WBEZ | census http://www.wbez.org/tags/census Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Graphic shows how much the 'race' question on the U.S. Census has changed http://www.wbez.org/news/graphic-shows-how-much-race-question-us-census-has-changed-113731 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/census screen2.JPG" alt="" /><p><div id="res455339824" previewtitle="A portion of the U.S. Census Bureau's interactive graphic shows the history of the race question on its survey."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.census.gov/population/race/data/MREAD_1790_2010.html" target="_blank"><img alt="A portion of the U.S. Census Bureau's interactive graphic shows the history of the race question on its survey." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/09/census-interactive-1-_custom-74bfa81273fcfaabbfb790a5c22c2b7e5cef0e42-s600-c85.jpg" style="height: 331px; width: 620px;" title="A portion of the U.S. Census Bureau's interactive graphic shows the history of the race question on its survey. (U.S. Census Bureau/Screenshot by NPR)" /></a></div><div><div><p>In 1890, a shoemaker from Louisiana named Homer Plessy identified himself as &quot;black&quot; on the decennial U.S. Census population survey. Plessy did this even though, as a Creole who was one-eighth black, he was light-skinned enough to pass for white.</p></div></div></div><p>A few years later, the fair-skinned Plessy climbed onto a railroad car set aside for whites, intentionally flouting a state law segregating riders by race. After sitting onboard for awhile, he informed the white conductor that he wasn&#39;t, in fact, &quot;white,&quot; at least not under the crude racial rubric of the late 19th century. The conductor had Plessy arrested, touching off a legal battle that turned into one of the Supreme Court&#39;s most infamous decisions,&nbsp;Plessy vs. Ferguson,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/163/537">which allowed states to constitutionally segregate their citizens by race</a>.</p><p>From there, the story of Homer Plessy and race gets even more tricky. An official from the U.S. Census Bureau tells me that in the 1910 survey &mdash; the first after the Supreme Court ruling&nbsp;&mdash; Plessy identified himself as &quot;<a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/matjohnson/kiss-my-mulatto-ass#.div8o143L">mulatto</a>.&quot; By 1920, he was telling the Census Bureau that he was &quot;white.&quot; The man whose surname became a shorthand for de jure racial segregation wound up hopscotching across America&#39;s color line for much of his life.</p><div id="res455340404" previewtitle="The race question on the U.S. Census Bureau survey in 1850."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="The race question on the U.S. Census Bureau survey in 1850." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/09/1850-census_custom-10a0a06ffe8dda0f8c5e9c64d219839413a51167-s300-c85.jpg" style="height: 393px; width: 310px; float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="The race question on the U.S. Census Bureau survey in 1850. (U.S. Census Bureau)" /></div><div><div><p>It&#39;s not clear why Plessy started identifying as a member of a different race later in his life, but his story is another example of how fluid race has always been in the United States, both personally and societywide. A&nbsp;<a href="https://www.census.gov/population/race/data/MREAD_1790_2010.html">new interactive graphic&nbsp;</a>released by the Census Bureau this month makes this point even clearer, illustrating how the survey&#39;s question on race has evolved over the years while giving us a glimpse of racial politics at different stages of American life.</p></div></div></div><p>It turns out that the race question has been worded differently every 10 years &mdash; since the first official survey in 1790, no two questionnaires have ever had the same options. More groups are slowly added over time, and the terms for those groups change as people begin to exert influence on how they choose to identify, and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2014/11/07/362273449/why-we-have-so-many-terms-for-people-of-color">as outdated or contested terms fall out of favor.</a></p><p>According to the census graphic, the 1790 survey offered just three racial options for a household: &quot;free white females and males,&quot; &quot;slaves&quot; and &quot;all other free persons.&quot; By 1850, the available categories were &quot;black; mulatto&quot; or &quot;white.&quot; Native Americans do not show up on the form until 1860 &mdash; as &quot;Indians&quot; &mdash; the same year &quot;Chinese&quot; first appears. People whose ancestry traces to India don&#39;t have an option until 1920, when &quot;Hindu,&quot; a religious identity and not an ethnic one, appeared for the first and only time.</p><p>There are no Latino or Hispanic options on the questionnaire until 1930, when &quot;Mexican&quot; appears. But that option went away after that survey, and all Latino/Hispanic choices completely disappear from the form for the next several decades. They don&#39;t show up again until 1970.