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Who Lives in Illinois?

The U.S. Bureau of the Census estimates that 9.3% of the population of Illinois is foreign-born (1997 statistics).

2000 Census Information

You can download a free 12-page report with data on the Foreign Born Population. (You'll need Adobe Reader to view this pdf format file.) The file is rather large, at 472k.

You can look up other USA Census 2000 information for your area at the US Census Bureau site, American Factfinder.

We've downloaded Census 2000 data for your state including country of birth and foreign languages spoken.

Here are statistics for your state and counties reporting population by Race and Hispanic/Latino origin.

The Modern Language Association offers an excellent form to help you look up language info from the 2000 Census. To get started, type your 5-digit zip code in the box below:

1990 Census data by zip code is no longer available.

Local Network

The Multicultural Church Network was formed at a meeting in Chicago in the Spring of 1999. The network is composed predominantly of Southern Baptist churches but desires to dialogue, share resources and learn from churches of various denominations.

School District Information
Your local public school district is one of the best sources of information on what languages are being spoken in your area.

Data collected in October 1998 for the Public School Bilingual Census revealed a total of 118 languages spoken by students in Illinois schools. Ninety-nine or 84% of those languages are represented in the Chicago Public Schools.

Here is a list of the number of students for each of the top twenty languages spoken in Illinois Public Schools:

Language State Total Chicago
1 Spanish 100,213 54,415
2 Polish 6,031 3,729
3 Urdu 1,915 1,113
4 Arabic 1,868 885
5 Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian 1,800 1,171
6 Gujarati 1,442 252
7 Korean 1,417 216
8 Cantonese 1,400 1,103
9 Vietnamese 1,208 681
10 Russian 1,151 366
11 Pilipino 881 303
12 Assyrian 830 557
13 Japanese 709 10
14 Romanian 483 330
15 Mandarin 442 77
16 Lao 431 15
17 Albanian 419 113
18 Hindi 334 112
19 Cambodian 304 229
20 Bulgarian 304 157

You can download more information provided by the State Board of Education of Illinois by clicking here for a Word file summary (80k) or an Excel detail file (45k).

1997-98 School District Info
The Council of the Great City Schools has collected census data for the largest public school districts in the country, including Chicago.


For More Information

Ethnic Chicago: A Multicultural Portrait
Edited by Melvin G. Holli and Peter D'A. Jones
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1995
Passport's Guide to Ethnic Chicago: A Complete Guide to the Many Faces & Cultures of Chicago
by Richard Lindberg
NTC Publishing Group, 1997
Ethnic Chicago Cookbook: Ethnic-Inspired Recipes from the Pages of the Chicago Tribune
Edited by Carol Mighton Haddix and Carol Mighton Haddix
Contemporary Books, 1998


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