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Buffalo Grove, Illinois
Village of Buffalo Grove
Welcoming sign in Buffalo Grove that reads "Buffalo Grove welcomes you!"
Sign welcoming drivers into Buffalo Grove
Flag of Buffalo Grove, Illinois
Triangular seal with a Buffalo at the bottom
Location of Buffalo Grove within Lake and Cook County
Location of Buffalo Grove within Lake and Cook County
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Country United States
State Illinois
County Lake and Cook
Townships Vernon and Wheeling
Incorporated 1958
 • Type Council–manager
 • Total 9.58 sq mi (24.81 km2)
 • Land 9.56 sq mi (24.77 km2)
 • Water 0.02 sq mi (0.04 km2)
682 ft (208 m)
 • Total 43,212
 • Density 4,518.67/sq mi (1,744.63/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code(s)
Area code(s) 847 and 224
FIPS code 17-09447
GNIS ID 2397490
Commuter Rail Metra Logo without slogan.png

Buffalo Grove, officially the Village of Buffalo Grove, is a village in Lake and Cook County, Illinois. A suburb of Chicago, it lies about 30 miles (50 km) northwest of Downtown Chicago. It totals 9.6 square miles (25 km2) of land, with the top three-quarters in Lake County and the bottom quarter in Cook County. Roads in the village such as Lake Cook Road and Illinois Route 83 converge on I-294, which take drivers to O'hare International Airport 20 miles (32 km) south of Buffalo Grove. As of the 2020 Census, Buffalo Grove has a population of 43,212.

Before westward expansion, Native American Potawatomi tribes inhabited the present area. The name "Buffalo Grove" comes from the English translation of the Potawatomi name for Buffalo Creek, which flows through some of the village. Initial Homesteaders sold their land to agricultural Catholic German immigrants, who established St. Mary's Church and a school. The rural area changed minimally until post-Korean War developers bought and suburbanized the region for veterans. After being incorporated in 1958, Buffalo Grove experienced a population boom for the next three decades and hosted a 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2008.

Nearly all schools in Buffalo Grove have achieved commendable status or received awards from the state in the 21st century. The village features dozens of recreational facilities, parks, and festivals, including a months-long Farmers' market, two golf courses, and popular Buffalo Grove Days. Although its schools and low crime are attractive to moving families, the village's population has plateaued since 2000. Buffalo Grove has an elected council-manager government with home rule status. Because of Buffalo Grove's location in two counties, different state and national districts represent each portion. The local government's public works department is nationally accredited. Economically, residents work in health care, education, and professional services, while businesses in the village employ 20,000 daytime workers in 10 million square feet of commercial and industrial space.


Buffalo Grove is located at 42°9′59″N 87°57′48″W / 42.16639°N 87.96333°W / 42.16639; -87.96333 (42.166332, −87.963391), among the northern suburbs of Chicago. Illinois Route 83 leads north towards central Lake County and south towards O'Hare International Airport. East-west streets can take residents east to Lake Michigan and other North Shore suburbs such as Lake Forest, Highland Park, and Glencoe.

Buffalo Grove is about 30 miles (48 km) northwest of the Chicago Loop.

Buffalo Grove is split along Lake Cook Road into two parts: the Lake County Vernon Township portion; and the Cook County Wheeling Township portion. Around three-quarters of the village is in Vernon Township. Both portions differ in their demographics and similarities with neighboring communities. Buffalo Grove shares a border with Wheeling to its southeast, Arlington Heights to its southwest and south, Riverwoods and Deerfield directly east, Lincolnshire to its northeast, Vernon Hills directly north, and Long Grove to its west and northwest. Unincorporated Prairie View is located in two different parts around the village. First, there is the larger and historic portion which is towards the north and includes Didier Farms. Then, there is the second, much smaller portion which is centered on the Horatio Gardens subdivision just northeast of the intersection of Weiland Road and Pauline Avenue.

