Illinois has not seen the population boom that some other states have experienced as a result of the massive migration caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which includes updated population estimates through 2022, no county in Illinois has cracked the top 100 counties nationwide for population growth.
The fastest growing county in Illinois was Kendall County (Chicagoland), which grew by 3.71%, to 137.254 residents, and ranked No. According to Census data, the 302 counties in the United States with the largest percentage increase are those that were located in Chicagoland.
Brown County, in eastern Illinois grew by 1.56% since 2020 to 6,443.
Grundy (1%), McHenry (0.6%) and Will (0.13%), as well as Porter (0.86%), and Lake (0.15%), counties in Indiana, all experienced increases in their population.
DeKalb and Kane counties in Illinois, as well as DuPage and Cook counties, have all seen their populations shrink since Covid. Cook County, Illinois' most populous county, saw a 2.89% decline to 5.11 millions people. DuPage County, Illinois' second-most populous county, experienced a 1.11% drop to 920 901 and Lake County declined by 0.57 to 709 150.
The National Picture
In the United States, counties with populations greater than 250,000 in 2020 increased by an average of 0.84 percent between 2020 and 2022. The average for all counties was 0.44%.
In all counties, the estimated population grew by 53% between 2020 and 2022.
Experts say that the Covid-19 migration has largely ended, but the trend will have long-term impacts on many metros, particularly in terms of housing, affordability, and workforce.
The Sunbelt has dominated recent migration data and the list of top metros in terms of growth.
Florida accounted for eight of the top fifteen counties in terms of population growth between 2020-2022, with St. Johns County - home to St. Augustine - leading the pack. Five of the 15 counties were in Texas.
Richard Florida, author and urbanist, told us at our Future of Cities event recently that the Sunbelt region's growth will likely affect its affordability in years to come.
He said, 'The Covid relocation era is over.' Prices have skyrocketed in these Covid boomtowns. We hear people saying, "Maybe I need to go north."
Florida has said that it could provide opportunities to places such as Pittsburgh, Detroit and Cleveland.
He said, 'You are beginning to see people thinking about the Midwest as we have never before thought of it.
Sunbelt dominance is evident when you look at the 49 largest counties in America, those that have populations over 1 million. Collin County in Texas, located in the Dallas-Fort Worth region, is the fastest growing county in the Sunbelt.
Ada County in Idaho, Weld County in Colorado, and Douglas County of Utah County led the way for mountain towns outside the Sunbelt. This growth, however, has created significant challenges for these communities.
The Covid-19 recovery, the increased migration and the surge in travelers to national parks and mountain resorts during this time and the severe labor shortages across the country have all put significant pressure on ski towns as well as other hotspots of the West.
Lack of inventory and a surge in demand, like in other rapidly growing regions, led to a dramatic increase in housing costs.
Ellie Staley is the executive director of the Downtown Bozeman Partnership, located in Gallatin County in Montana. The population has grown by 4.4% over the past four years.
We've already reported that migration patterns are likely to be of particular importance in the coming years due to demographic changes, declining birth rates, and lower immigration numbers.