Evanston was saved from what could have been a dramatic population decline during the past decade by new construction that was largely concentrated in three census tracts in and near downtown.

Newly released figures from the 2010 census show that the population of census tract 8094, which includes downtown east of the Metra tracks, grew 29 percent during the decade, from 4,496 to 5,804 people.

Census tract 8095, which includes downtown west of the Metra tracks, grew 8 percent, from 3,407 to 3,670.

And census tract 8099, which includes the area east of the Metra tracks between Dempster and Main Streets, also a substantial amount of new construction. Its population grew 15 percent, from 2,476 to 2,855.

In all, half of Evanston’s census tracts showed population increases. The other half, mostly concentrated in the west and southern portions of town, lost residents.

The biggest population declines occurred in the two census tracts hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis.

Tract 8092, which includes most of the western portion of the city’s 5th Ward,  lost nearly 8 percent of its population, dropping from 4,993 to 4,611.

Tract 8102, in the southeast corner of the 8th Ward, lost over 7 percent of its population, dropping from 6,202 to 5,739.

Those two census tracts have been targeted rehab and new construction projects under the $18 million neighborhood stabilization program grant Evanston received from the federal government last year.

Related link

Metro area map of population change by census tract (Chicago Tribune)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. ‘saved’ from decline?

    Of course, some people would not agree with the headline 'New construction saved city from decline', since they believe that lower population is a good thing.  Why would we want to be saved?

    What the Tower-haters and CSNA members seem  don't understand is that cities are not static…there are times when older parts (like 708 Church, or the downtown Osco, Chuckie Dawes' house, or the  theaters and old house on Central ) must be torn down  while  newer things (Sherman Plaza, Optimas, the Tower) spring up.  This often may involve some period of decay or vacancy before the old is demolished..

  2. decline?

    Mr. Who Knows What? please note that while cities may not be  static, that does not imply that architectural values have to change with every whim, especially quick financial gain. Whatever its faults, 708 Church should not be destroyed for a failed financial and architectural concept. NB how it has been overwhelmed with "ready" money. Even with a 5 year window the "appeal" has not been there. Those other projects may have sprung up, have you ever asked how many of those condos are rented?


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