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North Chicago, Illinois

Coordinates: 42°19′20″N 87°51′16″W / 42.32222°N 87.85444°W / 42.32222; -87.85444
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North Chicago, Illinois
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
Location of North Chicago in Lake County, Illinois.
Location of North Chicago in Lake County, Illinois.
Coordinates: 42°19′20″N 87°51′16″W / 42.32222°N 87.85444°W / 42.32222; -87.85444
CountryUnited States
 • MayorLeon Rockingham Jr.
 • Total8.02 sq mi (20.76 km2)
 • Land8.00 sq mi (20.71 km2)
 • Water0.02 sq mi (0.05 km2)
 • Total30,759
 • Density3,847.28/sq mi (1,485.38/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP Code(s)
60064, 60086, 60088
Area code847
FIPS code17-53559
Wikimedia CommonsNorth Chicago, Illinois

North Chicago is a city in Lake County, Illinois, United States, and a suburb of the Chicago metropolitan area. The population was 30,759 at the 2020 census[2] making it the third-most populous city by population in the county, after Waukegan and Mundelein.

An industrial center, North Chicago is home to the Great Lakes Naval Training Center and Great Lakes Barracks Military housing. The city is also home to Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, which houses the Chicago Medical School.


Land speculators moved into the area south of what is now the city of Waukegan in the 1890s. Industrial development began almost immediately with a railroad depot being set up in 1892; most notable was the arrival of the Washburn and Moen Manufacturing Company, a major barbed wire maker.[3]

The settlement was incorporated as a village in 1895 and as a city in 1909. In 1911, a naval training area was created, the present Great Lakes Naval Training Center, currently the only "boot camp" for Navy enlisted personnel after the closure of facilities in Florida, California, and Houston, MS.

A Veteran's Administration hospital went into service in 1926. This facility was also threatened with closure in recent years but has been retained on condition of a merger with the Naval Hospital.

Historically, North Chicago was known for large populations of Eastern Europe immigrants. With the onset of the "Great Migration", large numbers of African Americans arrived in the city from states such as Arkansas and Alabama, and toward the end of the 20th century, became the best known demographic group. Housing was segregated in the mid-20th century, and until as late as 1957 the African-American section of town lacked sewers and paved roads.[4] Latinos have arrived in significant numbers, particularly from Mexico, and now form the largest racial/ethnic group in the city (36% as of 2020), just as they do in Waukegan to the north (60% in 2020). North Chicago may have over time been the most diverse and multicultural municipality in Lake County.

Companies such as Washburn and Moen played a significant role in dividing North Chicago based on ethnicity. Workers were relocated from the Worcester plant, and later on, Swedes, Finns, and other Eastern Europeans were brought in. In the northern part of North Chicago, Slovaks, who referred to the area as "Kompanija," founded the Mother of God Roman Catholic Church. Moving further south, Polish residents established Holy Rosary Catholic Church, while German and Irish residents set up schools and churches in the area.[5]

At one time, Navy personnel were a major part of the scene in North Chicago, both the "swabbies" (enlisted men) and the officers. Now, with the degeneration of "the Strip", or entertainment district along several blocks of Sheridan Road, sailors are rarely seen north of the railroad trestle. In the fall of 2007, the city finished demolishing the buildings on Sheridan Road between Martin Luther King Drive and the railroad trestle to the north, within the framework of a new development project involving tax increment financing.

A number of movies have been filmed on the Illinois Route 137 highway through North Chicago including Groundhog Day.[6]


North Chicago is located at 42°19′20″N 87°51′16″W / 42.322272°N 87.854470°W / 42.322272; -87.854470.[7]

According to the 2010 census, North Chicago has a total area of 7.915 square miles (20.50 km2), of which 7.9 square miles (20.46 km2) (or 99.81%) is land and 0.015 square miles (0.04 km2) (or 0.19%) is water.[8]

The city is situated on Lake Michigan, immediately to the south of Waukegan. Most of its territory drains directly to the lake, but the western region drains to the North Branch of the Chicago River, and ultimately, since the engineering projects of the 19th century, to the Illinois and thence to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico.

North Chicago includes a Lake County Forest Preserve unit, the Greenbelt Cultural Center and Forest Preserve.


