Illinois's least populated county recently experienced another population drop.

We're getting into road trip season again and we've all driven through some counties that don't seem to have signs of life anywhere. All the towns you encounter are small and all you can see from the roads is farmland.


We could probably figure out that Cook County in Illinois, which is home to Chicago, is the most highly populated county in the state, according to World Population Review. But since 2010, the already least populated county in Illinois has shrunk by -20.19%.

Illinois's Smallest County

In terms of population, Hardin County is Illinois's smallest county, with a countywide population of just 3,910. (The county by the way is in the southeastern part of the state, right on the border.)

Behind Hardin County, other small counties in Illinois include Pope County (4,212), Calhoun County (4,802), and Scott County (4,926).

In terms of actual land, the smallest county is Putnam County, which is only 62 sq. miles.

According to World Population Review, 72 counties in Illinois have populations of less than 50,000, and all of them except for Monroe County experienced drops in population recently. Of the 15 counties that have less than 10,000 residents, Alexander County had the most dramatic population decrease, coming in at -26.15%.

On the opposite end, Kendall County is the fastest-growing county in Illinois. Their most recent numbers show a 10.87% growth to 127, 915 residents.

Here in the QC, Rock Island County had a slight drop in population, down -2.53%.

You can see the most recent population numbers by county in Illinois on World Population Review's breakdown of it on this map.

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