenged the US government to assume a larger role in the refugee resettlement process. The sheer number of refugees from Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia dwarfed the inflows from earlier years, demanding a more orderly intake system. And refugees from these nations could not tap into existing communities of co-religionists or compatriots, as could their Eastern European predecessors.</p><p>Today the US State Department works with the Executive Office to determine how many refugees will be allowed in each year, and from which regions of the world. The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services manage the intake and placement processes. Non-governmental agencies, known as &ldquo;voluntary agencies,&rdquo; perform the on-the-ground work of finding apartments for new arrivals and providing them other assistance needed for a fresh start.</p><p><strong>The Cold War and refugee patterns</strong></p><p>As you scroll through the chart, you&rsquo;ll notice a few striking things in the years before 2000. First, the number of refugees that Illinois resettled in the early 1980s was markedly higher than any time since, yet the they arrived from very few countries. The primary primary points of origin at that time were Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, the USSR and Cuba. See a pattern there?</p><p>&ldquo;One way of viewing the refugee program, particularly since 1955, is that the program was influenced by the Cold War,&rdquo; said Dr. Edwin Silverman, Chief of the Bureau of Refugee and Immigrant Services at the Illinois Department of Human Services. &ldquo;Refugee resettlement was mainly focused on those refugees fleeing communism or communist regimes.&rdquo;</p><p>Check out what happens in the chart in 1989, where you can watch the number of refugees from the former USSR suddenly jump &mdash; from 731 to nearly 3,000. The number remains high even after the 1991 dissolution of the USSR, and the trend doesn&rsquo;t stop until 1996, when the refugee count from the former USSR plummets abruptly to four. The change is largely an accounting artifact: There was a lag between when the USSR broke up, and when the refugee processing records reflected that. The lag appears to have ended in 1996, when the former USSR number drops, and a slew of new countries suddenly appear in the chart. Many of those are the post-Soviet states, registering their own numbers for the first time.</p><p>Another notable change happened in 1996, when Illinois started receiving refugees from many more African countries. The reason? The US had tapped out the pool of refugees coming from the Cold War countries. &ldquo;We had been processing those populations for 15-20 years,&rdquo; said Kelly Gauger, Deputy Director of the Refugee Admissions Office in the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration at the U.S. State Department. Finally, there was room in the program for refugees from other nations. &ldquo;We started to work more closely with the UN High Commission for Refugees, and they started referring more African cases to us for our consideration,&rdquo; said Gauger.</p><p>Another significant development in the 1990s was the increased flow of refugees from the conflict that embroiled Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Between 1996 and 2001, this was the largest group to come to Illinois.</p><p><strong>The 9/11 lockout, then a new norm</strong></p><p>Perhaps you noticed the major dropoff in 2002 and 2003. Those are the only years since the Refugee Resettlement Act that Illinois admitted fewer than 1000 refugees. This is no anomaly, as the same dip occurred across the country.</p><p>&ldquo;There were significantly increased requirements for refugee security checks in the wake of September 11th,&rdquo; said Gauger. &ldquo;So those two years reflected the difficulty in pushing tens of thousands of new security checks through the system.&rdquo; The dropoff had significant financial impact on local resettlement agencies because they receive federal funding on a per-refugee basis. But those difficulties were somewhat resolved by 2004, Gauger said, when the refugee resettlement process worked through kinks in the new security procedures.</p><p><script type="text/javascript" src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/static/modules/gviz/1.0/chart.js"> {"dataSourceUrl":"//docs.google.com/a/chicagopublicradio.org/spreadsheet/tq?key=0AhjQLu6fCgMwdDVFamUxbUJGOWlQTURYeXJJU0I0dWc&transpose=0&headers=1&range=A1%3AAH2&gid=0&pub=1","options":{"vAxes":[{"useFormatFromData":true,"title":null,"minValue":null,"viewWindow":{"min":null,"max":null},"maxValue":null},{"useFormatFromData":true,"minValue":null,"viewWindow":{"min":null,"max":null},"maxValue":null}],"titleTextStyle":{"bold":true,"color":"#000","fontSize":"12"},"booleanRole":"certainty","title":"Refugee arrivals to Illinois by Federal Fiscal Year (1980 - 2012)","animation":{"duration":500},"legend":"right","hAxis":{"useFormatFromData":true,"minValue":null,"viewWindowMode":null,"viewWindow":null,"maxValue":null},"isStacked":false,"tooltip":{},"width":620,"height":343},"state":{},"view":{},"chartType":"ColumnChart","chartName":"Chart 1"} </script></p><p>More recently, Illinois has hovered around 2,000 refugees per year, a figure lower than those of the early &lsquo;80s, but it&rsquo;s still greater than the lull of 2003. This, too, mirrors a recovery and stabilization at the national level during this decade. But the picture of the refugee program is significantly different from its early years.