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Arlington Heights, Illinois facts for kids

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Arlington Heights
Village of Arlington Heights
Evergreen Avenue in Downtown Arlington Heights
Evergreen Avenue in Downtown Arlington Heights
Official seal of Arlington Heights
Action Heights
City of Good Neighbors
Location of Arlington Heights in Cook County, Illinois.
Location of Arlington Heights in Cook County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
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Country  United States
State Illinois
Counties Cook, Lake
Townships Wheeling, Elk Grove, Palatine, Vernon
Incorporated 1887
 • Type Council–manager
 • Total 16.64 sq mi (43.09 km2)
 • Land 16.61 sq mi (43.01 km2)
 • Water 0.03 sq mi (0.08 km2)
702 ft (214 m)
 • Total 77,676
 • Density 4,677.87/sq mi (1,806.10/km2)
Standard of living
Time zone Central
ZIP code(s)
60004, 60005, and 60006 (PO boxes)
Area code(s) 847 and 224
Geocode 02154
FIPS code 17-02154

Arlington Heights is a municipality in Cook County with a small portion in Lake County in the U.S. state of Illinois. A suburb of Chicago, it lies about 25 miles (40 km) northwest of the city's downtown. Per the 2020 Census, the population was 77,676. Per the 2010 Census, it is the most populous community in the United States that is incorporated as a "village", and is the 13th most populous municipality in Illinois, although it is not far ahead of its nearby Illinois neighboring villages of Schaumburg and adjacent Palatine.

Arlington Heights is known for the former Arlington Park Race Track, home of the Arlington Million, a Breeders' Cup qualifying event; it also hosted the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships in 2002. The village is also home to the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, which has one of the largest collections of books in the state.


Arlington Heights lies mostly in the western part of Wheeling Township, with territory in adjacent Elk Grove and Palatine townships, in an area originally notable for the absence of groves and trees. The General Land Office began selling land here in 1835. In 1853, William Dunton, originally from Oswego, New York, persuaded the Illinois & Wisconsin Railroad to make a stop here, and laid out a town called Dunton. Dunton Avenue, named after William Dunton, is the village's base line that splits addresses east and west, with Campbell Street splitting north and south.

By 1850, the area had largely changed its ethnic composition, as many German farmers from Saxony had arrived during the 1840s. John Klehm might serve as an example; he was at first a potato farmer, supplying the Chicago market, and in 1856 began a nursery for cherry, apple, and pear trees, later moving into spruce, maple, and elm, and then flowers. By the late 1850s the area had become noted for its truck farms, sending dairy products as well as vegetables to Chicago on the railroad.

Banta, Nathaniel Moore House (Arlington Heights, IL) 02
The Nathaniel Moore House is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The little town at the depot slowly grew, acquiring a blacksmith, a cheese factory, a hardware store, and a hotel. It incorporated as Arlington Heights in 1887, when its population numbered about 1,000. Most were farmers, but they were joined by others who worked in Chicago, since Arlington Heights was an early commuter suburb.

Religious heritage

The town developed religious institutions that reflected the origins of its citizens. The first churches were Presbyterian (1856) and Methodist (1858), with St. Peter Lutheran Church, a German Lutheran church, following in 1860. Today, the village has many Roman Catholics, boasting three very large churches: St. James (founded 1902—now home to 4,600 registered families), St. Edna (2,800 registered families), and Our Lady of the Wayside (3,100 registered households), in addition to several large Lutheran churches, Evangelicals and several other Protestant churches, including two United Churches of Christ, an Episcopal Church and a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Arlington Park Racetrack

By the start of the 20th century Arlington Heights had about 1,400 inhabitants, and it continued to grow slowly with a good many farms and greenhouses after World War II. By then Arlington Heights was also known for Arlington Park, a racetrack founded in 1927 by the California millionaire Harry D. "Curly" Brown upon land formerly consisting of 12 farms. Camp McDonald and two country clubs were founded in the 1930s. On July 31, 1985, a fire burned down the grandstand. The current six-story grandstand was completed and opened for use June 28, 1989.

