Growth and Diversity Census Shows Increase in Asian, Indians and Children as Communities Continue to Expand

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Byline: Bob Susnjara and Laurie Aucoin Kaiser Daily Herald Staff Writer

Gurnee and Grayslake were busy attracting significant numbers of minorities and kids in the past 10 years. Meanwhile, the nearby village of Hainesville simply found itself evolving from a speck on Lake County's landscape to a place with subdivisions, just like any other larger suburb.

Snapshots of Gurnee, Grayslake and Hainesville are found in the recently released U.S. Census Bureau data collected in 2000. The census bureau's statistics cover areas ranging from total population growth to minorities to specific age groups living in a town.

Gurnee

An explosion in the Asian Indian (of India) population in Gurnee is among the most eye-popping statistics compiled for the town in the latest census.

In 1990, there were just 96 residents of Asian Indian descent, according to the federal government, while today, the town boasts 597 Indian residents. That represents a 522 percent increase in Gurnee's Indian population.

Village Administrator James Hayner said he reviewed the census data and was pleased to see the growth in Indians and other minorities. He said it's good that today's Gurnee has more diversity than the one he grew up in during the 1970s.

"When I was a kid, it was pretty much an all-white, agricultural and factory worker kind of town," Hayner said.

He added it appears many Indians come to the area because of jobs at Baxter International Inc. and Abbott Laboratories. He said Gurnee subdivisions traditionally are clique-free, so word can get around in certain ethnic groups about how the village has a more welcoming atmosphere.

Significantly greater numbers of Hispanics and Filipinos also have moved into Gurnee.

The village now has 874 Filipinos, compared to 248 in 1990. Hispanics have grown from 426 in 1990 to 1,738 today.

Gurnee, too, saw an explosion in the 25- to 54-year-old population, which has gone from 7,020 in 1990 to 14,566 last year. That age group represents slightly more than 50 percent of Gurnee's 28,834 residents.

Kids have become a significant part of Gurnee as the younger adults invade the village.

Census bureau figures show 9,207 children under age 19 were reported living in Gurnee in 2000. That's compared to 3,766 who were in the village in 1990, representing a 144 percent increase in a decade.

Gurnee had 13,701 residents in 1990.

Grayslake

Along with seeing more diversity among its neighborhoods, Grayslake has experienced a glut in the bottle-and-sippy-cup group.

The number of infants to 4-year-olds skyrocketed from 618 a decade ago to 2,189 today.

"That is the fastest growing segment," said Mayor Tim Perry, who refers to his village as "the fertile valley."

It is followed quickly by the 5- to 9-year-olds, who have accounted for 548 residents in the last decade to 1,897 today, about one-tenth of the total population.

The most dominant age group, however, are the little ones' parents - those in the 25- to 44-year-old age group - which more than doubled from an even 3,000 in 1990 to 7,483 in 2000. …