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
2010[10] 2020[11]

2020 census[edit]

North Chicago city, Illinois – Racial and ethnic composition
Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos may be of any race.
Race / Ethnicity (NH = Non-Hispanic) Pop 2000[12] Pop 2010[10] Pop 2020[11] % 2000 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 14,028 11,838 8,149 39.06% 36.34% 26.49%
Black or African American alone (NH) 12,853 9,469 8,274 35.78% 29.07% 26.90%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 230 120 94 0.64% 0.37% 0.31%
Asian alone (NH) 1,268 1,190 1,710 3.53% 3.65% 5.56%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 49 39 104 0.14% 0.12% 0.34%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 91 117 239 0.25% 0.36% 0.78%
Mixed Race or Multi-Racial (NH) 847 944 1,042 2.36% 2.90% 3.39%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 6,552 8,857 11,147 18.24% 27.19% 36.24%
Total 35,918 32,574 30,759 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%

2010 census[edit]

As of the 2010 United States Census,[13] there were 32,574 people living in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 47.89% White (36.3% Non-Hispanic White), 29.92% Black or African American, 3.76% Asian, 0.71% Native American, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 13.30% of some other race and 4.29% of two or more races. 27.19% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 35,918 people, 7,661 households, and 5,577 families living in the city. The population density was 4,586.3 inhabitants per square mile (1,770.8/km2). There were 8,377 housing units at an average density of 1,069.6 units per square mile (413.0 units/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 47.72% White, 36.26% African American, 0.84% Native American, 3.59% Asian, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 7.66% from other races, and 3.79% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 18.24% of the population.

There were 7,661 households, out of which 46.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.5% were married couples living together, 18.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.2% were non-families. 21.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.09 and the average family size was 3.64.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 24.1% under the age of 18, 34.7% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 9.2% from 45 to 64, and 4.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 22 years. For every 100 females, there were 156.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 176.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $38,180, and the median income for a family was $40,485. Males had a median income of $24,480 versus $23,736 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,564. About 12.0% of families and 15.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.3% of those under age 18 and 15.4% of those age 65 or over.

North Chicago census figures include the Great Lakes Naval Training Center.


Mayors of North Chicago[edit]


North Chicago Community Unit School District 187 operates public schools. North Chicago High School is the city's high school.


Two Metra stations provide commuter rail service to North Chicago along the Union Pacific North Line, the North Chicago station and the Great Lakes station. Trains serving these stations travel south to Ogilvie Transportation Center in Chicago, and north to Kenosha. Additionally, Pace provides bus service on multiple routes connecting North Chicago to Waukegan and other destinations.[15]

Major streets[edit]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

Chicago portal


  • North Chicago, by Charles M. Leeks and Mary L. Robinson, in: Local Community Fact Book : Chicago Metropolitan Area (1990). Chicago : The Chicago Fact Book Consortium, Dept of Sociology, University of Illinois at Chicago, c1995.
  • North Chicago, IL, by Wallace Best, in: The Encyclopedia of Chicago. Chicago : University of Chicago Press, c2004.irac


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  2. ^ "North Chicago city, Illinois". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 13, 2022.
  3. ^ "North Chicago, IL". www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org. Retrieved March 3, 2024.
  4. ^ Flavin, Genevie (April 7, 1957). "North Chicago Homes Project Clears Slums". Chicago Daily Tribune.
  5. ^ "Chicago Heights, IL". www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org. Retrieved March 3, 2024.
  6. ^ "Groundhog Day (1993) - Trivia - IMDb". Retrieved March 3, 2024 – via www.imdb.com.
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  8. ^ "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
  9. ^ "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decades". US Census Bureau.
  10. ^ a b "P2 Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - North Chicago city, Illinois". United States Census Bureau.
  11. ^ a b "P2 Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - North Chicago city, Illinois". United States Census Bureau.
  12. ^ "P004: Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2000: DEC Summary File 1 – North Chicago city, Illinois". United States Census Bureau.
  13. ^ "North Chicago, IL Population - Census 2010 and 2000 Interactive Map, Demographics, Statistics, Quick Facts - CensusViewer". censusviewer.com.
  14. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  15. ^ "RTA System Map" (PDF). Retrieved January 29, 2024.
  16. ^ 'Illinois Blue Book 1991-1992,' Biographical Sketch of John S. Matijevich, pg. 98

External links[edit]