Population increase

A population explosion took place in the 1950s and 1960s, when the spread of automobile ownership, together with the expansion of the Chicago-area economy, the baby boom, and white flight from the city, drove the number of people in Arlington Heights—expanded by a series of annexations—up to 64,884 by 1970. By then virtually all the available land had been taken up, and the formerly isolated depot stop found itself part of a continuous built-up area stretching from Lake Michigan to the Fox River.


Welcome to Arlington Heights, Illinois
Welcome sign

Arlington Heights is located at 42°05′42″N 87°58′51″W / 42.094976°N 87.980873°W / 42.094976; -87.980873 (42.094976, -87.980873).

According to the 2010 census, Arlington Heights has a total area of 16.639 square miles (43.09 km2), of which 16.61 square miles (43.02 km2) (or 99.83%) is land and 0.029 square miles (0.08 km2) (or 0.17%) is water.


Arlington Heights has experienced a recent boom in development of condos, restaurants and other businesses in the Central Business District or downtown area of Arlington Heights, with restaurants experiencing the greatest overall success. Some of the most popular restaurants include Javier's Sabor Mexicano, Peggy Kinanes, Mago Grill, and Francescas. Although land and space is now limited in Arlington Heights, business and community development along with community design are key concerns. The Village of Arlington Heights is also instrumental in business, residential and community development. The community is served by many fine hotels.

BYD Company, a Chinese technology firm, has a sales office in Arlington Heights.

Top employers

According to the Village's 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Arlington Park 4,500
2 Northwest Community Hospital 3,617
3 Township High School District 214 1,670
4 Nokia Solutions 1,267
5 Lutheran Home 800
6 Daily Herald/Paddock Publications 500
7 Alexian Brothers Health System 500
8 Clearbrook 450
9 Kroeschell, Inc. 450
10 Village of Arlington Heights 427

In the movies

The following movies were partially filmed in Arlington Heights:

  • Lucas (1986) (many scenes filmed at the former Arlington High School including the former Grace Gym and Foyer)
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010 film) (high school scenes filmed at John Hersey High School)
  • The Lucky Ones (2008)
  • Blood and Wine (1996)
  • Normal Life (1996)
  • Uncle Nino (2003)


Arlington Heights has two stations (Arlington Heights and Arlington Park) on Metra's Union Pacific/Northwest Line, which provides daily rail service between Harvard, Illinois, and Chicago. Other nearby rail service includes the Metra North Central Line. Metra's proposed STAR line, if it were to be funded and built, would likely include a third station on the far south end of Arlington Heights.

MetraAH, IL
Metra train station in downtown Arlington Heights

Interstate 90 and Illinois Route 53 (northern extension of Interstate 290) run along the south and western edges, respectively, of the city, providing easy access to nearby O'Hare International Airport, the city of Chicago, and other suburbs.

Arlington Heights Road is a main street running north–south through all of central Arlington Heights. Running to the south it passes through Elk Grove Village, and its southern terminus is in Itasca of DuPage County. Running north it passes through Buffalo Grove, and its northern terminus is in Long Grove of Lake County. Northwest Highway (U.S. Route 14) runs northwest–southeast through central Arlington Heights, from Chicago to Crystal Lake of McHenry County. Other major streets/roads include Rand Road (U.S. Route 12), Golf Road (Illinois Route 58), Algonquin Road (Illinois Route 62), Dundee Road (Illinois Route 68), Palatine Road, Central Road, Hintz Road, Euclid Avenue, Dunton Avenue, Campbell Street, White Oak Street, Thomas Street, Olive Street, Oakton Street, Kennicott Avenue, Ridge Avenue, Dryden Avenue and Windsor Drive.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 1,424
1900 1,380 −3.1%
1910 1,943 40.8%
1920 2,250 15.8%
1930 4,997 122.1%
1940 5,668 13.4%
1950 8,768 54.7%
1960 27,878 218.0%
1970 65,058 133.4%
1980 66,116 1.6%
1990 75,460 14.1%
2000 76,031 0.8%
2010 75,101 −1.2%
2020 77,676 3.4%
U.S. Decennial Census
2010 2020

2020 census

Arlington Heights village, Illinois - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010 Pop 2020 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 63,532 60,333 84.60% 77.67%
Black or African American alone (NH) 936 1,195 1.25% 1.54%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 48 56 0.06% 0.07%
Asian alone (NH) 5,320 8,323 7.08% 10.72%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 7 14 0.01% 0.02%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 72 207 0.10% 0.27%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 880 2,160 1.17% 2.78%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 4,306 5,388 5.73% 6.94%
Total 75,101 77,676 100.00% 100.00%

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 can be of any race.