</p><p>The graphic underscores the political and social slipperiness of these identifiers, which we tend to think of as fixed, scientific truths in everyday life. As I wrote last year,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2014/06/09/319584793/what-is-your-race-for-millions-of-americans-a-shifting-answer">millions of people</a>&nbsp;who identified as Hispanic and &quot;some other race&quot; in the 2000 census &mdash; the first year the form allowed respondents to do so &mdash; chose to identify as Hispanicand&nbsp;white in 2010. That prompted&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/22/upshot/more-hispanics-declaring-themselves-white.html?_r=0">a whole bunch of chin-stroking about a potential mass exodus of Latinos into whiteness</a>, like the way German, Irish and Jewish immigrants were gradually subsumed into American whiteness in the first half of the 20th century.</p><p>(Though what many folks missed was that nearly the same number of respondents went the other direction, as well &mdash; identifying as &quot;Hispanic and white&quot; in 2000 but as &quot;Hispanic and some other race&quot; in 2010.)</p><p>As several census officials told us last year, all this messiness is a feature, not a bug. That is, they want respondents to have more nuance and precision in how they can answer. This summer,&nbsp;<a href="http://time.com/3927002/census-race-ethnicity/">the bureau sent out</a>&nbsp;a test questionnaire that drops the words &quot;race&quot; and &quot;nationality&quot; and instead asks respondents which &quot;category&quot; best represents them; depending on how people respond to the test questionnaire, some version of this wording may appear on the survey for 2020.</p><p>As the country&#39;s racial politics keep changing, so does the way we orient ourselves to it. It&#39;s worth remembering that the way we choose to identify is informed not only by how we engage with the world&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2014/06/16/321819185/on-the-census-who-checks-hispanic-who-checks-white-and-why">(and how we perceive the way we are treated in it)</a>&nbsp;but also, crucially, which designations are available to us at any given time.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2015/11/09/455331023/a-graphic-shows-how-much-the-race-question-on-the-census-and-america-has-changed?ft=nprml&amp;f=455331023" target="_blank"><em> NPR&#39;s Code Switch</em></a></p></p> Tue, 10 Nov 2015 16:25:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/graphic-shows-how-much-race-question-us-census-has-changed-113731 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 House lawmakers dispute interests of having crowded prisons http://www.wbez.org/news/house-lawmakers-dispute-interests-having-crowded-prisons-107198 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/illinois prison.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A controversial measure that would change how the U.S. Census counts Illinois prison inmates is advancing in Springfield.</p><p>The census counts Illinois&rsquo; prison inmates as residents of the town the prison is in, not the town they came from.</p><p>That population can affect a region&rsquo;s eligibility for government money.</p><p>State House members narrowly approved a bill Wednesday saying the state will start keeping track of an inmates&rsquo; last known address for census purposes.The measure passed with the bare minimum of favorable votes, 60-55.</p><p>The bill&rsquo;s passage upset Republican State Rep. Chad Hays from Danville, which has a prison that currently holds about 1,800 inmates, according to the Illinois Department of Corrections.</p><p>&ldquo;I just lost 2,000 residents,&rdquo; Hays said after the vote.</p><p>He sarcastically said he&rsquo;ll start sending expenses to the City of Chicago for projects paid for with government money.</p><p>But State Rep. Monique Davis of Chicago suggested those who have prisons in their districts have a financial interest in keeping their prisons full.</p><p>&ldquo;Let&rsquo;s see how many enhanced penalty bills will pass, let&rsquo;s see how many new bills were put in the criminal code if that population is no longer valuable to certain groups,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>The measure still needs the support of the Senate.</p><p><em>Tony Arnold covers Illinois politics for WBEZ. Follow him @<a href="http://twitter.com/tonyjarnold" target="_blank">tonyjarnold.</a></em></p></p> Thu, 16 May 2013 07:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/house-lawmakers-dispute-interests-having-crowded-prisons-107198 City's ward remap drawing more battle lines than boundaries http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-12-16/citys-ward-remap-drawing-more-battle-lines-boundaries-94965 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-December/2011-12-16/3683_75d13a813ebe85f.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>City Hall was tense Thursday and more political maneuvering was expected Friday. Aldermen have been fighting for electoral survival as they redraw the <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/about/wards.html" target="_blank">city’s ward boundaries</a>, which they have to do every 10 years using new census data. But demographic shifts have made this decade’s debate more difficult than in the past. WBEZ’s political reporter <a href="http://www.wbez.org/staff/sam-hudzik" target="_blank">Sam Hudzik</a> joined <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> to talk about the map-making mess.