Was chicago ever the second largest city?

By 1870, Chicago had grown to become the second largest city in the country and one of the largest cities in the world. Between 1870 and 1900, Chicago went from a city of 299,000 to nearly 1.7 million and was the fastest-growing city in world history. The office put the population of New York City at 7.086 million, two-tenths of one percent more than in the 1980 census. The population of Los Angeles was estimated at 3.022 million, compared to 2.997 million in Chicago.

This represented an increase of 3.3 percent between 1980 and 1983, and half of the growth occurred in California, Texas and Florida. Detroit suffered the biggest population loss, 5.3 percent, but its ranking was unchanged in sixth place. After Detroit were Dallas, San Diego and Phoenix. While the agency released information only on the top 25 cities, it makes population estimates for 39,000 cities and towns.

That information was mailed to local officials on a confidential basis last month. Los Angeles has surpassed Chicago as the second largest city in the country, the Census Bureau reported today. Despite strong measures taken to increase Chicago's population, the city still can't compete with New York or Los Angeles and, in fact, is losing ground. Chicago relinquished the title of second largest city in the United States years ago and now faces the possibility of losing its title of third largest city.

The city of Houston is quietly on the horizon and seeks to place Chicago in fourth place. The second-city status, of course, is mainly symbolic. They planned to make Chicago bigger and better, and because people wanted to give Chicago a second chance, it came to be known as the Second City.

Ben Arraiol
Ben Arraiol

Passionate internetaholic. Lifelong student. Freelance food fanatic. Food advocate. Lifelong music lover.