Climate data for Arlington Heights, Illinois
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 62
Average high °F (°C) 28
Daily mean °F (°C) 21
Average low °F (°C) 13
Record low °F (°C) −26
Precipitation inches (mm) 1.90


Primary and secondary schools

Arlington Heights, IL, USA - panoramio (4)
St. Viator High School

Public elementary schools and middle schools that serve most of the city are operated by Arlington Heights School District 25. Portions of the city are also served by Prospect Heights School District 23, Wheeling School District 21, Elk Grove School District 59 and Community Consolidated School District 15. Seventeen elementary schools and nine middle schools serve sections of Arlington Heights.

Public high schools serving most of the community are operated by Township High School District 214. There is one public high school in the city, John Hersey High School. Other District 214 high schools serving sections of the city are: Buffalo Grove, Prospect, Rolling Meadows, and Wheeling. Portions of the city are also served by Palatine High School (Palatine, Illinois) in Township High School District 211. During peak enrollment from the 1960s to the 1980s, there were three public high schools in Arlington Heights: Hersey, Arlington High School, and Forest View High School.

Arlington High School was the original high school founded in 1922, but was closed in 1984, and is now the private Christian Liberty Academy. Forest View High School was closed in 1986, but serves as the administration center for the district. Today Arlington Heights high school students attend Rolling Meadows High School, Prospect High School, John Hersey High School and Buffalo Grove High School, with small portions attending Wheeling High School, Elk Grove High School, and Palatine High School (Palatine, Illinois).

There are also several private schools in Arlington Heights, such as St. Viator High School, Our Lady of Wayside School, St. James School, St. Peter Lutheran School and Christian Liberty Academy. Chicago Futabakai Japanese School, which offers day classes for Japanese students as well as weekend supplemental instruction, is located in Arlington Heights, in a former middle school. It moved there from Niles in 1998.

Public library

The Arlington Heights Memorial Library is the public library in the village. According to the Institute of Museum & Library Services' Public Libraries Survey, in 2014, 63.5 percent of Arlington Heights residents (47,713 out of a service area population of 75,101) held library cards, entitling cardholders to borrowing privileges. For seven consecutive years, the library received a 5-star rating in Library Journal's national rating of public libraries, making it one of 21 libraries in the United States to earn five stars for the past seven years.

The library has books, magazines, CDs, DVDs and books on CD in 17 different languages. The Arlington Heights Memorial Library maintains the Arlington Heights Community Information web site. Computers are available for public use, and library card holders can also check out a laptop to use within the library. Wifi is available throughout the library.

The bookmobile stops in 29 Arlington Heights neighborhoods, delivering books, DVDs, and music. Village residents who are temporarily or permanently homebound due to an illness or physical disability may have library items brought to their homes through the Library Visitor Program. Participants may request books, audiobooks, videos, and other materials that will be delivered monthly by a library volunteer. The Library meets other special needs as well.

The library sponsors seven[book discussion clubs, and two more at the Arlington Heights Senior Center in addition to a film discussion group. The library also maintains a reading room and computer room at the senior center.

Live homework help is available for students in grades 4–12 on the library's web site through Ten summer volunteer squads attracted more than 250 students in 7th through 12th grade to learn life skills and teamwork. The literacy office at the library has eight computers with software to improve English skills, conversation programs and adult basic reading books. The library also offers free literacy and ESL classes in cooperation with Township High School District 214.

One Book, One Village is an annual community reading project which features a selected title an author each year, with book discussions, Meet the Author and related programs.

Arlington Heights Memorial Library

Notable landmarks and establishments

Lake Arlington - Aerial 1
Aerial shot of Lake Arlington
Grandt's Shell
Grandt's Shell in Arlington Heights

Images for kids

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