Where New Residents of Chicago Are Moving From

Al Harris
Find Self-Storage

It appears that the Windy City is shrinking. The U.S. Census found that about 6,000 fewer people lived in the Chicago metro area in 2015 compared to 2014.

Still, the metropolis boasts a population of more than 9.5 million. While the population may be declining overall, people are still moving there.

We at SpareFoot curious to find out where people have recently moved to Chicago from, so we looked at another set of Census data from 2009-2013 that shows the different places people moved to the Chicago metro area from.

Moving to Chicago

Specifically, we looked at data for county to county migration to Cook County, where Chicago is located. According to the data 48,742 people moved into the district during that five year period.

Here are the top 10 places where people are moving to Cook County from.

  1. Lake County, IN
  2. Los Angeles County, CA
  3. New York County, NY
  4. Maricopa County, AZ (Phoenix)
  5. Milwaukee County, WI
  6. Fulton County, GA (Atlanta)
  7. Hennepin County, MN (Minneapolis)
  8. San Diego County, CA
  9. Kings County, NY (Brooklyn)
  10. Oakland County, MI

All that movement generates demand for local self-storage facilities.

Current Trends

We looked at our own data to see where people are moving to Chicago from currently.

To compile our list, we looked at the number of Sparefoot.com searches for storage in the Chicago metro area from April 2015 through March 2016. We also found the top ten places those searches originated from.

The metro area includes several of the top counties we looked at above.

Based on our analysis, New York City is the top city where people are likely to be moving to Chicago from, followed by Detroit and L.A.

Below are the top ten cities:

Top 10 MSA’s by number of searches for storage in Chicago / Percent share of top 10

New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island 22%
Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint MI CMSA 12%
Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County CA 12%
Washington-Baltimore DC-MD-VA-WV CMSA 11%
San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose CA CMSA 10%
Denver-Boulder-Greeley CO CMSA 10%
Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton WA CMSA 7%
Milwaukee-Racine WI CMSA 6%
Minneapolis-St. Paul MN-WI MSA 5%
Dallas-Fort Worth TX CMSA 5%

We believe that storage searches made from one city for storage space in another city likely indicates intent to relocate to that city.

Our list shows some possible migration patterns emerging from cities not indicated by the past Census data: in particularly movement from Washington D.C., San Francisco, Denver and Seattle.

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Editor's Note: This article was originally published on July 27, 2016 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Al Harris

Alexander Harris is a reporter covering the business of self-storage. He obtained his degree in journalism from Virginia Commonwealth University. He loves reading Elmore Leonard novels and listening to classic country music. You can call him Al.
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The SpareFoot Blog offers tips about self-storage, information about storage auctions, advice about home organization, news about SpareFoot and much more.
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