Taps Coogan – June 1st, 2021
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While reading various corners of the internet this past week, I came across a couple of data points that I found interesting. The first is that the city of Chicago’s population peaked all the way back in the 1950 at 3.6 million people and has declined to 2.69 million as of 2021. In other words, Chicago’s population shrunk 25% between 1950 and 2021.
The second and more surprising data point was that the Windy City has not elected a Republican mayor since 1927.
I decided to take a look at the rest of America’s big (and formerly big) cities with the following two questions in mind: When did their populations peak and how long have they been under single-party control? The result is a growing database of large American cities, their populations, and mayors since their founding. It’s an ongoing process but it’s safe to say that a fairly consistent theme emerges: single-party cities stop growing, particularly in the rust belt. Yes, ‘single-party’ is euphemism for Democratic Party control as there does not appear to be a single large city in the US that is ‘Single-Party Republican’ anymore, though back when there was, they did not suffer the same problem. Of course, correlation doesn’t prove causation. Beyond that, I’ll leave it to readers to draw their own conclusions.
Here is a first look at some of the data for Chicago.
A general note: The mayor that served for a majority of any given year was assigned that entire year. For example, if a mayor’s term began in April, that mayor was assigned the entire year. If an acting mayor served for less than half of a year, they were not included.
I’ll be posting similar charts for other cities in the coming weeks.
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