According to the 2010 census, the village has a total area of 9.53 square miles (24.7 km2; 2,470 ha), of which 9.50 square miles (24.6 km2; 2,460 ha) (or 99.69%) is land and 0.03 square miles (0.078 km2; 7.8 ha) (or 0.31%) is water. According to the village's land use data, single-family homes make up 43.9% of village land, 9.2% for single-family attached homes, 4.2% for multi family homes, 4.8% for commercial purposes, 2.4% for office, 10.8% for industrial, 3.5% is public property, 6.1% is right-of-way/utility, and only 1.4% remains vacant. A modest 13.8% is for parks and open space; there are 50 parks throughout the village and 45 miles (72 km) of bike paths/sidewalks. The Mike Rylko Community Park, located northwest of the intersection of McHenry Road (IL Route 83) and Buffalo Grove Road, is the largest park in the village with an estimated 76.5 acres (31.0 ha). The village also manages a small portion of the Buffalo Creek Forest Preserve which primarily is located in Long Grove. The forest preserve has a total of 408 acres (165 ha) and located north of the intersection of Lake-Cook Road and Arlington Heights Road.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1960 1,492
1970 12,333 726.6%
1980 22,230 80.2%
1990 36,427 63.9%
2000 42,909 17.8%
2010 41,496 −3.3%
2020 43,212 4.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
2010 2020

2020 census

Buffalo Grove village, Illinois - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010 Pop 2020 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 31,813 26,672 76.67% 61.93%
Black or African American alone (NH) 405 517 0.98% 1.20%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 32 36 0.08% 0.08%
Asian alone (NH) 6,625 11,865 15.97% 27.46%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 17 6 0.04% 0.01%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 65 115 0.16% 0.27%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 499 1,057 1.20% 2.45%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 2,040 2,854 4.92% 6.60%
Total 41,496 43,212 100.00% 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.

As of the 2020 Census, Buffalo Grove has a population of 43,212, a 4.1 percent increase, with 1,716 more people than the 2010 United States Census. Originally incorporated with 164 people, Buffalo Grove experienced a population boom during its first few decades because of the suburban craze following World War II and the Korean War.

According to 2020 US Census Bureau data, the population of Buffalo Grove was 72.2% White (67.9% non-Hispanic White), 21% Asians, 1.6% African American, 0.2% American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.1% Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and 2.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.92% of the population. Hispanics of any race made up 6.8% of the village's population. The educational attainment of Buffalo Grove citizens were 97.7% graduating high school, 6.3% having an associate's degree, 38.1% having a bachelor's degree, and 28% having a master's degree or professional degree. The median property value for owner-occupied houses was $332,300. Median household earnings were $115,951; men's median earnings were $92,984; women's median earnings were $66,705. The poverty rate was 3.4%.

Like many northwest suburbs, a large Jewish population resides in Buffalo Grove. Jewish immigrants in the 20th century moved from Germany and East Europe to Chicago, and many enjoyed economic mobility throughout the first half of the 20th century. The German immigrants tended towards Reform Judaism in America while the Russian and Hungarian Empire immigrants usually practiced Orthodox Judaism because they stuck with traditions from home. Despite Jewish success in Chicago, the younger generation left for the suburbs. Vacant land, reasonably priced housing, and a desire for single-family housing attracted many. Their high income and improved mobility from the automobile allowed them. In 1995, the population of the northern suburbs was around 10 to 25 percent Jewish, with Buffalo Grove being over 25 percent. Buffalo Grove had six synagogues in 1995. Since the 1980s, the Jewish population has declined due to less immigration to the US, low birthrate, assimilation, and lack of Jewish identity.

Being a suburb, Buffalo Grove attracts families looking for a good environment to raise children and avoid the downfalls of living in a city. According to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey data estimates for 2015–2019, of the 15,399 households, 35.5% had children under 18 living with them, and 65.9% were married couples living together. Female householder families with no spouse or partner present who own children under 18 years made up 2.4% of all households (0.5% for male equivalent), and 3.3% of households were cohabiting couples. Of all households, 23.0% were individuals, and 28.6% had one or more people 65 years and over. The average household size was 2.66, and 41.6% spoke a language other than English at home. The median age was 41.7 years old. The age range was broad, with 23.0% of the population under 18, 32.5% aged 18 to 44 years, 30.0% aged 45 to 64 years, and 14.5% aged 65 years and older.


VAPLD Lincolnshire IL
The Vernon Area Library, which is located just east of the border in neighboring Lincolnshire.

Wheeling Township Buffalo Grove as well as a small portion of Lake County Buffalo Grove is served by the Indian Trails Public Library District located in Wheeling south of the intersection of Dundee Road and Schoenbeck Road. Vernon Township Buffalo Grove is served by the Vernon Area Public Library District located in Lincolnshire just north of the intersection of Half Day Road and Olde Half Day Road.


