What is the Population of Chicago?

City residents walk the Chicago boardwalk.
City residents walk the Chicago boardwalk.


The city of Chicago is ranked as the 3rd most populous city in the United States, with a population of about 2.7 million individuals within the city proper. The metropolitan area is home to about 10 million people. Teenage birth rates dropped in 2016 to an all-time low, reflecting a downward trend of birth rates in Chicago over recent years.

The mortality rate in Chicago is increasing due to the increase in crime such as shootings, and homicide. In the year 2016, Chicago reported 762 cases of homicide which is among the highest rates in over a decade.

History and Growth

The area of Chicago was inhabited by Potawatomi in the mid-18th Century. The population of Chicago on August 12, 1823, was only 200 individuals. The population seven years later grew to over 4,000 people. In the 1840s, the flourishing economy attracted immigrants from abroad as well as from rural communities. Between the year 1851 and 1920, Chicago incorporated many other small townships hence growing the population of the city.

Between the 20th and the 21st centuries, there was a major industrial expansion that created many jobs. Many black Americans who were facing a large degree of racial prejudice in southern states moved to the Chicago area. That led to the increase of the African American population from 44,103 in 1910 to 233,903 in 1930.


The demographics of Chicago is 45% white.The second largest group of people were the African Americans who made up 32.9% of the total population of Chicago. Hispanic origin was reported at 28.9%. The Asian represented 5.5% of the population and the Native American population was 0.5% of the population.


The majority of the population of Chicago are identified as Christian, representing 71% of the population. 7% of the population identify with other faiths while, 22% are not affiliated to any religious background. Chicago is also home to a diverse set of other faiths.

The headquarters of the Evangelical Covenant Church, as well as that of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, are found in Chicago.

Economic status

The gross metropolitan product of Chicago is about $630.3 billion as per the 2014-2016 estimates. This, therefore, placed Chicago in the 3rd position in the rankings on gross metropolitan product among the cities of the United States. The high level of diversification in Chicago has made the city rank high on the list of most balanced economies. The MasterCard Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index also named Chicago the 4th most important business center.

In 2009, Chicago was ranked at the 9th position in the category of the world’s richest city according to UBS. Chicago has the 2nd largest central business district and hence it is a major financial center in the US. Boeing also has its headquarters in Chicago. The city’s economy is also boosted by the food processing, publishing, and printing industries.


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