Latest Census Bureau estimates show Illinois' populations in decline

Latest Census Bureau estimates show Illinois' populations in decline

For the first time this decade, Champaign County has fewer people than it did the year before. But the slight drop is nothing compared to the population plummets elsewhere in Illinois.

Here's what else we learned from an advance copy of new U.S. Census Bureau estimates, set to be released today:

— Not to dump on Danville, but the city's run of bad population news continues: Of the 967 "metropolitan areas" in the United States, only three experienced bigger drops between July 1, 2017, and July 1, 2018, than the one in the Vermilion County seat.

The Danville area lost 970 residents during that period, a decline of 1.2 percent. They only had it worse in Charleston, W.Va. (down 1.6 percent), Pine Bluff, Ark. (1.5), and Farmington, N.M. (1.5).

— Of Illinois' 102 counties, 82 suffered population drops. Among them: Champaign (down 0.1 percent — matching the decline for the C-U metro area); Ford (0.4); Piatt (0.4); Douglas (0.8); and Vermilion (1.2).

— With the real Census a year away, Champaign remains Illinois' 10th largest county. But losing 121 residents knocked it back below 210,000 (to 209,983) — still comfortably ahead of No. 11 Sangamon (195,348).

— Of the 45,116 Illinoisans no longer with us — be it due to departure or death — 24,009 left Cook County. Chicago's home base remains the country's second-most populous county — only L.A. County (10,105,518) has more people than Cook's 5,180,493 — but Texas' Harris County (4,698,619) is closing fast.

— Count on Texas being the big national story today. Four of the 10 fastest-growing counties call the Lone Star State home; three others are in Florida.

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