The Raupp Museum, operated by the Buffalo Grove Park District, is the town's museum of local history. Saint Mary's Church, completed 1899, is the oldest building in the village. Lou Malnatis Pizzeria is housed in the second oldest building in the village (also completed 1899). Located around the same downtown area, there is the Buffalo Grove Town Center, which is a major shopping and retail destination within the village, at the Buffalo Grove Road and McHenry Road intersections with Lake-Cook Road, being anchored by the Buffalo Grove Theaters and by Brunswick's, a bowling/arcade/laser-tag venue that hosts birthday parties.

During the summer, Buffalo Grove hosts two festivals. The Buffalo Grove Invitational Fine Arts Festival is held in Buffalo Grove Town Center in mid-July, with over 30,000 visitors attending on average. In September, Buffalo Grove hosts the multi-day Buffalo Grove Days festival around the intersection of Lake-Cook Road and Raupp Boulevard. The festival is mostly home to carnival games, roller coaster rides, arts and craft booths, food vendors, and live music. There is a parade held at the beginning of the festival and fireworks on the Saturday night. The festival usually attracts not just Buffalo Grove residents, but also residents from the neighboring communities. Throughout the summer Buffalo Grove hosts a Farmer's Market at the Spray and Play Pool on McHenry Road west of the intersection of Buffalo Grove Road.

In 2014, the Buffalo Grove Park District opened the Community Arts Center, which houses a theatre space and classrooms. The theatre is used by the Park District's local theatre company, Big Deal Productions.


Buffalo Grove relies on multiple arterial roads. Going north-south, drivers use Milwaukee Avenue (Illinois Route 21) on the east side of the village, Buffalo Grove Road and Weiland Road down the center, and Arlington Heights Road on the west side of Buffalo Grove. Going east-west, drivers use Dundee Road (Illinois Route 68) in south Buffalo Grove, Lake Cook Road and Deerfield Parkway in the center, and Aptakisic and Half Day Road (Illinois Route 22) in the north. McHenry Road (Illinois Route 83) acts as a diagonal road in the village by going north-south and east-west. O'hare International Airport is approximately 20 miles (32 km) south of Buffalo Grove. Because of Lake Cook Road, the village has access to the Interstate Highway system (I-90, I-94, and I-294).


Buffalo Grove Metra Station Tracks 2021-06-05
Buffalo Grove station in June 2021.

Since its creation in 1996, the Buffalo Grove station has operated on Metra's North Central Service, which provides daily commuter rail service between Antioch and Chicago's Union Station. The station is 32 miles (51 km) away from the southern terminus of the line Union Station. In Metra's zone-based fare system, Buffalo Grove is in zone F. As of 2018, Buffalo Grove is the 76th busiest of Metra's 236 non-downtown stations, with an average of 695 weekday boardings, making it the most trafficked station on the North Central Service. The train station is just east of the intersection of Weiland Road and Deerfield Parkway.

The Prairie View station is north of Half Day Road (IL Route 22) and Prairie Road's intersection, and it is also used by Buffalo Grove residents. Located along the eastern boundary of the village, the station is 34.4 miles (55.4 km) away from Union Station. Prairie View is in zone G. As of 2018, Prairie View is the 113th busiest of Metra's 236 non-downtown stations, with an average of 415 weekday boardings. The North Central Service runs primarily during rush hour, but not on the weekends and few holidays; instead, Buffalo Grove residents must use the Arlington Heights Metra Station, the Deerfield Metra Station, or the Lake Cook Road Metra Station.


Buffalo Grove Post Office
Buffalo Grove Post Office

Water in Buffalo Grove is from Lake Michigan, and Commonwealth Edison provides electric power. The village purchases water from the Northwest Water Commission and controls the distribution of water. It travels through four pumping stations and 181 miles of underground water main. Also, Buffalo Grove flushes hydrants, plows streets, and repairs faulty water meters of private residents. There is a Stormwater Utility Fee for Buffalo Grove owning and maintaining the Stormwater Management System, composed of storm sewers, creeks, waterways, and detention areas.

Buffalo Grove operates on an exclusive contract with Waste Management, Inc. for solid waste disposal. This contract includes "At Your Door (AYD) Service," which allows a pick-up of hazardous and difficult-to-recycle materials, such as electronics, televisions, paint, and chemicals. In 2004, the Village of Buffalo Grove Public Works Department received national accreditation from the American Public Works Association, the second agency to earn recognition in Illinois.


