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Illinois population by race

Illinois is the sixth-largest U.S. state by population has a racially and ethnically diverse population. As of 2020, White (Non-Hispanic) are the largest group in Illinois followed by Hispanic or Latino Americans. The state’s most populous ethnic group, non-Hispanic white, has declined from 83.5% in 1970 to 58% in 2020. 

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Ethnic and Racial Percentage

In 2020, the White alone (non-Hispanic) population was the largest racial or ethnic group in Illinois, comprising 58.32% of the total population. It was followed by the Hispanic or Latino population whose share was 18.24%.

Black or African American was the third largest group at 13.86%. Asian population also has a good percentage in Illinois with a share of 5.83%. Two or more races are at 3.24%.

The ethnic composition of  Illinois is as follows

Race and OriginActual PopulationPercentage
White alone7,472,75158.32%
Hispanic or Latino2,337,41018.24%
Black or African American alone1,775,61213.86%
Asian alone747,2805.83%
Two or more races:414,8553.24%
Some Other Race alone45,0800.35%
American Indians and Alaska Natives alone16,5610.13%
Native Hawaiian & Other Pacific Islanders alone2,9590.02%

also read about Religion in Illinois

Ancestry in Illinois

As per Census Studies and estimate German, Irish, Polish, Italian, and English have made the five largest ancestry groups in Illinois. In 2020, 3.5% of the population considered themselves to be of only American ancestry (regardless of race or ethnicity). Many of these were of European descent; however, their families have lived in the state for so long that they choose to identify as having “American” ancestry or do not know their ancestry. 

The Largest Ancestry in Illinois is as follows

French (except Basque)201,9491.6%
Subsaharan African127,0081.0%
West Indian41,3830.3%
French Canadian33,7090.3%

Source: US Census 2020

also read about Top Cities in Illinois

European Ancestry in Illinois

Non-Hispanic whites account for nearly 58% of Illinois’s population. German, Irish, Polish, Italian, and English have made up the Five largest European ancestry groups in Illinois. As per the Census report, German Americans made up 16.4% of the population and numbered over 2 million members. Irish Americans made up 10.9% of the population and numbered over 1.37 million. 

Polish Americans made up 6.6 % of the population and numbered over 0.8 million followed by Italian ancestry at 5.50 % of the population and numbered over 0.7 million. English Ancestry made up 5.5 percent of the population and numbers over 0.7 million also. 

Hispanics and Latinos in Illinois

Hispanics and Latinos are the second-largest groups in Illinois after non-Hispanic European Americans. Around 18% of Illinois’s Population claims Hispanic or Latin American ethnicity.  The largest groups were Mexicans, Cuban, and Puerto Rican.

The overwhelming majority of the Hispanic and Latino population of Illinois is Mexican-American, which numbered just over 1.7 million in the 2020 census, behind only California, Texas, and Arizona. A total of 13.4% of the Illinois population is Mexican-American, the nation’s seventh-highest. Puerto Ricans numbered 182,989 in Illinois in the 2010 census, the eighth-most in the nation. 

Most of the state’s Hispanic and Latino population is in Chicagoland. Kane County is home to the highest percentage in Illinois, with 32.4% in the 2020 census. Cook County is next at 25.6 %, followed by Boone (22.8), Lake (22.4), and Kendall (20) counties.

African Americans in Illinois

As of 2020, those of African ancestry accounted for 13.86% of the Illinois population. The black population of Illinois fell gradually from 1.9 million in 2010 to 1.77 million in 2020. 

The Great Migrations from 1910 to 1960 brought hundreds of thousands of Africans from the South to Chicago, where they became an urban population. The black population in Chicago has been shrinking. Many black Chicagoans have moved to the suburbs or Southern cities such as Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Birmingham, Memphis, and Jackson.

Asian Americans in Illinois

Asian Americans are a sizable minority group in Illinois. Americans of Asian descent formed 6 percent of the population. Its ethnic Asian population has grown rapidly since the late 1990s and increased by 24% since 2020. The majority are Indians, Filipinos, Vietnamese, and ethnic Chinese.

Source: US Census 2020

*US Census recognized five racial categories (White, Black or African American, Asian American, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander) as well as people of two or more races. It also classified respondents as “Hispanic or Latino” or “Not Hispanic or Latino”, identifying Hispanic and Latino as an ethnicity (not a race), which comprises the largest minority group in the nation.

also read about the List of counties in Illinois

Race and Ethnicity in Illinois 2023 | Ancestry in Illinois