Chicago City Foot Traffic


Foot traffic data refers to the measurement and analysis of the number of people moving into and out of a particular location over a given period of time. This information is commonly collected through various means such as cameras, sensors, and other forms of technology. The data is used by businesses, governments, and researchers to understand patterns of movement, assess the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, evaluate the popularity of certain locations, and for a variety of other purposes.

Chicago Foot Traffic Data Insights by Geography

The average monthly foot traffic for Chicago in the last 12 months was 4,709, this is a 7.8% decrease from the previous 12 months. Though foot traffic in Chicago is decreasing overall, zip code 60173 has seen a steady increase. Hoffman Estates, Near North Side and Orlando Park neighborhoods experienced the highest total foot traffic for Chicago. These 3 neighborhoods constitute over 10% of the total foot traffic experienced from 06/01-2020-05/31/022. Conversely, the Kenilworth, Golf, and Robbins neighborhoods experienced the lowest total foot traffic for the same period of time.

Chicago foot traffic neighborhood graphic

Methodology – Chicago foot traffic data was pulled from the Foot Traffic Trend Value module on a monthly basis. The metric Person Count was averaged by zip code by month and simple linear regression was applied to generate trend lines for Foot Traffic. When visualizing the data, the total foot traffic by zip code was plotted on a map and colored by total foot traffic. To analyze specific points of interest, data is aggregated at the Census Block Group geographic level. Additionally, Census Track level data can be used to investigate the surrounding area to any point(s) of interest.

Chicago Foot Traffic Data Insights by Season

Chicago saw the highest average monthly foot traffic (5,963) March 2021 through August 2021 with May 2022 having the lowest average foot traffic of 3,555 average visitors. May 2021 had the highest average foot traffic (7,263) for the total time frame analyzed (06/01-2020-05/31/022). When considering only the past 12 months, the foot traffic pattern changes displaying no seasonality. Further analysis would provide insights into this change in visitor behavior.

Methodology - The metric Person Count was summed by zip code by month to generate Foot Traffic. To analyze change in foot traffic by quarter, Person Count was summed by zip code by quarter and the percent change was calculated between quarters.

Chicago Foot Traffic Data Insights by Industry

Utilizing the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes available in the foot traffic trend value module, consumers can gain valuable insights on 102 unique industry sectors found in Chicago. The top industries include: Limited – Service Restaurants, Supermarkets, General Merchandise Stores, Convenience Stores, and Pharmacies. While the industry specific foot traffic patterns generally mirror the overall foot traffic pattern of Chicago, there is a notable difference in the fast food industry. While the foot traffic trend in Chicago is decreasing, the fast food industry is experiencing an increase in average monthly foot traffic. Additionally, there was a larger than expected increase in foot traffic in the hardware store industry in May 2021. Deeper analysis of foot traffic data for specific brands in the fast food industry could illuminate potential causes for this uptick.

Methodology – The NAICS codes were grouped to create broader Industry level classifications. The Person Count metric was then averaged by industry by month to calculate foot traffic. The data was then visualized for individual industries.

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Chicago Foot Traffic Data Insights by Brand

Chicago foot traffic brand ranking graphic

Foot Traffic data is available for 1,304 unique brands in Chicago allowing consumers to create detailed brand analysis as well as head-to-head comparisons between two or more brands. The most highly trafficked brands in Chicago include: McDonald’s, Jewel-Osco, Walgreens, Walmart, and Target.

Taking a deeper dive into the foot traffic data available for the 33 Walmart locations in Chicago, we find that 12% or 4 locations are experiencing an increase in foot traffic. For the time period 06/01-2020-05/31/022, Cicero has the highest average foot traffic pattern with 139,573 visits per month. The Niles area had the highest total foot traffic for Chicago Walmart locations with 4,606,192 visits. This can be explained by the zip code 60714 being home to 2 Walmart locations in total. The total foot traffic at the 3320 S Cicero Ave location is increasing, it is the most visited Walmart boasting approximately 7.5% of all Walmart foot traffic in Chicago. Conversely, the 2844 N Broadway St location accounts for only 0.52% of the total Chicago Walmart foot traffic.

Methodology – The Chicago data was filtered to only consider the brand Walmart. The metric Person Count was summed by zip code by month to calculate Foot Traffic. To analyze change in Foot Traffic by quarter, Person Count was summed by zip code by quarter and the percent change was calculated between quarters. For location level data, Person Count was summed by Street Address. Foot Traffic Percentage was calculated by taking the sum of foot traffic for street address and dividing the resulting value by the total Foot Traffic for Chicago in the selected date range.


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