</p><p><em>Music Button: 11 Acorn Lane, "Hark The Herald Angels Sing", from the album Happy Holy Days, (self released)</em></p></p> Fri, 16 Dec 2011 14:45:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-12-16/citys-ward-remap-drawing-more-battle-lines-boundaries-94965 New data paints stark portrait of nation’s poor http://www.wbez.org/content/new-data-paints-stark-portrait-nation%E2%80%99s-poor <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-November/2011-11-03/homeless_Flickr_Nima Taradji.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>WASHINGTON (AP) — The ranks of America's poorest poor have climbed to a record high — 1 in 15 people — spread widely across metropolitan areas as the housing bust pushed many inner-city poor into suburbs and other outlying places and shriveled jobs and income.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-03/homeless_Flickr_Nima Taradji.jpg" style="width: 400px; height: 350px; margin: 5px; float: left;" title="(Flickr/Nima Taradji, file)">New census data paint a stark portrait of the nation's haves and have-nots at a time when unemployment remains persistently high. It comes a week before the government releases first-ever economic data that will show more Hispanics, elderly and working-age poor have fallen into poverty.</p><p>In all, the numbers underscore the breadth and scope by which the downturn has reached further into mainstream America.</p><p>"There now really is no unaffected group, except maybe the very top income earners," said Robert Moffitt, a professor of economics at Johns Hopkins University. "Recessions are supposed to be temporary, and when it's over, everything returns to where it was before. But the worry now is that the downturn — which will end eventually — will have long-lasting effects on families who lose jobs, become worse off and can't recover."</p><p>Traditional inner-city black ghettos are thinning out and changing, drawing in impoverished Hispanics who have low-wage jobs or are unemployed. Neighborhoods with poverty rates of at least 40 percent are stretching over broader areas, increasing in suburbs at twice the rate of cities.</p><p>Once-booming Sun Belt metro areas are now seeing some of the biggest jumps in concentrated poverty.</p><p>Signs of a growing divide between rich and poor can be seen in places such as the upscale Miami suburb of Miami Shores, where nannies gather with their charges at a playground nestled between the township's sprawling golf course and soccer fields. The locale is a far cry from where many of them live.</p><p>One is Mariana Gripaldi, 36, an Argentinian who came to the U.S. about 10 years ago to escape her own country's economic crisis. She and her husband rent a two-bedroom apartment near Biscayne Bay in a middle-class neighborhood at the north end of Miami Beach, far from the chic hotels and stores.</p><p>But Gripaldi said in the past two years, the neighborhood has seen an increase in crime.</p><p>"The police come sometimes once or twice a night," she said in Spanish. "We are looking for a new place, but it's so expensive. My husband went to look at a place, and it was $1,500 for a two-bedroom, one bath. I don't like the changes, but I don't know if we can move."</p><p>About 20.5 million Americans, or 6.7 percent of the U.S. population, make up the poorest poor, defined as those at 50 percent or less of the official poverty level. Those living in deep poverty represent nearly half of the 46.2 million people scraping by below the poverty line. In 2010, the poorest poor meant an income of $5,570 or less for an individual and $11,157 for a family of four.</p><p>That 6.7 percent share is the highest in the 35 years that the Census Bureau has maintained such records, surpassing previous highs in 2009 and 1993 of just over 6 percent.</p><p>Broken down by states, 40 states and the District of Columbia had increases in the poorest poor since 2007, and none saw decreases. The District of Columbia ranked highest at 10.7 percent, followed by Mississippi and New Mexico. Nevada had the biggest jump, rising from 4.6 percent to 7 percent.</p><p>Concentrated poverty also spread wider.</p><p>After declining during the 1990s economic boom, the proportion of poor people in large metropolitan areas who lived in high-poverty neighborhoods jumped from 11.2 percent in 2000 to 15.1 percent last year, according to a Brookings Institution analysis released Thursday. Such geographically concentrated poverty in the U.S. is now at the highest since 1990, following a decade of high unemployment and rising energy costs.</p><p>Extreme poverty today continues to be prevalent in the industrial Midwest, including Detroit, Grand Rapids, Mich., and Akron, Ohio, due to a renewed decline in manufacturing. But the biggest growth in high-poverty areas is occurring in newer Sun Belt metro areas such as Las Vegas, Riverside, Calif., and Cape Coral, Fla., after the plummeting housing market wiped out home values and dried up construction jobs.</p><p>As a whole, the number of poor in the suburbs who lived in high-poverty neighborhoods rose by 41 percent since 2000, more than double the growth of such city neighborhoods.</p><p>Elizabeth Kneebone, a senior research associate at Brookings, described a demographic shift in people living in high-poverty neighborhoods, which have less access to good schools, hospitals and government services. As concentrated poverty spreads to new areas, including suburbs, the residents are now more likely to be white, native-born and high school or college graduates — not the conventional image of high-school dropouts or single mothers in inner-city ghettos.