Well, they do always say everything's bigger in Texas. A recent story from Reuters points out that the city of Houston is set to pass Chicago in the next decade to be crowned the third largest city in the United States, just behind New York and Los Angeles. Demographers in Illinois and Texas forecast that Houston will surpass Chicago within eight to 10 years, with a projected population of 2.54 to 2.7 million by 2025. That's compared to Chicago's projected 2.5 million by the same year, these numbers associated with official data from both states that were provided for their respective health departments.
Houston has low taxes, a booming energy industry that has created a robust job economy and the promise of work to attract under and unemployed people to the rapidly growing metropolis. Not to mention, as the story points out, Houston is one of the more progressive parts of the notoriously red state, where diversity and left-leaning political views are more often the norm these days.
WBBM spoke to Chrissy Mancini Nichols, director of research and evaluation at the Metropolitan Planning Council, about the findings. She pointed to job opportunities as a major factor for the figures, along with a lower cost of living, something on most Chicagoans' minds. That said, Nichols was quick to suggest that she doesn't believe Houston can sustain its growth. Zoning restrictions and sprawl are already creating traffic issues that could discourage people from moving to the Lone Star State.
As Rahm is ready to raise taxes even more, we get the allure (on numerous levels) of leaving the city behind. But we've learned from others who have left and regretted the choice. And who in Texas is going to know how to serve up a real hot dog? And sure, winter is brutal here, but a sunny holiday season around the Christmas palm tree just leaves us feeling sad. You won't find us running off to Texas just yet, but we'll gladly trade Texans some deep dish and Revolution brews for some Lone Star, Whataburger and Torchy's.