Harvey, Illinois

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Harvey, Illinois
City of Harvey, Illinois
Central Business District
Central Business District
Flag of Harvey, Illinois
Official seal of Harvey, Illinois
Location of Harvey in Cook County, Illinois.
Location of Harvey in Cook County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Coordinates: 41°36′39″N 87°39′07″W / 41.61083°N 87.65194°W / 41.61083; -87.65194Coordinates: 41°36′39″N 87°39′07″W / 41.61083°N 87.65194°W / 41.61083; -87.65194
CountryUnited States
TownshipThornton, Bremen
FoundedMay 1891
VillageMay 1891
 • MayorChristopher J. Clark
 • Total6.21 sq mi (16.07 km2)
 • Land6.21 sq mi (16.07 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation604 ft (184 m)
 • Total25,301
 • Estimate 
 • Density3,932.97/sq mi (1,518.48/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code(s)
Area code(s)708
FIPS code17-33383
Wikimedia CommonsHarvey, Illinois

Harvey is a city south of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 25,282 at the 2010 census.[4] The city suffers from high levels of unemployment (22.0%),[5] poverty (33.2%),[6] and crime.[7]

Harvey is bordered by the villages of Dixmoor and Riverdale to the north; Dolton, Phoenix, and South Holland to the east; East Hazel Crest to the south; and Hazel Crest, Markham and Posen to the west.


Advertisement by The Harvey Land Association that appeared on November 8, 1890 in the Chicago Daily Tribune.

Harvey was founded in 1891 by Turlington W. Harvey, a close associate of Dwight Moody, the founder of the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. Harvey was originally intended as a model town for Christian values and was one of the Temperance Towns. It was closely modeled after the company town of Pullman, which eventually was annexed into the city of Chicago.[8]

The city had its greatest growth in the prosperous postwar years, when it was home to the Buda Engine Co., which was acquired by Allis-Chalmers in 1953. The city reached its peak population in 1980. By this time, it was beginning to suffer losses in jobs and population through restructuring of steel and similar industries. The Dixie Square Mall closed in November 1978. In the 1990s, the city used part of its parking lot as the site for construction of a new main precinct of the Harvey Police Department.[citation needed]

In the 2000s and 2010s, Mayor Eric Kellogg attempted to boost Harvey's economy, with little success. Kellogg offered developers millions of dollars in incentives to revive the long-vacant Dixie Square Mall, but trends in retail adversely affected malls around the country.[9] The city granted a developer $10 million in incentives to redevelop the Chicago Park Hotel, but he abandoned the project before completion, leaving the building gutted.[10]

In February 2018, Harvey became the first city in Illinois to have its revenue garnished by the State in order to fund the city's pension liabilities. The city laid off employees in order to deal with the changes.[11]


As of the 2010 census, Harvey has a total area of 6.3 square miles (16.32 km2), all land.[12]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)24,408[3]−3.5%
U.S. Decennial Census

Per the 2010 United States Census, Harvey had 25,282 people. Among non-Hispanics this includes 913 White (3.6%), 19,046 Black (75.3%), 199 Asian (0.8%), 33 Native American, and 267 from two or more races. The Hispanic or Latino population included 4,799 people (19.0%).

Of the 7,947 households 43.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 30.1% were married couples living together, 16.5% had a female householder with children & no husband present, and 28.7% were non-families. 24.1% of households were one person and 26.2% had someone who was 65 or older.

The age distribution was 68.5% over the age of 18 and 10.4% 65 or older. The median age was 30.8 years. The gender ratio was 48.7% male & 51.3% female. Among 7,947 occupied households, 50.1% were owner-occupied & 49.9% were renter-occupied.[14]

At the 2000 census there were 30,031 people in 8,990 households, including 6,760 families, in the city. The population density was 4,842.2 people per square mile (1,868.2/km2). There were 10,158 housing units at an average density of 1,639.6 per square mile (632.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 79.57% African American, 10.02% White, 0.26% Native American, 0.38% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 7.94% from other races, and 1.78% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.78%.[15]

Of the 8,990 households 39.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.4% were married couples living together, 31.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.8% were non-families. 20.7% of households were one person and 7.1% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 3.30 and the average family size was 3.80.

The age distribution was 35.1% under the age of 18, 10.8% from 18 to 24, 26.7% from 25 to 44, 18.8% from 45 to 64, and 8.6% 65 or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.0 males.

The median household income was $31,958 and the median family income was $35,378. Males had a median income of $30,610 versus $25,248 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,336. About 20.3% of families and 21.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.8% of those under age 18 and 17.6% of those age 65 or over.