</p><p>The more recent broader migration of the U.S. population, including working- and middle-class blacks, to the South and to suburbs helps explain some of the shifts in poverty.</p><p>A study by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies found that the population of 133 historically black ghettos had dropped 36 percent since 1970, as the U.S. black population growth slowed and many blacks moved to new areas. The newest residents in these ghettos are now more likely to be Hispanic, who have more than tripled their share in the neighborhoods, to 21 percent.</p><p>Just over 7 percent of all African-Americans nationwide now live in traditional ghettos, down from 33 percent in 1970.</p><p>"As extreme-poverty neighborhoods emerge in more places, that is shifting the general makeup of those populations," said Kneebone, the lead author of the Brookings analysis.</p><p>New 2010 poverty data to be released next week by the Census Bureau will show additional demographic changes.</p><p>The new supplemental poverty measure for the first time will take into account non-cash aid such as tax credits and food stamps, but also additional everyday costs such as commuting and medical care. Official poverty figures released in September only take into account income before tax deductions.</p><p>Based on newly released estimates for 2009, the new measure will show a significant jump in overall poverty. Poverty for Americans 65 and older is on track to nearly double after factoring in rising out-of-pocket medical expenses, from 9 percent to over 15 percent. Poverty increases are also anticipated for the working-age population because of commuting and child-care costs, while child poverty will dip partly due to the positive effect of food stamps.</p><p>For the first time, the share of Hispanics living in poverty is expected to surpass that of African-Americans based on the new measure, reflecting in part the lower participation of immigrants and non-English speakers in government aid programs such as housing and food stamps. The 2009 census estimates show 27.6 percent of all Hispanics living in poverty, compared with 23.4 percent for blacks.</p><p>Alba Alvarez, 52, a nanny who chatted recently in Miami, said she is lucky because her employer rents an apartment to her and her husband at a low rate in a comfortable neighborhood on the bay. But her adult children, who followed her to the U.S. from Honduras, are having a tougher time.</p><p>They initially found work in a regional wholesale fruit and vegetable market that supplies many local supermarkets. But her youngest son recently lost his job, and since he has no legal status, he cannot get any help from the government.</p><p>"As a mother, I feel so horrible. There's this sense of powerlessness. I wanted things to be better for them in this country," Alvarez said. "I (recently) suggested my youngest go back to Honduras. It's easier for me to help him there than here, where rent and everything is so expensive."</p></p> Thu, 03 Nov 2011 18:47:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/content/new-data-paints-stark-portrait-nation%E2%80%99s-poor 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 Population of Detroit plummets http://www.wbez.org/story/census/population-detroit-plummets-84121 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-March/2011-03-23/Detroit-David-Tansey.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The U.S. Census Bureau this week is out with the latest population count for Michigan.&nbsp; <a href="http://www.changinggears.info/2011/03/22/like-other-places-in-the-midwest-michigan-cities-shed-population/">Michigan's biggest cities</a> lost people, like lots of places in the Midwest.</p><p>Chicago's population declined by almost seven percent in the 2010 census numbers, and Cleveland's dropped by about 17 percent. But Detroit lost a quarter of its population over the last ten years.</p><p>It now has the same population that it had in 1910, before the auto industry boom. .</p><p>&quot;Now's not the time to look in the rear view mirror,&quot;&nbsp;said Robert Ficano, the Executive for Wayne County, home to the Motor City. &quot;Now's the time to look in the future and say 'ok, what do we do to recover and what do we do to stabilize ourselves here?'&quot;</p><p>Ficano said he's not surprised by the population decline, given what's happened to the auto industry. He said going forward, economic diversification is key to Detroit's success.</p><p>A few Midwest cities gained population, including Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana.</p></p> Wed, 23 Mar 2011 11:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/census/population-detroit-plummets-84121 Top cop: Chicago won’t redraw beat maps anytime soon http://www.wbez.org/story/beat-realignment/top-cop-chicago-won%E2%80%99t-redraw-beat-maps-anytime-soon <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//Jody_Weis_by_Getty.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago may not have enough cops in its highest-crime neighborhoods, but police Supt. Jody Weis says the city won&rsquo;t redraw patrol maps anytime soon.<br /><br />Realigning the city&rsquo;s 285 beats would shift officers and cars to where they&rsquo;re needed most, an idea popular with some aldermen on the city&rsquo;s South and West sides. Weis himself had been talking it up for two years.