People living in the Chicago, Illinois, are called Chicagoans.

City of Chicago
Population by year
Population Rank  
1840 4,470 92
1850 29,963 24
1860 112,172 9
1870 298,977 5
1880 503,185 4
1890 1,099,850 2
1900 1,698,575 2
1910 2,185,283 2
1920 2,701,705 2
1930 3,376,438 2
1940 3,396,808 2
1950 3,620,962 2
1960 3,550,404 2
1970 3,366,957 2
1980 3,005,072 2
1990 2,783,726 3
2000 2,896,016 3
2005 2,842,518 3


As of the census of 2000, there were 2,896,016 people, 1,061,928 households, and 632,909 families residing in the city of Chicago proper. This encompasses about one-fifth of the entire population of the state of Illinois and 1% of the population of the United States. The population density was 4,923.0/km˛ (12,750.3/mi˛). There were 1,152,868 housing units at an average density of 1,959.8/km˛ (5,075.8/mi˛).

The racial makeup of the city was 41.97% White, 36.77% Black or African American, 0.36% Native American, 4.35% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 13.58% from other races, and 2.92% from two or more races. Of the population, 26.02% are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Chicago's unique culture arises from it being a melting pot, with nearly even percentages of Whites and African-Americans and a sizeable Hispanic minority.. The main ethnic groups in Chicago are Irish, German, Italian, Polish, Chinese, and Mexican. Chicago has a very large Irish-American population on its South Side, although many Irish-Americans have moved from the city to suburban areas during the past half-century. Many of Chicago's politicians have come from this massive Irish population, including the current mayor, Richard M. Daley.

Chicago has the largest ethnically Polish population outside of Polish capital of Warsaw, making it one of the most important Polonia centers. It is also considered to be the second-largest Serbian city and Lithuanian city in the world, as well as the third largest Greek city in the world. The city also has a large Assyrian population, numbering as many as 80,000 and is the location of the seat of the head of the Assyrian Church of the East, Mar Dinkha IV. It is also the location of the ELCA headquarters. It has the second largest Chicano population in the U.S. behind Los Angeles. The city is the home to a large Romanian-American community with more than 100,000.

The Chicago Metropolitan area is also becoming a major center for Indian-Americans and South Asians. Chicago has the third largest South Asian population in the country, after New York City and San Francisco. The Devon Avenue corridor on Chicago's north side is an example of this, as it is one of the largest South Asian neighborhoods in North America.



Chicago Demographics
2000 Census Data Chicago Illinois US
Total population 2,896,016 12,419,293 281,421,906
Population, percent change, 1990 to 2000 +9.4% +8.6% +13.1%
Population density 12,750.3/mi˛ 223.4mi˛ 79.6/mi˛
Median household income (1999) $38,625 $46,590 $41,994
Per capita income (1999) $20,175 $23,104 $21,587
Bachelor's degree or higher 25.5% 26.1% 24.4%
Foreign born 21.7% 12.3% 11.1%
White 41.97% 73.5% 75.1%
Black 36.77% 15.1% 12.3%
Hispanic/Latino 26.02% 12.3% 12.5%
Asian 4.35% 3.4% 3.6%

There are 1,061,928 households, of which 28.9% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.1% were married couples living together, 18.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.4% were non-families. Of all households, 32.6% are made up of individuals and 8.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.50.

Of the city population, 26.2% were under the age of 18, 11.2% were from 18 to 24, 33.4% are from 25 to 44, 18.9% from 45 to 64, and 10.3% 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 94.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $38,625, and the median income for a family was $42,724. Males had a median income of $35,907 versus $30,536 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,175. Below the poverty line were 19.6% of the population and 16.6% of the families. Of the total population, 28.1% of those under the age of 18 and 15.5% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

Population estimates in 2003 put the number of people in the city proper at 2,869,121, while suburban populations continue to grow, with estimates at 9,650,137 for the combined city and suburbs.