(NEXSTAR) – A small town located just outside of Chicago is now the fastest-growing town in Illinois, the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows.  

Wonder Lake, a commuter village in the Chicago metropolitan area, is home to about 4,889 people. Its population grew by about 23% between July 2020 and July 2023, the highest growth rate of any other town or city in Illinois during that period.

Fourteen other municipalities in Illinois, between 5,000 and 20,000 residents, saw their populations boom by 5% or more within those three years.

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Larger cities like Aurora and Rockford saw slight decreases in population over the past couple of years, both experiencing roughly a 1% drop in residents.

Chicago also saw a slight drop in population, going down about 3% from 2,743,329 residents to 2,664,452.

To check out the full list of small towns and cities on the rise in Illinois look right here:

According to the Census Bureau, small towns in the Midwest and Northeast experienced slower rates of decline overall in 2023 compared to the year prior.

Smaller communities have seemingly become more appealing to Americans in recent years. A Gallup poll conducted in late 2020 found that 48% of U.S. adults would prefer to live in a town or rural area instead of a city or suburb if they could live anywhere they wanted. This marked a notable change from 2018, when 39% expressed a preference for small-town or rural living.

Gallup noted that it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of the shift, but the COVID-19 pandemic likely influenced Americans’ lifestyle preferences.