Buffalo Grove
Employment by industry in 2019
Industry Employment Percentage
Education and health care 4,410 19.4%
Professional, scientific, management 4,175 18.3%
Manufacturing 3,277 14.4%
Finance, insurance, real estate 2,572 11.3%
Retail trade 2,510 11.0%
Art, entertainment, recreation, food 1,335 5.9%
Wholesale trade 1,192 5.2%
Transportation, warehousing, utility 883 3.9%
Other services 733 3.2%
Construction 686 3.0%
Information 514 2.3%
Public administration 405 1.8%
Agriculture, forestry, hunting 79 0.3%
Total 22,771 100%

The Buffalo Grove economy includes several corporate business parks, a diverse retail market, and professional services. The 20,000-day workers operate in 10 million square feet of commercial and industrial space. Retail areas are Town Center, Chase Plaza, and individual businesses in smaller commercial centers. Town Center has declined since being built in the 1980s. According to consultants of the village, it lacks a theme, has little street access and walkability, and has physically deteriorated. Industrially, Buffalo Grove is stronger. In 2017, industrial property vacancy was lower than that of Chicagoland and the US; also, the average gross rent was double that of Chicagoland, suggesting that demand for property was high in the village.

The village government incentivizes multiple companies to operate in the village. Because Hines Supply has been the largest sales tax generator in Buffalo Grove, the village created a tax agreement in 2000 that—after being amended a few times—will last until 2040. The agreement requires the village to rebate 60 percent of the total sales tax collected. The village also created a $7 million tax agreement to incentivize the long-awaited and popular Woodman's Markets to open in Buffalo Grove. It attracts shoppers from up to an hour away. The arrival spurred build out on Milwaukee Avenue and is part of Deerfield Parkway's 25 acres of commercial development. Other companies in tax agreements are Business IT Source Inc. and ThermFlo.

In 2015, 72.5 percent of residents were in the labor force; the unemployment rate was 3.5 percent, a little lower than Lake County's rate of 5.1 percent. Of those employed in 2015, 15.9 percent worked in Chicago, 5.7 percent worked in Buffalo Grove, and less than 4 percent in Arlington Heights, Schaumburg, and Wheeling. Around 10 percent of those employed in Buffalo Grove lived in Chicago, while 7.4 percent lived and worked in Buffalo Grove.

In 2019, the top five employers in Buffalo Grove were Siemens Building Technologies with 1,800 employees, I.S.I (business consulting) at 1,200, ESS (business consulting) at 550, Plexus Corp (an electronic parts supplier) at 370, and Veritas Document Solutions (commercial printer) at 300. Other large employers include US LBM Holdings, LLC (Hines Supply is a subsidiary), the Village of Buffalo Grove, ARxIUM, Vapor Bus International, and Leica Microsystems Inc.

Sports and recreation

Buffalo Grove has an extensive collection of parks and natural open spaces. Nicole Park is north of Old Checker Road along Arlington Heights Road and contains a playground and open space. It is named after a 10-year-old girl who died in a nearby reservoir. Willow Stream Park along Old Checker Road serves the village with sports fields and courts, a pool, playground, and large open grass areas. Mike Rylko Community Park is home to the fairs and events mentioned above, and Buffalo Grove Fitness Center is north of Willow Stream; both feature similar amenities to Willow Stream. South of Lake Cook Road is Emmerich Park (named after a soldier), home to the Buffalo Grove Park District and where BGRA (mentioned below) plays many games. In total, Buffalo Grove has dozens of parks. In addition to parks, Buffalo Grove has 43 miles of paths and sidewalks in Buffalo Creek Trail, Des Plaines River Trail, and Cook County Forest Preserve District.

The non-profit corporation Buffalo Grove Recreation Association (BGRA), not affiliated with the park district, provides a youth baseball league for the community. Founded in 1961, BGRA's 1,500 players and 600 volunteers participate in House Baseball (for anyone), Travel Baseball (try out), and Buddy Baseball. Buddy Baseball pairs special needs children and non-disabled buddies, who help them play baseball.

Buffalo Grove has two golf courses and one indoor golf facility. The Buffalo Grove Golf Course is one of the largest open spaces within the village. Utilized as a floodplain, the course both functions as enjoyment and civil infrastructure. The Arboretum Club, which opened in 1990, is an 18-hole course with a 71.1 rating. Lastly, the park district's 100 by 60-yard Golf Dome has a 75-yard driving range, putting green, and hitting stations.

