Suppose you are fortunate enough to have a job, and let’s say that you’re earning $142,051 per year and it’s annual review time. The boss calls you into his or her office and says “we’re doing great, so your raise this year is 0.5% which is $722 or about a fill-up of gas each month for your vehicle. Well that’s exactly the increase in this years Naperville population (0.5%) over last year’s population (from 142,051 to 142,773). Not good for a city that calls itself vibrant.
In fact, Naperville’s percentage growth is less than that of Dupage County, meaning that Naperville is actually a drag on Dupage county’s rate of population growth. If you compare the percentage rate of growth, Naperville is growing at half the rate of Kane County, and almost one-third the rate of growth for Kendall County.
If you compare Naperville’s rate of population growth (0.5%) to that of similar sized cities (Pasadena, Dayton, Fort Collins, and Hollywood, Florida, our growth rate is slower. If you compare it to other affluent towns such as Geneva or Lake Forest, again Naperville loses in rate of growth.
So what’s the reason? For those who say it’s the economy, then why aren’t cities with similar demographics showing the same lack of growth. For those who say folks are moving to Cook County, well Cook County’s rate of population growth is less than that of Naperville. One could say neither Cook County or Naperville are as appealing as they once were for preferred business opportunity, or family life.
The bottom-line answer to the question of why Naperville isn’t growing as fast as other similar sized and demographic towns as they have in the past, could be in part, that local government is not as business-supportive and resident-friendly as it has been in previous administrations. Maybe with an overhaul in city council representation and a more user-friendly, business-supportive city hall leadership, Naperville can once again be a destination of choice for business and residents.