</p><p>&ldquo;The program has just become less political and more humanitarian in nature over the last ten to fifteen years&rdquo; said Gauger, alluding to the time when refugee status was mainly designated for those fleeing communist regimes. Today, most refugees are referred by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees, which deemed them to have a legitimate fear of persecution in their home country.</p><p>This has meant that in recent years, Illinois and other states have been resettling refugees from a greater diversity of countries. Many local resettlement agencies have struggled to develop the language competency required to assist such distinct groups. This year, the largest number of refugees to Illinois will be coming from Iraq, Burma, and Bhutan.</p><p><strong><a name="Notes"></a>Notes on our data</strong></p><p>The data come from the <a href="http://www.wrapsnet.org/">Refugee Processing Center</a>, a division of the U.S. State Department. Each year represented is the federal fiscal year, meaning October 1 through September 30. This is particularly notable when you consider the aforementioned dip in refugees in 2002; That federal fiscal year began just days after the September 11 attacks.</p><p>The refugee numbers from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos in 1981 and 1982 are estimates. While the original data record total refugees to Illinois from East Asia in those years, they are not broken down by country. These estimates are based on the proportion that each of those countries represented in the total East Asian intake to the U.S. during those years.</p><p>Another interesting artifact of the data: You will find, among the listed countries, &ldquo;Amerasian.&rdquo; According to Martin, &ldquo;Amerasian&rdquo; was a designation mainly applied to children of mixed heritage after the Vietnam War. &ldquo;With a large presence of US troops there, there were a number of children who were born to basically the Vietnamese women, fathered by U.S. citizens,&rdquo; he explained. &ldquo;Because of their parentage, they were sufficiently different in appearance that they suffered a lot of discrimination, many of them did.&rdquo;</p></p> Wed, 23 Jan 2013 14:28:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/numbers-refugees-illinois-105106 Characters of color in 'The Hunger Games' are buoys in a sea of whiteness http://www.wbez.org/blog/achy-obejas/2012-03-28/characters-color-hunger-games-are-buoys-sea-whiteness-97671 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2012-March/2012-03-28/AP110616067838.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-28/AP110616067838.jpg" style="width: 512px; height: 341px;" title="From left, Lenny Kravitz as Cinna, Woody Harrelson as Haymitch and Josh Hutcherson as Peeta in 'The Hunger Games.' (AP/Lionsgate, Murray Close)"></p><p>Leaving a screening of <em>The </em><a href="http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120320/REVIEWS/120319986"><em><em>H</em>unger Games</em></a> this weekend -- a movie I found mostly fun and enjoyable -- I walked away with a singular thought: The film was unnecessarily overwhelmingly white.<br> <br> So imagine how stunned I was when I learned that the <a href="http://jezebel.com/5896408/racist-hunger-games-fans-dont-care-how-much-money-the-movie-made">actual racial controversy</a> with the film is that it’s true to its author’s descriptions of specific characters.</p><p>It seems that some of the movie’s fans were surprised -- and, in some cases, turned off -- upon discovering that character Rue and Thresh are black, in spite of the fact that the book clearly describes them as such. Many were also annoyed that Cinna was played by Lenny Kravitz, when author Suzanne Collins had very clearly described him in <a href="http://www.racialicious.com/2011/11/15/yes-there-are-black-people-in-your-hunger-games-the-strange-case-of-rue-cinna/">a race neutral way</a>; in other words, his was a role that could technically be played by an actor of any color.<br> <br> My complaint? That <em>The Hunger Games</em> was colorblind in the casting of its heroine, Katniss Everdeen, originally described as having “straight black hair” and “olive skin,” and put the excellent blonde-haired/blue-eyed Jennifer Lawrence in the role (with her hair dyed), but lacked the nerve to be color-blind in some of its other casting.<br> <br> Sure, Cinna is black now, but the opportunity was there. Why not colorblind cast more of the other tributes? We hardly get to know them in the movie so it doesn’t really matter what they look like. There’s one Asian tribute in the film...I think; [<em>spoiler alert!</em>] you can catch a glimpse of him out of the corner of your eye in the training scenes, and he’s immediately killed. But why not some of the others? How about Latino or Middle Eastern or even just ambiguously ethnic tributes?<br> <br> But I’m annoyed about more that: Other than those characters specifically designated as “of color” in the book, the general use of non-white racial characters in <em>The Hunger Games</em>, especially in crowd scenes, is tokenistic and, frankly, insulting.<br> <br> Hear me out: The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic North America (more precisely: the U.S.A.). That’s a lot of geography. But that expanse is shrunk dramatically when we look at precisely what kinds of locales the novel encompasses.<br> <br> <em>The Hunger Games</em> opens up in District 12, an impoverished mining province. Director Gary Ross seems to be using Appalachia as a model. That’s fine -- there’s plenty of mining, poverty and white people in Appalachia. In fact, about 83 percent of the population is white and, according to the U.S. Census, people in Appalachia are <a href="http://www.arc.gov/research/researchreportdetails.asp?REPORT_ID=94">generally whiter </a>than the non-Appalachia population in the states that make up the region.