This Is the Fastest Shrinking County in Illinois | Illinois

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U.S. population growth slowed over the last decade to its lowest rate since the Great Depression. The U.S. population is aging rapidly. While baby boomers have started to hit retirement age, challenging economic circumstances have caused many younger Americans to postpone having a family — and this was before the pandemic made conditions even more difficult.

While the overall U.S. population still increased in the past decade, some parts of the country reported population decline, mostly due to people moving away. As people move away to either retire or to take on a new job, natural population increase (births minus deaths) has not been enough to offset net migration losses. Nearly every state has at least one county where the population declined significantly from 2010 to 2020 — in some cases by well over 10%.

Economic opportunity — or lack thereof — can be a major factor that causes people to relocate. Most of the fastest shrinking counties in every state have an unemployment rate and a poverty rate greater than or equal to that of the state itself. Other factors, like prevalence of violent crime, lack of recreational activities, and other less desirable qualities can also be factors that cause residents to leave an area in droves.

The fastest shrinking county in Illinois is Cass County. The county’s population declined by 12.6% from 2010 to 2020. The population of Illinois overall decreased by 1.9% during that same time period, and the U.S. population increased by 6.7%.

Cass County’s population declined by 1,716 people during the decade, from 13,641 in 2010 to 11,925 in 2020. This is due in part to negative net migration as 2,007 more people moved away from the county than moved to it during that decade.

To determine the fastest shrinking county in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on population from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Population and Housing Unit Estimates Program. Counties were ranked based on the total population change from 2010 to 2020. Only counties with at least 10,000 residents in 2010 were considered. Data on population change due to natural growth and net migration also came from the Census Bureau PEP program. Data on median household income and poverty rate came from the Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey and are five-year estimates. Data on unemployment for May 2021 came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and are not seasonally adjusted.

 

State County Total population, 2010 Total population, 2020 Total population change, 2010 to 2020
Alabama Perry County 10,577 8,687 -17.9%
Alaska Kodiak Island Borough 13,606 12,992 -4.5%
Arizona Cochise County 131,359 127,450 -3.0%
Arkansas Phillips County 21,755 17,299 -20.5%
California Lassen County 34,895 30,016 -14.0%
Colorado Las Animas County 15,506 14,420 -7.0%
Connecticut Litchfield County 189,876 179,610 -5.4%
Delaware New Castle County 538,496 561,531 4.3%
Florida Gulf County 15,863 13,534 -14.7%
Georgia Macon County 14,743 12,712 -13.8%
Hawaii Honolulu County 953,203 963,826 1.1%
Idaho Fremont County 13,243 13,218 -0.2%
Illinois Cass County 13,641 11,925 -12.6%
Indiana Blackford County 12,766 11,782 -7.7%
Iowa Emmet County 10,302 9,095 -11.7%
Kansas Montgomery County 35,468 31,502 -11.2%
Kentucky Leslie County 11,310 9,637 -14.8%
Louisiana Morehouse Parish 27,979 24,227 -13.4%
Maine Aroostook County 71,873 66,804 -7.1%
Maryland Allegany County 75,042 70,057 -6.6%
Massachusetts Berkshire County 131,274 124,571 -5.1%
Michigan Gogebic County 16,424 13,842 -15.7%
Minnesota Koochiching County 13,319 12,059 -9.5%
Mississippi Coahoma County 26,151 21,564 -17.5%
Missouri DeKalb County 12,888 10,944 -15.1%
Montana Fergus County 11,590 11,104 -4.2%
Nebraska Box Butte County 11,308 10,696 -5.4%
Nevada White Pine County 10,026 9,466 -5.6%
New Hampshire Coos County 33,052 31,174 -5.7%
New Jersey Cumberland County 156,610 147,008 -6.1%
New Mexico Colfax County 13,751 11,927 -13.3%
New York Delaware County 47,962 43,938 -8.4%
North Carolina Northampton County 22,104 19,088 -13.6%
North Dakota Walsh County 11,126 10,437 -6.2%
Ohio Monroe County 14,631 13,586 -7.1%
Oklahoma Blaine County 11,943 9,447 -20.9%
Oregon Malheur County 31,316 30,983 -1.1%
Pennsylvania Cambria County 143,693 128,672 -10.5%
Rhode Island Bristol County 49,842 48,350 -3.0%
South Carolina Allendale County 10,419 8,331 -20.0%
South Dakota Yankton County 22,438 22,742 1.4%
Tennessee Haywood County 18,805 17,002 -9.6%
Texas Hale County 36,207 32,754 -9.5%
Utah Emery County 10,976 10,147 -7.6%
Vermont Rutland County 61,659 57,764 -6.3%
Virginia Buchanan County 24,109 20,613 -14.5%
Washington Yakima County 243,240 251,879 3.6%
West Virginia McDowell County 22,108 16,916 -23.5%
Wisconsin Price County 14,159 13,245 -6.5%
Wyoming Carbon County 15,884 14,711 -7.4%

 



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Caleb Alexander

Caleb Alexander

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