Population changes, 1830-2020

Below are U.S. Census population figures for Sangamon County as a whole beginning in 1830 and for the city of Springfield alone beginning in 1840. (The 1830 Census did not separate out figures for individual communities.)

Racial designations below are those used by the Census for each respective decade. Beginning in 1980, the Census went into more detail for smaller population groups than is shown here.

Sangamon County
(Census count, percentage growth and population by race)
1830: Total, 12,960; white, 12,013; “free colored,” 34; slaves, 13
1840: Total, 14,716 (13.5%); white, 14,544; free colored, 160; slaves, 6
1850: Total, 19,228 (31%); white, 18,975; free colored, 253
1860: Total, 32,374 (68%); white 31,963; free colored, 311 (193 listed as black, 118 as mulatto)
1870: Total, 46,352 (44%); white, 45,186; black, 1,166
1880: Total, 52,984 (14%); white, 51,071; black 1,822
1890: Total, 61,195 (16%; white, 58,848; black, 2,339
1900 Total, 71,593 (17%); white, 68,840; black, 3,106
1910: Total, 91,024 (27%); white, 87,370; black, 3,633; other, 21
1920: Total, 100,262 (10%); white, 96,995; black 3,256; other, 11
1930: Total, 111,733 (11%); white, 108,046; black 3,635; other, 52
1940: Total, 117,912 (6%); white,  114,274; black, 3,609; other, 29
1950: Total, 131,484 (12%); white, 126,954; non-white, 4,530
1960: Total, 146,539 (11%); white, 140,519; non-white, 6,020
1970: Total, 161,335 (10%); white, 153,124; non-white, 7,847; other, 364
1980: Total, 176,089 (9%); white, 163,020; black, 11,400; others, 1,669 (largest groups were East Indians, 379, and Filipinos, 202)
1990: Total, 178,386 (1%); white, 162,013; black, 14,364; other, 2,009 (largest group was Asian/Pacific Islander, 1,377) )
2000: Total, 186,951 (6%); white, 163,067; black, 18,134; other, 5,750 (largest groups were multi-racial, 2,131, and Asian, 2,067)
2010: Total, 197,465 (5%); white, 165,103; black, 23,335; other, 9,027 (largest groups were multi-racial, 4,319 and Asian, 3,220). Note: The number of residents self-identified as Hispanic, a category counted for the first time in 2010, totaled 3,480, but the 2010 Census did not identify Hispanic origin as a “race.” Nationwide, the vast majority of Hispanics were classified as white or “some other race.”
2020: Total, 196,343 (minus 0.6%); white, 161,001 (“white alone, not Hispanic,” a measurement new to the Census in 2020, 157,074); black, 25,525; other, 9,817 (largest groups were multiracial, 5,105, Hispanic, 4,712 and Asian alone, 4,320).

More 2020 Sangamon County Census information. 

Springfield
(Census count and percentage growth)
1840: 2,579
1850: 4,533 — 76%
1860: 9,320 — 106%
1870: 17,364 — 86%
1880: 19,743 — 14%
1890: 24,963 — 26%
1900: 34,159 — 37%
1910: 51,678 — 51%
1920: 59,183 — 15%
1930: 71,864 — 21%
1940: 75,503 –5%
1950: 81,628 — 8%
1960: 83,271 — 2%
1970: 91,753 — 10%
1980: 100,054 — 9%
1990: 105,227 — 5%
2000: 111, 454 — 6%
2010: 116,249 — 4%
2020: 114,394 – minus 1.6%

In 2020, Springfield was 73 percent white (71 percent “white alone, not Hispanic”), 20 percent African-American, 3.5 percent multiracial, 3.1 percent Asian alone, and 2.8 percent Hispanic.

More 2020 Springfield census information.

As the figures show, 2010-20 was the first decade since the Census began that the city of Springfield and Sangamon County as a whole lost population. Areas of the county outside Springfield, however, continued to grow, albeit slowly, in the 2010s; all of the countywide population decline can be attributed to the 1,856 residents Springfield lost during the decade. Sangamon County outside Springfield gained 734 residents, or 0.9 percent.

Also notable in the 2020 figures was the decline in the number of white residents in the county as a whole. Depending on what figure is used for the calculation (“white” or “white alone, not Hispanic”)  the white population of the county fell by either 2.4 percent or 4.8 percent from 2010 to 2020.

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