Elgin, Aurora, Pingree Grove, Huntley Among Fastest-Growing Communities in Illinois

Elgin, Aurora, Pingree Grove, Huntley Among Fastest-Growing Communities in Illinois

  • Editor’s Note: This is the second of a series on population change in Kane County, based on reports by Northern Illinois University’s Center for Governmental Studies.

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In terms of percentage population increases, the two fastest growing communities from 2010 to 2014 in Illinois were the village of Volo in Lake County and the village of Pingree Grove in Kane County.

Volo’s population swelled by slightly more than 28 percent to 3,870 residents. Pingree Grove’s population jumped by nearly 28 percent to 5,878 residents.

The village of East Dundee ranked third in percentage population increases, with 11 percent growth to 3,198 residents. Each of those villages annexed property during the time period.

Pingree Grove“Population gain may be viewed as a positive sign of growth, particularly if accompanied by a decline in vacant properties or an increase in new housing starts,” said Eric Zeemering, a professor of public administration at Northern Illinois University. “More residents occupying more tax-paying parcels is generally viewed favorably by local officials.”

While Illinois leads the nation in population decline, according to a report by NIU’s Center for Governmental Studies, many cities in Illinois continue to grow, including Chicago, which added 25,070 people from 2010 to 2014. That amounts to modest growth of just under 1 percent.

In total population gain, Kane County communities accounted for four of the top 20 in the NIU report:

  • Elgin was the fourth-highest population gainer, adding 2,813 residents, for a total of 111,117.
  • Aurora — Illinois’ second-largest city — was sixth in population gain, adding 2,295 residents, for a total of 200,456.
  • Pingree Grove was 13th in the state, gaining 1,282 residents, for the previously mentioned total of 5,878.
  • Huntley was 14th, gaining 1,256 residents, for a total of 25,603.

Naperville added 3,828 residents, the second largest numerical increase of Illinois cities, followed by Champaign (3,314), Elgin, Oswego (2,565), Aurora and Plainfield (2,188). If current trends continue, Joliet and Naperville, the fourth and fifth largest Illinois cities respectively, will surpass Rockford in population size within the next year or two, Taylor says.

“However, communities experiencing rapid growth or communities confronting a capacity limit on critical infrastructure, such as a water system, may find new growth to be costly, as the local government will need to invest in new or expanded infrastructure to support new residents,” he added.

Population changes taking place in Illinois also include a shift from rural to urban settings.

“This reflects a national trend,” said Sherrie Taylor, a CGS researcher. “The global tipping point was in 2007, when the worldwide population in urban settings first exceeded rural settings. In the United States, the trend is no different as people have been moving to urban settings for decades. Now more than 80 percent of the country’s population is in urban areas, and that percentage continues to grow. Urban areas offer convenience, jobs and an opportunity for a greater quality of life.”

SOURCE: Tom Parisi, NIU Media and Public Relations

Kane County Population Series