Harvey is in Illinois' 2nd congressional district.

The city faces severe financial problems.[16] From 2010 to 2013, it failed to fund its police and fire pensions, paying just $140 of $10.1 million required contributions.[17] This problem has been reported in other Chicago suburbs with economic problems.[17] Since 2007, Harvey has refused to audit its municipal finances as required by the state.[18] The Securities and Exchange Commission alleges that during this time, there was "a scheme to divert bond proceeds for improper purposes."[19]

As of September 2014, some aldermen were concerned the city could soon be unable to make payroll.[20] In 2017 the city was forced to pay almost $11 million in unpaid and underpaid pension fund contributions for the city's firefighters. A panel of judges on the Illinois First District Appellate Court in Chicago determined that Harvey's mayor and city Council had improperly abused their discretionary powers for years. According to the Cook County Record, "The case had landed in Cook County court in 2010, when the Board of Trustees of the City of Harvey Firefighters’ Pension Fund first filed suit against the city of Harvey, alleging chronic underfunding of the pension fund, which managed pension money for 67 retired firefighters, had left the fund teetering on the verge of insolvency."[21]


Harvey Public School District 152 operates public elementary schools in most of Harvey. A portion of Harvey is within the Posen-Robbins School District 143½.[22] and a Portion is within the [Dolton - Riverdale School District 148] Thornton Township High Schools District 205 operates the public high school. The portion under the Posen-Robbins School District 143½ is a part of the Bremen High School District 228.

Harvey is located within Illinois Community College District 510.



Pace Harvey Transportation Center

Harvey is served by two stations along the Metra Electric University Park line to Chicago. One is at 147th Street (a.k.a. Sibley Boulevard) and Clinton Street, and the other is at Park Avenue and 154th Street. Eleven Pace bus routes serve Harvey and the Pace Harvey Transportation Center.[23]

Three major north-south streets in Chicago venture as far south as Harvey in some capacity. Halsted Street (Illinois Route 1) runs through the east side of town. Dixie Highway, as it is known in Harvey, is Western Avenue in Chicago. Finally, Chicago's Ashland Avenue becomes Wood Street in Harvey. The reason for this is a surveyor's error along the line where Interstate 57 is now located; Harvey's street names and numbers conform to the section lines rather than actual distance from Chicago's base lines (as indicated by the jogs in Halsted Street near 150th Street and 159th Street between Harvey and Markham, as examples). Harvey's own Ashland Avenue serves as the east-west dividing line for house numbering.

Notable people[edit]

Representation in other media[edit]

The Dixie Square Mall, an abandoned shopping mall in Harvey, was the setting for filming of the car chase scene in The Blues Brothers.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  2. ^ "USGS detail on Newtown". Retrieved October 21, 2007.
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  4. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Harvey city, Illinois". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  5. ^ areavibes. "Harvey, IL Employment - Median Household Income, Unemployment Rate". www.areavibes.com. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  6. ^ "How many people are living in poverty in Harvey, Illinois?". Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  7. ^ "The 10 'Most Dangerous' Towns In Illinois". Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  8. ^ Gilbert, James (1991). Perfect Cities: Chicago's Utopias of 1893. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. pp. 192–198.
  9. ^ "New retail in store for Dixie Mall site". Chicago Business. 25 March 2006. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  10. ^ "Harvey hotel deal rife with red flags". Chicago Tribune. 5 July 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  11. ^ [1], Chicago Tribune
  12. ^ "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2020-02-13. Retrieved 2015-12-27.
  13. ^ "US Census Bureau". Factfinder2.census.gov. Archived from the original on 2020-02-12.
  14. ^ Bureau, U.S. Census. "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  15. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  16. ^ "SEC accuses City of Harvey, comptroller of fraud - Early & Often". Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  17. ^ a b "Dozens of suburban police and fire pension funds drying up - Early & Often". Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  18. ^ "Harvey status quo aided by state, feds". Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  19. ^ "Feds turn up heat on suburban bookkeeper's role in water agency - Early & Often". Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  20. ^ "Harvey To Vote On Police Department Audit By Cook County Sheriff". Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  21. ^ Bilyk, Jonathan (2017-08-07). "Appeals court: Pension fund has right to $11M, potential tax hike from Harvey for underpaying pensions". Cook County Record. Retrieved 2018-04-20.
  22. ^ "Welcome to Posen-Robbins School District 143.5 Archived 2013-05-24 at the Wayback Machine." Posen-Robbins School District 143½. Retrieved on February 24, 2013.
  23. ^ "Pace Bus". www.pacebus.com. Retrieved 2 November 2017.

External links[edit]