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State Stix

Worlds of difference

"In many of the largest urban counties in the U.S., and in a few nonmetropolitan counties, no single ethnic or racial group is a majority. "A high diversity rating does not imply that the different ethnic groups in a county live in the same neighborhoods, socialize together, or attend the same schools. Most of the time, they do not. But a high diversity rating does imply new political alliances and new cultural hybrids."

Source: James P. Allen and Eugene Turner, "Where Diversity Reigns (based on 1980 census)," American Demographics, August 1990.

The most diverse counties in the U.S. the top 10





San Francisco



Manahattan Borough (NYC)



Bronx Borough (NYC)



Los Angeles



Brooklyn Borough (NYC)






Rio Arriba

N. M.


Queens Borough (NYC)



Alameda (Oakland)



Essex (Newark)


(Cook County in Illinois ranks 25th.) Source: Same as above.

High diversity counties in Illinois

Cook, followed by Pulaski, Alexander and St. Clair.

Source: Same as above.

Asian Indian, Belgian, Slovene

DuPage County ranks fifth in the nation in people of Asian Indian descent and third in their population density.

Rock Island County is No. 3 nationwide in the number of people of Belgian ancestry, and Will County is No. 5 in Slovenes.

Source: Allen and Turner, We The People: An Atlas of America's Ethnic Diversity, New York, 1988.

Native Americans in Illinois

Cook County leads in the number of Illinoisans of American Indian descent, followed by Lake, DuPage, Winnebago, Will, Kane and Madison counties.

Source: Same as above.

African Americans in Illinois

African Americans constitute between 25 and 50 percent of the population in Alexander, Cook, Pulaski and St. Clair counties; between 10 and 25 percent in Kankakee, Macon and Peoria counties, and between 5 and 10 percent in Champaign, Jackson, Lake, Madison, Randolph, Rock Island, Sangamon, Stephenson, Vermilion, Winnebago and Will counties.

Source: Same as above.

Hispanic people in Illinois

Cook County has the largest number of people of Mexican descent, followed by Kane, Lake, Will, Rock Island, Whiteside and Winnebago counties.

Mexican Americans comprise between 5 and 10 percent of the population in Cook, Kane and Whiteside counties. They represent between 2 and 5 percent of the population in Boone, Lake, Rock Island and Will counties.

People of Puerto Rican origin live in greatest numbers in Cook County, followed by Kane, Lake, DuPage, Will and St. Clair counties. Cook also leads in number of people from Central and South America, followed by DuPage, Lake, Kane, Will and St. Clair.

Source: Same as above.

Asians and Pacific Islanders

The term "Asian and Pacific Islander" includes: Asian Indian, Cambodian. Chinese, Filipino, Guamanian, Hawaiian, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Pakistani, Samoan, Taiwanese, Thai and Vietnamese. Most Illinoisans of Asian and Pacific Island descent live in Cook County, followed by DuPage, Lake, Will, Kane and Champaign counties.

Source: Same as above.

Cook County's national rankings in terms of number of people descended from various ethnic, racial and religious groups

Groups are listed in order of number of people.

No. 1: Polish, German, Czech, Lithuanian, Croatian, Assyrian, Serbian.

No. 2: African American, Irish, Puerto Rican, Greek, Swedish, Ukranian, East and West African, Latvian, Pakistani.

No. 3: Italian, Asian Indian, Korean, Austrian, Danish, Romanian, Thai.

No. 4: Mexican, Dutch, Russian, Arabian, Turkish, Israeli.

No. 5: Other Hispanics (Central and South American), Filipino, Norwegian, Slovakian, Haitian, Albanian.

In addition. Chicago ranked 5th nationally in the number of Jews, according to a survey of Jewish organizations. Jews were not counted as a group in the 1980 census because Congress decided questions pertaining to religion cannot be asked in the census. Instead they were counted according to national ancestry.

Source: Same as above.


Percent of U.S. population that is:

Public estimate

Actual figure










Source: "Demomemo," American Demographics, September 1990.

Is diversity a global trend?

Diversity has always been a global trend. People get around more than their governments give them credit for. According to the United Nations refugee commission, however, the world is now in the midst of unprecedented migrations caused by persecution, poverty, war, underdevelopment, population growth and environmental degradation. These pressures seem likely to trigger major movements of refugees and other migrants in the 1990s.

Source: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Refugees, No. 73, March 1990.

General funds

The general funds end-of-month balance for September was $206,532 million; the average daily available balance was $177,572 million.

Source: Office of the Comptroller.

Unemployment rates up again

In September the nation's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.7 percent, up from 5.6 percent in August. Illinois' rate was 7.2 percent, up from 6.5 percent.

The state's civilian labor force climbed to 6.008 million people in September; 5.573 million people had jobs (up by 5,000) and 435,000 were unemployed (up by 49,000).

Final unemployment rates in July for the state's metro areas were:

Aurora-Elgin, 5.8 percent.
Bloomington-Normal, 3.9 percent.
Champaign-Urbana-Rantoul, 4.1 percent
Chicago, 6.1 percent.
Davenport, Rock Island, Moline (Illinois sector), 6.1 percent.
Decatur, 7.2 percent.
Joliet, 6.7 percent.
Kankakee, 7.1 percent.
Lake County, 4.0 percent.
Peoria, 6.1 percent.
Rockford, 8.4 percent.
Springfield, 4.2 percent.
St. Louis (Illinois sector), 7.5 percent.

Source: Department of Employment Security.

Margaret S. Knoepfle

6/November 1990/Illinois Issues

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