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Kendall County remains an island of population growth in region, Illinois

Kendall County remained a high population growth county over the past decade, according to new census numbers.

Data from the 2020 U.S. census released last week lists the county’s population at 131,869, a 14.9% increase from the 114,736 residents counted as living in the county in the 2010 census.

Kendall County’s double-digit population growth stands in sharp contrast to other northern Illinois counties and the state of Illinois, which lost just more than 18,000 in total population since 2010, according to census data.

The county’s four largest municipalities all gained in population over the past decade with Yorkville experiencing the largest percentage increase in population, 27%, from 16,921 in 2010 to 21,533 in 2020.

Oswego’s population grew 13%, from 30,355 in 2010 to 34,585, while neighboring Montgomery’s population rose 9%, from 18,438 to 20,262.

Plano’s population rose from 10,856 to 11,847, an increase of 9%.

Kendall County’s continuing population growth rate is ahead of other northeastern Illinois counties, which all saw growth since 2010 in the low single digits.

Census data shows Grundy County had a growth rate of 4.9%, Will County 2.8%, DuPage County 1.7%, Cook County 1.6%, Lake Count 1.5%,McHenry County 0.05% and Kane County 0.2%.

While the county and its largest municipalities gained more residents, the county continues to grow more diverse.

The percentage of white county residents declined from 83.6% in the 2010 census to 67.4% in the 2020 census. Meanwhile, the percentage of Black residents increased from 5.7% a decade ago to 8% in 2020 and the Hispanic population rose from 15.6% in 2010 to 20% in 2020, according to census data.

Asian residents account for 2.2% of the county’s 2020 population, the census data shows.

Oswego Village Administrator Daniel Di Santo said the village continues to be among the fastest growing communities in the state, a trend he and other village officials expect will continue.

“We look forward to the release of the full census data so that we can review the information at the tract level to learn more how our population has changed,” Di Santo said, adding, “Ultimately, this strong increase in population will result in more annual state revenues coming to the village, which benefits all of our residents and businesses. Based on the numerous residential developments under construction or about to begin construction, we are already planning to commission a special census in a few years.”

Montgomery Village President Matt Brolley said in a statement village officials expected the census would confirm the village’s continuing population growth.

“We anticipated eclipsing 20,000 in this census and had budgeted and planned accordingly for an almost 10% increase in population,” Brolley said, adding, “We look forward to the continued growth and development of the village.”

The census data also serves to move both Yorkville and Montgomery closer to home rule status under state law. The state automatically grants Home Rule status to municipalities that populations of 25,001 or more.

Under home rule, village boards and city councils have greater taxing and regulatory authority, including the ability to implement a local sales tax.

With a population of 21,533, Yorkville is 3,468 residents short of home rule status. Montgomery, with a population of 20,262, needs 4,739 more residents. If current homebuilding trends continue for the next several years, both municipalities may achieve home rule status by the end of the decade.

In the the meantime, the additional residents reported living in the county will help to boost the share of state-reimbursed per-capita income tax revenues each currently receive.

The census results help government officials at the state and federal level make decisions about how resources are allocated to local governments throughout the country. Public officials worked through 2020 in social media campaigns and other forms of outreach to encourage each resident to be counted, emphasizing the importance of an accurate count to maximize the amount of financial resources local government receive.

In addition to distributing resources, the census helps determine political representation. State lawmakers typically use census data to redraw legislative districts every 10 years, as required by the U.S. Constitution. Illinois lawmakers already drew the state’s new House and Senate districts in the spring using American Community Survey data but have not yet drawn new congressional maps.

The state will lose a member of Congress beginning in 2023 because of the loss of those 18,000 residents.

The results of the 2020 census were delayed several months, which Census Bureau officials said was because of the pandemic. The numbers normally are released in the spring.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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