Who’s leaving Albany Park?

Korean Restaurant, Albany Park

Over the past decade, Albany Park’s white, black, and Hispanic populations all grew by modest amounts, yet the community area’s total population dropped by almost 9%, according to the Chicago News Cooperative‘s collection of community area-specific Census data. This got us wondering — is Albany Park’s Asian population on its way out?

It seems so. In 2000, Albany Park’s myriad Asian communities formed a population of 10,178, or 17.6% of the neighborhood’s total population of 57,655 people. Last year, they numbered 6,694, or 12.7% of the total population of 52,657.

At the start of the decade, the Asian population in Albany Park consisted primarily of four groups:

  • Filipino: 2,805 people
  • Indian: 2,232
  • Vietnamese: 1,740
  • Korean: 1,382

By the end of the decade, the Filipino numbers had barely changed, but the group constituted a much greater proportion of Albany Park’s Asian population. The other three groups saw significant drops in their numbers:

  • Filipino: 2,842 people (+1.3% from 2000)
  • Indian: 1,497 (-32.9%)
  • Korean: 694 (-49.8%)
  • Vietnamese: 471 (-72.9%)

The changes aren’t completely unexpected, says Liz Griffiths of the Albany Park Chamber of Commerce, simply because the neighborhood tends to be a port of entry for immigrants who over time head to communities found along the Edens. Chamber studies in recent years have hinted at steady out-migration, but many of the people leaving still operate businesses in Albany Park, and the neighborhood continues to have large daytime and weekend populations of these groups, she says.

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