PEORIA (WEEK) – Illinois’ population topped 13 million for the first time, the office of Governor JB Pritzker said.
The 2020 census shrank Illinois’ population by nearly two percent, for a total of 250,000 residents, according to new data released Thursday from the U.S. Census Bureau. This is something that many people here in the River City are celebrating.
“This was good news for the state of Illinois,” said Chris Setty, CEO of the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council. “Whether we have lost some or added some populations, we still believe that the Peoria-area is a great place to live,”
Under the original 2020 figures, Illinois lost one congressional seat, and now has 17. However, the population of the state has remained stable over the last 50 years. It has lost several Houses of Representatives over the past 50 years. This reduction will not change with the new data. The originally reported shortage caused many people to say that residents of the state and Peoria were bleeding.
“We need to put an end to that inferiority complex and start showing a little civic pride again,” said Peoria City Councilman Tim Rigenbach.
The new data does not include any region, county or municipality breakdowns. According to a post-Census survey, the new data is such a small fraction of the state’s population, it “cannot be reliably broken down” by demographics or geography. However, the new data will help in other areas such as the 2030 Census.
A list released earlier this week from US News and World Report ranked Peoria as the best place to live in Illinois. Things like this can be a selling point for the city and the region, says Joshua Gunn at the Peoria-Area Chamber of Commerce.
“I think we need to focus on leveraging our energies to retain the people we have here and grow our talents and grow our population,” Gunn said.
Original 2020 census data showed that Peoria lost about 2,000 residents.
“You would certainly think with the numbers they’re talking about that we can make it.” Rigenbach said.
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