Cook County, Illinois facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Cook County, Illinois
County
The century-old, neoclassical County and City Hall building (left) in the Chicago Loop houses the County Board chambers and administrative offices. The Chicago Picasso stands in front of Daley Center, the home of Cook County Circuit Court.
The century-old, neoclassical County and City Hall building (left) in the Chicago Loop houses the County Board chambers and administrative offices. The Chicago Picasso stands in front of Daley Center, the home of Cook County Circuit Court.
Flag of Cook County, Illinois
Flag
Official seal of Cook County, Illinois
Seal
Map of Illinois showing Cook County
Map of Illinois showing Cook County
Illinois's location in the United States
Illinois's location in the United States
Country United States United States
State Illinois Illinois
Region Northern Illinois
Metro area Chicago Metropolitan
Incorporated January 15, 1831
Named for Daniel Cook
Area
 • County 1,635 sq mi (4,230 km2)
 • Land 945 sq mi (2,450 km2)
 • Water 690 sq mi (1,800 km2)
 • Metro 10,874 sq mi (28,160 km2)
Area rank 6th largest county in Illinois
Highest elevation 950 ft (290 m)
Lowest elevation 580 ft (180 m)
Population (2010)
 • County 5,194,675
 • Estimate (2015) 5,238,216
 • Rank 1st largest county in Illinois
2nd largest county in U.S.
 • Density 5,530/sq mi (2,140/km2)
 • Metro 9,522,434
Time zone Central (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) Central (UTC-5)
ZIP Code prefixes 600xx thru 608xx
Area codes 224/847, 312/872, 773/872, 708
Congressional districts 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th,
8th, 9th 10th and 11th
FIPS code 17-031
GNIS feature ID 1784766
Interstates

I-55.svg I-57.svg I-80.svg I-88.svg Chicago Skyway logo.svg I-90.svg I-94.svg I-190.svg I-290.svg I-294.svg I-355.svg


U.S. Routes

US 6.svg US 12.svg US 14.svg US 20.svg US 30.svg US 34.svg US 41.svg US 45.svg US 66 (historic).svg


State Routes

Illinois 1.svg Illinois 7.svg Illinois 19.svg Illinois 21.svg Illinois 25.svg Illinois 38.svg Illinois 43.svg Illinois 50.svg Illinois 53.svg Illinois 56.svg Illinois 58.svg Illinois 59.svg Illinois 62.svg Illinois 64.svg Illinois 68.svg Illinois 72.svg Illinois 83.svg Illinois 110.svg Illinois 171.svg Illinois 390.svg Illinois 394.svg


Airports

Chicago O'Hare International
Chicago Midway International
Chicago Executive
Lansing Municipal
Schaumburg Regional


Waterways

Lake MichiganChicago River
Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal
Calumet River – Des Plaines River
North Shore Channel


Amtrak stations

Chicago Union Station
Glenview – Homewood
La Grange – Summit


Public transit Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)
Metra – Pace – South Shore Line
Website www.cookcountyil.gov
Demographics (2010)
White Black Asian
55.4% 24.8% 6.2%
Islander Native Other Hispanic
(any race)
0.0% 0.4% 13.1% 24.0%

Cook County is a county in the U.S. state of Illinois. It is the second-most populous county in the United States after Los Angeles County, California. As of 2015, the population was 5,238,216. Its county seat is Chicago, the largest city in Illinois and third-most populous city in the United States. More than 40% of all residents of Illinois live in Cook County.

Cook County's population is larger than that of 29 individual U.S. states, and the combined populations of the seven smallest states. There are 135 incorporated municipalities partially or wholly within Cook County, the largest of which is Chicago, which is home to approximately 54% of the population of the county.

That part of the county which lies outside of the Chicago city limits is divided into 29 townships; these often divide or share governmental services with local municipalities. Geographically, the county is the sixth-largest in Illinois by land area. It shares the state's Lake Michigan shoreline with Lake County. Including its lake area, the county has a total area of 1,635 square miles (4,234.6 km2), the largest county in Illinois, of which 945 square miles (2,447.5 km2) is land and 690 square miles (1,787.1 km2) (42.16%) is water. Land-use in Cook County is mainly urban and densely populated.

Cook County is included in the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is surrounded by what are known as the five collar counties.

History

Cook County was created on January 15, 1831, out of Putnam County by an act of the Illinois General Assembly. It was the 54th county established in Illinois and was named after Daniel Cook, one of the earliest and youngest statesmen in Illinois history. He served as the second U.S. Representative from Illinois and the state's first Attorney General. In 1839, DuPage County was carved out of Cook County.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,635 square miles (4,230 km2), of which 945 square miles (2,450 km2) is land and 690 square miles (1,800 km2) (42.2%) is water. It is the sixth largest county in Illinois by land area, and the largest in total area. Most of the water is in Lake Michigan. The highest point is more than 950 feet (290 m), and is in northwest Barrington Township, in the northwest corner of the county. The lowest point is less than 580 feet (180 m), along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

Climate and weather

Weather chart for Chicago, Illinois
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
2.2
 
32
18
 
 
1.8
 
38
24
 
 
3
 
47
32
 
 
3.7
 
59
42
 
 
3.7
 
70
51
 
 
4.3
 
80
61
 
 
3.7
 
84
66
 
 
3.9
 
83
65
 
 
3.2
 
76
57
 
 
2.7
 
64
46
 
 
3.3
 
49
35
 
 
2.6
 
37
24
temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: The Weather Channel

In July, temperatures in Chicago, Cook County average daytime highs of 84 °F (29 °C), and nighttime lows of 68 °F (20 °C); and January daytime highs of 31 °F (−1 °C), and nighttime lows of 18 °F (−8 °C). Winter temperatures will sometimes veer above 40 °F (4 °C), and, although not common, have also risen over 50 °F (10 °C) on some winter days. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 4.30 inches (109 mm) in June to 1.77 inches (45 mm) in February.

