The Metro Chicago Immigration Factbook is a case study of the U.S. Census stricly dealing with incoming (foreign born) immigrants to the 6- and 13-country metropolitan region of Northeastern Illinois, Northwestern Indiana, and Southeastern Wisconsin.
The study was performed and released by Roosevelt University in downtown Chicago.
The most interesting parts of the article are not in the graphs, maps, and charts but in the interpretation of the presented data.
What I thought was very important in the article was the subtle ways the authors expressed how important immigration is the region, without explicitly saying so. It is inferred from simple statements as saying foreign-born residents made up 76% of the growth of the region. Had the immigrants in that group of 76% not come, the region would have only grown by 2.7%.
And without immigration, Cook County, alone, would have seen a 4% decrease in population.
Extrapolating this information and thinking of numerous growth in housing stock (primarily to own) in Chicago and expansion of city events, services, and amenities, I question whether or not our city would be improving as much as it is now. With the increase in population comes an increase in revenue for the city, county, and state, but also at the same time, services to residents needs to become more diverse and the city needs to adapt.
Understanding immigration patterns into this region will help us to do just that.