U.S. Census Bureau stats are in and it wasn't the larger cities that saw the most growth over the last year, it was the small towns. In Illinois, Aurora and Rockford saw population decreases, but one small town just outside Chicago grew nearly 25 percent.

The trend of moving from the bigger cities is shown in the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Aurora and Rockford saw a population decrease of around 1%, while Chicago dropped 3% from 2,743,329 residents to 2,664,452, according to numbers shared by wgntv.com.

An unsurprising Gallup poll cited in that story from WGN TV found that 48% of us would prefer to live in a town or rural area instead of a city or suburb if we could live anywhere. I know my lifestyle preferences changed a little after the COVID-19 pandemic.

10 Fastest-Growing Small Towns & Cities in Illinois

According to census data from July 2020 to July 2023, these are the ten town

10. Mahomet 7.9%

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9. Union 8%

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8. Godley 10%

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7. Warrenville 10.3%

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6. Manhattan 10.7%

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5. Ladd 11.1%

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4. Volo 13%

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3. Cambria 14%

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2. Grafton 19.9%

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The Fastest-Growing Small Town in Illinois

1. Wonder Lake 23.3%

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In 2020, the population of Wonder Lake, Illinois was 3996, census data from July 2023 has the population at 4889.

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