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Latest census shows counties growing, except Cook

Sunday, May 17, 2009
Daily Herald
by James Fuller

The latest U.S. census population numbers released late last week show Kane, DuPage, Lake, McHenry and Will counties might all be in line for a bigger chunk of federal funds when the national census occurs next year.

Cook County, though, might struggle just to maintain the funds it received after the last census in 2000.

More than $300 billion in federal and state funding for neighborhood improvements, public health, education and transportation are at stake when the next full census rolls around. The bigger a local community is, the more money it will be entitled to.

Census counts will also be a crucial part of redrawing Congressional and state legislative bodies in 2011.

That's particularly good news for Kane and Will counties. Both have grown by more than 100,000 residents since the last census. DuPage, Lake and McHenry counties have also grown, but at a much slower pace.

But Cook County has a smaller population than it did in 2000. Its population began to drop in 2002 and continued a nose-dive through 2006. A slow uptick in the number of Cook County residents began in 2007 and has continued since.

The latest census numbers reflect local population estimates as of July 2008.

Other highlights of the new numbers show Cook has the largest black population of any county in the nation. About 1.4 million blacks live in Cook County, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

While there are only 11 states with more male than female residents, most of the suburban counties ringing Chicago have more men than women. Men outnumber women in Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties. Meanwhile, women are the dominant gender in Cook and DuPage counties.

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