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Chicago Is Shrinking, But People Still Move Here! U-Haul Data Excites Rahm

By Tanveer Ali | May 26, 2017 12:13pm | Updated on May 31, 2017 11:33am

CHICAGO — A day after new Census data showed a shrinking Chicago population, the moving company U-Haul had some news that seemed to cheer up Mayor Rahm Emanuel: People still move here. 

U-Haul announced Friday that Chicago is the second most "moved to" city in the nation, which excited Emanuel's office after U.S. Census numbers revealed that Chicago lost 8,638 in population last year, more than any other city.

Though U-Haul only tracks its own customers and did not provide numbers that can be compared to comprehensive Census data, Emanuel said the company's announcement was telling. 

“This report is further evidence of the vibrancy and vitality of Chicago, a global city where people from across the country and around the world are coming to live, work and pursue their dream," Emanuel said, noting that companies such as McDonald's and Motorola have moved to Chicago. "Chicago’s position as the No. 2 destination city in the U.S. is no surprise and another clear sign of the strength of neighborhoods across Chicago.”

The bad news? Houston is still coming for us. 

Houston is on track to surpass Chicago as the third largest American city in the coming years and it's the most moved-to city, according to the U-Haul study. 

Though Chicago had a 5.8 percent drop in people moving to the the city in 2016 compared with the year before, the number of people moving to Chicago still exceeded that of San Antonio, which ranked third in U-Haul's report.

The announcement of Chicago's shrinking population this week led to a war of words between Emanuel and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. 

"Let's review what's happened in Chicago the past two years under Mayor Emanuel: The city's property taxes and fees have skyrocketed; it has surging violence; and it has threatened to close schools due to decades of fiscal mismanagement," Eleni Demertzis, spokeswoman for Rauner said. 

Emanuel's office, however, said the lack of a state budget is to blame. 

"Chicago's population grew each of the first three years the mayor was in office, but since taking office the governor has driven uncertainty in every corner of the state, and Chicago has not been immune from the effects," mayoral spokesman Grant Klinzman said.