Multiple notable athletes have originated from Buffalo Grove. Felice Herrig, a native of Buffalo Grove, is a kickboxer, Muay Thai fighter, and mixed martial artist. In 2021, she was #15 on the UFC women's strawweight rankings. Zach Borenstein had a .524 batting average as a senior at Buffalo Grove High School and subsequently played at Eastern Illinois University and multiple minor league teams. Andy Wozniewski, a former ice hockey player for the Toronto Maple Leafs and other teams, including Team USA at the Deutschland Cup, was born in Buffalo Grove. Brett Lebda, ice hockey defenseman for multiple teams, including the Toronto Maple Leafs, attended Buffalo Grove High School. Buffalo Grove native Megan Bozek is an ice hockey player who plays for the KRS Vanke Rays and the United States national team. Finally, Olympic figure skater Bradie Tennell trained most of her life at Twin Rinks in Buffalo Grove. She is a 2018 Olympic team event bronze medalist, the 2020 Four Continents bronze medalist, the 2018 CS Autumn Classic champion, the 2018 CS Golden Spin of Zagreb champion, and a two-time US national champion (2018, 2021).


Pritchett Elementary School
Stevenson High School Lincolnshire IL
Adlai E. Stevenson High School

Buffalo Grove has four private schools, over ten public schools, and one public high school. Lake County Buffalo Grove districts are Aptakisic-Tripp Community Consolidated School District 102 and Kildeer Countryside Community Consolidated School District 96, while Cook County Buffalo Grove has Wheeling Community Consolidated School District 21. High school students in the Lake County portion of Buffalo Grove attend Stevenson High School in nearby Lincolnshire. Cook County students attend Buffalo Grove High School, located in the Cook County part of the village.

The three districts that take students from Buffalo Grove have different histories. Since the 1840s, schools serving Buffalo Grove changed in response to the growing community. They were consolidated in 1955 under the name Aptakisic-Tripp Community Consolidated School District 102. The first school to open in Buffalo Grove was the Alcott School in 1961—now the Alcott Center—in response to growth on the Cook County side (a different district Aptakisic-Tripp). The first year had 52 first-graders and six sixth graders. To support the rapidly growing village, the district held referendums and successfully built Pritchett Elementary School, Tripp School, and Meridian School in the 1980s. To accommodate the continued increase in population, the district changed the configuration of the grades in the schools in 2018. Buffalo Grove High School's district (Township High School District 214) almost did not pass the referendum because womens' votes were not counted immediately; the referendum was eventually successful.

Buffalo Grove's successful schools have attracted moving families. Three out of four schools in Aptakisic-Tripp Community Consolidated School District 102 received Blue Ribbon awards and many fine arts commendations in the 2010s. All Buffalo Grove schools in Wheeling Community Consolidated School District 21 received commendable or exemplary designations by Illinois in 2019. Kildeer Countryside Community Consolidated School District 96 has received over 10 Blue Ribbon awards. Three of its schools were named among the top 15 public schools in 2006, amd all schools earned 2009 ISBE Academic Excellence recognition. Stevenson High School has received the United States Department of Education's "Excellence in Education" Blue Ribbon Award five times. In 2021, U.S. News & World Report ranked Stevenson 171st nationally and 6th in Illinois, making it 1st in Illinois open-enrollment schools. Buffalo Grove High School won a Blue Ribbon Award in 2000, and Chicago magazine named it a top 20 high school in Cook County in 2012. A French teacher won the Dorothy S. Ludwig Excellence in Teaching Award in 2021.

Notable people

Several actors, actresses, and musicians are from Buffalo Grove. Aaron Himelstein, the actor who played younger Austin Powers in Austin Powers in Goldmember, moved to Buffalo Grove when he was 3. Vince Vaughn was raised in Buffalo Grove. Jessy Schram, an actress who was born and raised in Buffalo Grove, played Cinderella in the TV series Once Upon a Time. Mike Kinsella, a musician in American Football and Cap'n Jazz, grew up in Buffalo Grove. His brother, Tim Kinsella, was a musician in Joan of Arc and a member of Cap'n Jazz. Raymond Benson, an author of some James Bond novels, lives in the village. Rob Sherman, an atheist activist, perennial candidate, and businessman, lived in Buffalo Grove for 32 years.

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