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Chicago’s Wealthy Renter Population Is Among The Highest In The U.S. And It’s Growing, New Report Says

The city's population of wealthy renters more than tripled between 2007 and 2017, according to a new report.

Luxury living is available at Chicago's third tallest skyscraper, Vista Towers.
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DOWNTOWN — Chicago’s population of wealthy renters has more than tripled in recent years.

Chicago had more than 39,000 renters who made $150,000 or more in 2017, making it one of the U.S. cities with the most high-income renters, according to a new report from RentCafe. About 6.7 percent of all the city’s renting households belonged to that upper bracket in 2017.

That means the number of wealthy renters has risen more than three times from what it was 2007, according to the report.

Only San Francisco (71,000 renters), Los Angeles (67,000) and New York (249,000) have more high-income renters than Chicago, according to the report.

The wealthy homeowner population has grown at a slower pace with 71,000 wealthy homeowners in 2007 and 107,7000 in 2017, according to the report.

The growth of the city’s high-earning rental population has led to the gentrification of neighborhoods like Logan Square and Pilsen, where Hispanic residents are being pushed out by high rents and luxury apartment buildings.

In Logan Square, the Latino population has fallen by more than 20,000, while the white population has grown by more than 12,000, according to a WBEZ report.

In Pilsen, more than 10,000 Hispanics have left the neighborhood as wealthier and whiter families and single people move in.

The city’s African-American population is also dwindling: according to the Chicago Reporter, Chicago’s black population is projected to drop to 665,000 by 2030.

Many blame disinvestment in communities of color — school closings, fewer job prospects and rising rents in neighborhoods with more resources — for the departures.

Christian Diaz, a housing organizer at the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, told WBEZ that new developments are built without working class families in mind.

“Overwhelmingly, we feel that that does not include us, it does not include people of color, it does not include families. And we hope the city will take steps to address that problem,” Diaz told reporter Odette Yousef earlier this year.

Credit: Rentcafe