We’ve all heard the news about Chicago’s stagnant population and how other cities, specifically Houston, are catching up on the Second City. Sure, boomers are fleeing the city’s notoriously extreme weather and increasing taxes for the Sunbelt, but it seems that often times these discussions forget to mention that Chicago is a hot city for young workers.
Young affluent professionals have been flooding into the city for years and developers and restauranteurs have been changing the streetscapes of many neighborhoods to provide housing and space for businesses that meet the demands of this demographic. It’s not uncommon to see an empty storefront in Logan Square become a brewery, or for an old burrito joint to become a trendy ramen spot. Young people have money to spend, and developers and small business owners want to get in on as much of this disposable income as possible.
Meanwhile, legacy Chicago-area corporations are moving back into the city and abandoning their suburban campuses in order to tap into the talent pool that lives and works here. Thousands of high-paying jobs have been created in the years since the recession, and many thousands more are on the way. This means that despite the exodus of many older residents, the city will continue seeing an inbound of younger folks. And beyond jobs, Chicago has a well known and highly regarded theater and comedy scene. It’s not uncommon to bump into someone who has moved here solely to hone their music or performance skills.
Did you move to Chicago in the last few years? How has it worked out for you?