The 2010 Census revealed a lot about the gradual moves that are shaking up Illinois. From Illinois Issues:
The population details — laid out in this year’s once-in-a-decade release of U.S. census numbers — show how Illinoisans are changing as a people. As the moving vans are dropping people off in Illinois’ suburbs, they are loading up families moving out of Chicago and rural areas downstate. We are becoming not only more suburban, but more diverse. Hispanic Illinoisans outnumber blacks for the first time; if not for the surge in Hispanic population, Illinois would hardly be growing at all.
The decennial snapshot from the census is perhaps the best portrait we have of the state as a whole. It illustrates how we are changing and what challenges we are soon likely to face. The growth of the outer suburbs puts stress on local infrastructure, such as roads, sewer pipes and school buildings, and affects regional and state resources, too. Likewise, the movement of African-Americans out of Chicago, the emptying of rural areas and the growth of Latinos in nearly every corner of the state will have lasting effects on Illinois politics and policy.
The migrations affect just about everything the state does. That is why understanding the Census is so important. But, of course, many people are most concerned about the effects on elections, which is why the Census occurs in the first place. I looked at that too.
Overall, the census numbers are bad news for Democrats. Over the decade, state House districts now held by Democrats lost a combined total of 87,000 people. Republican-controlled districts, on the other hand, gained nearly half a million people. Dozens of districts reflect that pattern. The clear trend is that Republican-held areas are growing, while Democratic districts are losing people.