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Old 11-02-2011, 07:51 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
5,290 posts, read 2,191,143 times
Reputation: 2597
Houston trails Chicago by about 600x in city population and 4 million in Metro. Dallas trails by 1.6 million in city (it won't surpass Chicago in our lifetimes), but it's metro is closer, at 3.5 million. Still a long way to go before Chicago gives up it's #3 ranking in either category.
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:04 PM
 
Location: Chicago
382 posts, read 332,733 times
Reputation: 327
As a demonstration of how unlikely 2020 will be the census year Houston will surpass Chicago I crunched some numbers.

Assuming Chicago declines at the exact same rate as the 2010 census (-6.9%), (something nearly everyone serious thinks is very unlikely) Chicago's population in 2020 will be 2,509,050. In order for Houston to beat that by the skin of it's nose it would have to grow by 410,000 people or about a 20% increase, or roughly the same rate it grew during the booming 1990's economy and much more than it did this past decade or in the 1980's. The combination of factors that would cause Houston to grow so much and Chicago to decline that much at the same time are highly unlikely. The only ace in the hole for Houston would be the annexation scenarios that HTown mentioned and said were unlikely anyways. From what I have read Houston hasn't annexed too much in the past couple decades, a city book I have from 1987 says Houston had 556 square miles then and it has 579 of land today.

Now if Chicago's population stays roughly the same over the next few decades (much more realistic) and Houston grows at roughly 10% per decade (which is roughly the average % per decade between 1980-2010) it would be the 2040 census before Houston surpasses Chicago.

If Chicago's population starts increasing again, (and I am quite confident it very well could), then the time frame for Houston to surpass Chicago could go past the 2040 census. I don't know about you guys but I define how populated cities are today or at least between now and the next census and not what they might be when I am 50 or 60+ years old (I am only 30 now). In early 2021 when the next census results come out we can re-examine this issue but I think I have demonstrated that a drastic shift is not that imminent after all.
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Upper East Side of Texas
12,248 posts, read 12,354,858 times
Reputation: 4688
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicago103 View Post
As a demonstration of how unlikely 2020 will be the census year Houston will surpass Chicago I crunched some numbers.

Assuming Chicago declines at the exact same rate as the 2010 census (-6.9%), (something nearly everyone serious thinks is very unlikely) Chicago's population in 2020 will be 2,509,050. In order for Houston to beat that by the skin of it's nose it would have to grow by 410,000 people or about a 20% increase, or roughly the same rate it grew during the booming 1990's economy and much more than it did this past decade or in the 1980's. The combination of factors that would cause Houston to grow so much and Chicago to decline that much at the same time are highly unlikely. The only ace in the hole for Houston would be the annexation scenarios that HTown mentioned and said were unlikely anyways. From what I have read Houston hasn't annexed too much in the past couple decades, a city book I have from 1987 says Houston had 556 square miles then and it has 579 of land today.

Now if Chicago's population stays roughly the same over the next few decades (much more realistic) and Houston grows at roughly 10% per decade (which is roughly the average % per decade between 1980-2010) it would be the 2040 census before Houston surpasses Chicago.

If Chicago's population starts increasing again, (and I am quite confident it very well could), then the time frame for Houston to surpass Chicago could go past the 2040 census. I don't know about you guys but I define how populated cities are today or at least between now and the next census and not what they might be when I am 50 or 60+ years old (I am only 30 now). In early 2021 when the next census results come out we can re-examine this issue but I think I have demonstrated that a drastic shift is not that imminent after all.
Facts:

Between 1990-2000 Houston grew by 19.8%

Between 1990-2000 Chicago grew by 4%

Between 2000-2010 Chicago lost -7.0%

The current population difference between the two cities as of last census is > 600k.
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:29 PM
 
Location: The Magnolia City
8,937 posts, read 4,995,585 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metro Matt View Post
Facts:

Between 1990-2000 Houston grew by 19.8%

Between 1990-2000 Chicago grew by 4%

Between 2000-2010 Chicago lost -7.0%

The current population difference between the two cities as of last census is > 600k.
Matt, let's say that Houston does pass Chicago, in city limit population, in the near future. What do you think will happen next?
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Chicago
382 posts, read 332,733 times
Reputation: 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metro Matt View Post
Facts:

Between 1990-2000 Houston grew by 19.8%

Between 1990-2000 Chicago grew by 4%

Between 2000-2010 Chicago lost -7.0%

The current population difference between the two cities as of last census is > 600k.
I already knew all of that and didn't I pretty much state all those facts at least indirectly in my calculations? In fact you just gave Chicago more of a bone than I did, I didn't mention Chicago grew by 4% in the 1990's, which demonstrates Chicago can and could grow in population again and thus making the time frame for the shift longer. What point were you trying to make?
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:30 PM
 
Location: Upper East Side of Texas
12,248 posts, read 12,354,858 times
Reputation: 4688
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nairobi View Post
Matt, let's say that Houston does pass Chicago in city limit population. What do you think will happen next?
The sky's the limit man, especially in Houston's diversifying economy. Its not the same city it was back in the 80's that's for sure. We've learned from that already.

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Old 11-02-2011, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Upper East Side of Texas
12,248 posts, read 12,354,858 times
Reputation: 4688
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicago103 View Post
Ok and didn't I pretty much state all those facts at least indirectly in my calculations? In fact you just gave Chicago more of a bone than I did, I didn't mention Chicago grew by 4% in the 1990's, which demonstrates Chicago can and could grow in population again and thus making the time frame for the shift longer.
Houston has never in its history lost population, unlike Chicago.

Another fact.
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:33 PM
 
Location: The Magnolia City
8,937 posts, read 4,995,585 times
Reputation: 4853
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metro Matt View Post
The sky's the limit man, especially in Houston's diversified economy. Its not the same city it was back in the 80's that's for sure.

That's not really what I asked, but okay.
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Chicago
382 posts, read 332,733 times
Reputation: 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metro Matt View Post
Houston has never lost population, unlike Chicago.
And that is relevant to my point how? I mentioned Chicago lost population and even gave you a hypothetical scenario where it could again at the same rate as last decade. I am sorry but I fail to see what you are trying to accomplish, I want to give you the benefit of the doubt but are you just trying to brag or something? My demonstration was to show how long it might take Houston to surpass Chicago and not that Chicago never lost population or if Houston ever did or not.

George H.W. Bush was born on June 12, 1924 and currently lives in Houston. Two more facts that are not relevant.
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Up on the moon laughing down on you
18,516 posts, read 14,772,664 times
Reputation: 7231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nairobi View Post
Matt, let's say that Houston does pass Chicago, in city limit population, in the near future. What do you think will happen next?
The skies are gonna open, Light will pour down from heaven, the angels will sing, Kidphilly will be crying, and Obama will outlaw annexation.
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