<br> <br> So what’s my beef? Well, then, why bother to sprinkle the District 12 crowd scene with one or two singular minority faces? And the point here is singular: The minority actors stand alone, unconnected, unpartnered, as if each and every one of them is the head of a one-person household. Being so terribly few, wouldn’t they perhaps seek each other out, at the very least at a moment like the Reaping, when a child among them is chosen to be sacrificed?<br> <br> The movie then moves to the Capitol -- a gleaming futuristic city on the water. Here the population is colorfully decorated, effete, and much better off than in District 12. And yet the racial situation remains the same: The population is overwhelmingly white, with a sprinkling of individual people of color -- mostly blacks and Asians (I couldn’t pick out any Latinos), racial buoys in a sea of whiteness.<br> <br> What city in North America is this? The actual capital of the U.S., Washington D.C. is only about <a href="http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0763098.html">31 percent white</a>. New York is 44.6 percent white (and 36 percent of New York is <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_New_York_City">foreign-born</a>, with the top ten contributors being the Dominican Republican, China, Jamaica, Guyana, Mexico, Ecuador, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, Colombia and Russia). Los Angeles is 49.8 percent white, Chicago 45 percent, Houston 49 percent and Philadelphia 39 percent.<br> <br> Those are the top five cities in the U.S. -- and in each and every one of them, whites are a <em>minority</em>. In other words, it might make sense in these cities -- and perhaps in some futuristic version of one of them -- to see groups, families, couples, gaggles of kids of color. (The only kids spotlighted in the Capitol are two white kids, also a very selective rendering of what a multi-racial city would actually look like.)</p><p>In fact, in the movie’s one chance to focus on a population of color -- when we see Rue and Thresh’s District 11 -- we're introduced to a citizenry that is still majority white, though noticeably darker. Some folks on fan sites complained that it was disturbing to see the “black” district be the one that erupts in violence. I was floored that District 11 was seen that way by some viewers, given the scarcity of people of color, and even more surprised that the nature of the violence was missed entirely: District 11 is the cradle of the <em>revolution</em> in <em>The Hunger Games</em>.</p><p>The use of people of color in <em>The Hunger Games</em> is so deliberate and unnatural -- clearly a strategic integration rather than an organic result -- that it can't help but feel artificial and awkward.</p></p> Wed, 28 Mar 2012 14:38:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/achy-obejas/2012-03-28/characters-color-hunger-games-are-buoys-sea-whiteness-97671 Reasons behind Humboldt Park's changing demographics http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-17/reasons-behind-humboldt-parks-changing-demographics-87993 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-June/2011-06-17/Humboldt_Park_little_princess.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Humboldt Park has historically been the heart of Chicago’s Puerto Rican community. But the actual Puerto Rican population here began thinning in the 1980s. That was partly due to whites moving back to the city from the suburbs.<br> <br> Along with new populations came higher rents and property taxes. That priced out some folks with lower incomes. The latest census data suggest Puerto Ricans are still leaving. To find out more <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> talked with WBEZ’s West Side reporter Chip Mitchell.</p><p><em>Music Button: Arroyo, Hernandez, Martinez, Rodriguez perform Freddy Hubert's "Little Sunflower"</em></p></p> Fri, 17 Jun 2011 14:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-17/reasons-behind-humboldt-parks-changing-demographics-87993 Hispanic youth now largest-growing demographic in U.S. http://www.wbez.org/story/academia/hispanic-youth-now-largest-growing-demographic-us <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//hispanic kids_Jorge Ravines.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Young Hispanics are now the fastest-growing part of the U.S. population, according to new data released in the U.S. Census Bureau's Demographic Analysis.</p><p>Kenneth Johnson is a demographer at the University of New Hampshire. He said in Chicago, the Hispanic population makes up the majority of the city&rsquo;s population growth.</p><p>&ldquo;Chicago is losing many of its other populations,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;The growth of the Hispanic population through natural increase is one of the few new sources of growth for the city of Chicago and an important area of growth for the Chicago metropolitan area.&rdquo;</p><div>The Demographic Analysis shows the nation&rsquo;s population was roughly 308 million as of April 1. That estimate falls in the middle of the population analysis.&nbsp;The high end of the analysis reaches up to over 312 million people.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The results of the demographic study will be used to help analyze the 2010 Census results due out later this month.</div></p> Mon, 06 Dec 2010 22:39:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/academia/hispanic-youth-now-largest-growing-demographic-us