Iowa grows & Illinois shrinks, according to 2017 U.S. Census estimate

WASHINGTON, D.C.– They share a border, a common river, and both their names start with the letter “I.” But it’s a tale of two very different states for Illinois and Iowa.

The new U.S. Census estimate for Illinois and Iowa’s 2016 population shows many Iowa cities growing significantly in population, while many in Illinois are declining.

Iowa’s population has grown by 208,369 people since the 2000 Census. That keeps Iowa ranked 30th in population with the 2016 estimate of 2,134,693 people. Most of the state’s growth has come from people moving to the metro areas of the state, mainly in and around Iowa City and Des Moines.

The Quad Cities area remained pretty stagnant as a whole. Davenport, the third largest city in the state, grew by 2.9% to a population of 102,612. Bettendorf, nearly a third the size of Davenport, grew much more, by 7.6% to 35,727 people.

Scott County’s population stayed relatively the same, adding just 300 people from 2015 to 2016.

The top 5 cities in Iowa stayed the same:

  1. Des Moines (215,472)
  2. Cedar Rapids (131,127)
  3. Davenport (102,612)
  4. Sioux City (82,872)
  5. Iowa City (74,398)

Waterloo, Ames, West Des Moines, Council Bluffs, and Ankeny round out the top 10. Ankeny grew more than any other city, growing by nearly 29%.

The western part of Iowa saw very little growth.

See the data: 2017 U.S. Census Estimates for the state of Iowa

Illinois is a different story. The largest city in the state and the entire Midwest, Chicago, was the only one of the ten largest cities in the country to see a drop in population from 2015 to 2016. That’s the third consecutive year in a row Chicago has lost residents.

But Chicago is far from alone. Census records show that 18 of the 25 largest cities in Illinois all declined in population: losing anywhere between .5% and 3% of their populations between 2013 and 2016. Decatur, Peoria, and Rockford lost a greater percentage of their residents, between 2% and 3%, than any other area of the state.

As a whole, people are fleeing Illinois. The U.S. Census bureau data estimates Illinois has 29,093 fewer people than in 2010. The state’s population has dropped from 12,830,632 to 12,801,539 people.

The top 5 cities in Illinois, like Iowa, also stayed the same:

  1. Chicago (2,704,968)
  2. Aurora (201,110)
  3. Joliet (148,262)
  4. Rockford (147,651)
  5. Naperville (147,122)

Springfield, Peoria, Elgin, Waukegan, and Champaign round out the top ten. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner are both blaming each other for Illinois’ population decline.

Locally, since the 2010 census, Rock Island County’s population is estimated to have decreased by 2,762. Moline has lost 1,200 people since 2010, while Rock Island has lost 800.

See the data: 2017 U.S. Census Bureau estimates for the state of Illinois

Nationally, New York City remains the largest American city by a large margin. Its population of 8.5 million people is more than twice that of the nearly 4 million living in runner-up Los Angeles.

Chicago stays in third, while Houston continues its trend of growth, with a population of 2.3 million.

The census data also shows a migration of Americans to the South. Four of the top-5 fastest growing cities with populations of 50,000 or more were found in Texas.

Since the 2010 Census, the U.S. Census Bureau reports the populations of large Southern cities grew by an average of 9.4%, while cities in the Western United States grew by 7.3%.

Northeastern cities grew by 1.8%, while Midwestern cities grew by 3%.