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People Moving Out to Fringes of Suburbs

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The suburbs of Chicago used to be where people moved to get away from the city.

But a new analysis of census data show people are moving even farther out to the fringes of the metro area.

Dr. Kenneth Johnson is a demographer and professor of sociology at Loyola University.

He says census numbers show more people moved out of Cook County over the last five years than any other county in the U.S.

Johnson says the changes mean different things for the city and smaller suburban towns.

“If you’re on the outer edges of the metropolitan area, you’re going to face increased congestion, demands for new infrastructure,” Johnson says. “You’re going to have the need to build a lot of new schools. If you’re in the center of the metropolitan area, your concerns are going to be that many of the people who are moving out from the center to the edges of the area tend to be the more affluent, so you’re losing significant amounts of your income base.”

Johnson’s analysis shows the trend is not particular to Chicago.

Cities like Detroit, Cleveland and Philadelphia also showed large population shifts away from metropolitan areas.

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