U.S. Census estimates that Chicago metropolitan area lost 19,570 in 2016 fiscal year. The period from July 2015 through June 2016 showed a slight dip in the population of the counties that make up the Chicago metropolitan area, from 9.53 million to 9.51 million. Although the decline during this twelve-month period was only 0.2%, it ran counter to the overall pattern of growth in the population of the United States. The decline coincided with patterns of stagnant job creation in Illinois as a whole, with significant outmigration by many demographic categories of former Illinoisans to other states. Groups leaving Illinois include young adults searching for employment elsewhere.
The 9.5-million Chicago metropolitan area, as defined by the Census Bureau, is a 16-county region that includes small sections of Indiana and Wisconsin. Centering on Cook County, the area is defined by the federal government for business and identity purposes. Of the 10 largest metro areas in the United States, however, only the Chicago area lost residents.