New York City as a whole has long held the title of the most populous city in the United States, but if you look at the individual boroughs, it’s Brooklyn that comes out on top. And now, thanks to Kings County’s continued growth—the borough’s population increased by more than five percent between 2010 and 2015, according to recent census estimates (h/t Gothamist)—it could soon have a higher population than Chicago, which is the country’s third most-populous city. (Los Angeles has been sitting pretty at no. 2 since the 1970s.)
Of course, the five boroughs aren’t counted as individual cities by the U.S. Census Bureau, so Chicago’s place is technically safe. But, as Gothamist points out:
This will be the first time Brooklyn has exceeded Chicago in population since 1890, when the City of the Big Shoulders passed Brooklyn (then still one of five independent incorporated municipalities in Kings County) and Philadelphia to claim America's "Second City" title.
Chicago’s population grew less than one percent in the same 2010–2015 period, and Brooklyn would only need to add about 84,000 more residents to leapfrog past the Windy City.
And according to our pals at Curbed Chicago, Cook County—which Chicago calls home—has "witnessed the greatest population decline of any and all counties in the nation between 2014 and 2015." If that trend continues, Brooklyn could soon claim the third-city title as its own (in spirit, but still).