Chicago Population Declines, But Traffic Is Up: What Gives?

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By WBBM Newsradio 780 AM & 105.9 FM

Even as Illinois sees its population decline, a study for the University of Illinois at Chicago shows that traffic is getting heavier.Siim Sööt, former director of UIC’s Urban Transportation Center, says you can’t look at just one statistic. Indeed, Illinois’ population is decreasing. But, he says, the number of people working is rising.

Unemployment is going down, he says. In a white paper he co-authored for UIC, Sööt says there are more cars on the roads at rush hour, in part because companies have moved here and attracted young workers with small families.

There is smaller population but a higher number of households, he said.

In the white paper Sööt wrote with P.S. Sriraj, they say these are encouraging signs for Illinois’ economy.