<br /><br />But aldermen in low-crime areas voiced fears that they would lose protection. And the Fraternal Order of Police said its contract constrained where the city could assign officers.<br /><br />Now Weis is talking about a different approach. At a Chicago Police Board meeting last Thursday, the superintendent said the city would not redraw beat maps, at least for now. &ldquo;We certainly don&rsquo;t intend to do that until the wards have been redrawn,&rdquo; Weis said, according to the meeting <a href="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/Chicago_Police_Board_public_meeting_20110217.pdf">transcript</a>.<br /><br />What do political boundaries have to do with policing? WBEZ on Tuesday asked Weis spokeswoman Lt. Maureen Biggane, but she didn&rsquo;t answer.<br /><br />The police department, meanwhile, is sticking close to the status quo. In a written statement, Biggane said that includes sending mobile units to high-crime areas &mdash; an approach she calls less costly than realigning the beats.<br /><br />&ldquo;None of these methods entail realigning districts or beats,&rdquo; Biggane wrote. &ldquo;However, the process is continual and fluid. Additional data, including recent Census Bureau figures, will be taken into account as the process moves forward.&rdquo;</p></p> Tue, 22 Feb 2011 21:36:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/beat-realignment/top-cop-chicago-won%E2%80%99t-redraw-beat-maps-anytime-soon Hammond now Northwest Indiana's largest city http://www.wbez.org/story/census/hammond-now-nwi%E2%80%99s-largest-city <p><p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]-->In 1960 the population of Gary, Indiana, stood at 178,000. But after that zenith, the count was on the downslide. It started out as a trickle, but with each ten-year census, it was clear the number of people leaving the city was mounting.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Over the next five decades, Gary, the city once known as &ldquo;The City of The Century,&rdquo; took its knocks. It experienced racial strife, industrial layoffs and, at times, rampant crime. But even through all that, Gary had remained the largest city in Northwest Indiana.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Now, it&rsquo;s lost that claim to fame.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">U.S. Census Bureau data released Thursday show Gary lost more than 21 percent of its population during the last 10 years. The official count now stands at 80,294, less than half of the city&rsquo;s population in 1960.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Gary&rsquo;s neighbor to the West, Hammond, couldn&rsquo;t help but notice the latest census numbers.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Despite the fact that Hammond saw a two percent decline in its own population, Gary lost population much more quickly between 2000 and today. So, Hammond can now boast being Lake County&rsquo;s largest city, having edged out Gary by a mere 536 residents.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">It&rsquo;s the first time Hammond has recorded more residents than Gary since the 1910 census. Back then, Hammond had 20,000 residents to Gary&rsquo;s 15,000. But Gary was a fledgling town; after all, it had only been established as a city in 1906. Hammond, meanwhile, had a running start; it was founded in 1884.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">But none of this <span style="">&nbsp;</span>history matters to Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott, Jr.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">He&rsquo;s only concerned that Hammond has claimed the top spot in 2010.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&ldquo;As mayor, I am thrilled beyond words,&rdquo; McDermott said Thursday. &ldquo;I have always felt that Hammond was going to be bigger than Gary by the 2020 census. But the fact that it came out bigger now, I was flabbergasted to be honest with you.&rdquo;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">McDermott said some predicted Hammond would lose far more than the 2,000 residents indicated in census data.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">He said the attrition could be attributed to the city&rsquo;s removal of a troublesome housing development on the city&rsquo;s south side off the Borman Expressway.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Meanwhile, Rudy Clay, the mayor of Gary, was livid over the census data, and stated he believes the numbers are inaccurate.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&ldquo;Gary has thousands of more residents than what&rsquo;s on paper,&rdquo; Clay said.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Clay said some residents simply refused to fill out census forms, with the consequence that Gary could lose eligibility for some federal funds.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Clay said the city plans to appeal the census bureau figures, all in the hope they do another count. He says Gary had such a recount 10 years ago, and that effort boosted the city&rsquo;s official population figure by thousands.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 11 Feb 2011 02:21:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/census/hammond-now-nwi%E2%80%99s-largest-city