Major highways

  • I-55.svg Interstate 55
  • I-57 (IL).svg Interstate 57
  • I-80.svg Interstate 80
  • I-88 (IL).svg Interstate 88
  • I-90 (IL).svgI-94.svgChicago Skyway logo.svg Interstate 90 / Interstate 94 / Chicago Skyway
  • I-190 (IL).svg Interstate 190
  • I-290.svg Interstate 290
  • I-294 (IL).svg Interstate 294
  • I-355 (IL).svg Interstate 355
  • US 6.svg U.S. Highway 6
  • US 12.svg U.S. Highway 12
  • US 14.svg U.S. Highway 14
  • US 20.svg U.S. Highway 20
  • US 30.svg U.S. Highway 30
  • US 34.svg U.S. Highway 34
  • US 41.svg U.S. Highway 41
  • US 45.svg U.S. Highway 45
  • US 66 (historic).svg Historic U.S. 66
  • Illinois 1.svg Illinois Route 1
  • Illinois 7.svg Illinois Route 7
  • Illinois 19.svg Illinois Route 19
  • Illinois 21.svg Illinois Route 21
  • Illinois 25.svg Illinois Route 25
  • Illinois 38.svg Illinois Route 38
  • Illinois 43.svg Illinois Route 43
  • Illinois 50.svg Illinois Route 50
  • Illinois 53.svg Illinois Route 53
  • Illinois 56.svg Illinois Route 56
  • Illinois 58.svg Illinois Route 58
  • Illinois 59.svg Illinois Route 59
  • Illinois 62.svg Illinois Route 62
  • Illinois 64.svg Illinois Route 64
  • Illinois 68.svg Illinois Route 68
  • Illinois 72.svg Illinois Route 72
  • Illinois 83.svg Illinois Route 83
  • Illinois 110.svg Illinois Route 110
  • Illinois 171.svg Illinois Route 171
  • Illinois 390.svg Illinois Route 390
  • Illinois 394.svg Illinois Route 394

Adjacent counties

Cook County is among the few counties in the United States to border two counties with the same name (Lake County, Illinois and Lake County, Indiana). Illinois has two such counties (Randolph County borders both Perry County, Illinois and Perry County, Missouri).

National protected area

  • Chicago Portage National Historic Site
  • Pullman National Monument

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 10,201
1850 43,385 325.3%
1860 144,954 234.1%
1870 349,966 141.4%
1880 607,524 73.6%
1890 1,191,922 96.2%
1900 1,838,735 54.3%
1910 2,405,233 30.8%
1920 3,053,017 26.9%
1930 3,982,123 30.4%
1940 4,063,342 2.0%
1950 4,508,792 11.0%
1960 5,129,725 13.8%
1970 5,492,369 7.1%
1980 5,253,655 −4.3%
1990 5,105,067 −2.8%
2000 5,376,741 5.3%
2010 5,194,675 −3.4%
Est. 2016 5,203,499 0.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

As of the 2010 Census, the population of the county was 5,194,675, White Americans made up 55.4% of Cook County's population; non-Hispanic whites represented 43.9% of the population. African Americans made up 24.8% of the population. Native Americans made up 0.4% of Cook County's population. Asian Americans made up 6.2% of the population (1.8% Indian, 1.2% Filipino, 1.2% Chinese, 0.7% Korean, 0.3% Vietnamese, 0.2% Japanese, 0.8% Other). Pacific Islander Americans made up just 0.0% of the population. People from other races made up 10.6% of the population; people from two or more races made up 2.5% of the county's population. Hispanics and Latinos (of any race) made up 24.0% of Cook County's population.

As of the 2000 Census, there were 5,376,741 people, 1,974,181 households, and 1,269,398 families residing in the county. The population density was 5,686 people per square mile (2,195/km²). There were 2,096,121 housing units at an average density of 2,216 per square mile (856/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 56.27% white, 26.14% Black or African American, 0.29% Native American, 4.84% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islanders, 9.88% from other races, and 2.53% from two or more races. 19.93% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 9.1% were of Polish, 8.1% German, 7.9% Irish and 5.7% Italian ancestry according to Census 2000. 17.63% reported speaking Spanish at home; 3.13% speak Polish.

Whites (Hispanic and non-Hispanic) number roughly 2,793,500. There are about 2,372,500 non-Hispanic whites residing in Cook County. The white population is ethnically diverse. Sizeable white populations are those of German (11.4%), Irish (10.3%), Polish (9.7%), Italian (6.1%), and British (4.1%) descent. There are also significant groups of Swedish (1.5%), Russian (1.5%), French (1.3%), Greek (1.2%), Czech (1.0%), Dutch (1.0%), Lithuanian (0.9%), and Norwegian (0.8%) descent.

USA Cook County, Illinois age pyramid
2000 census age pyramid for Cook County

Black Americans are the second largest racial group. Black Americans form over one-quarter (25.4%) of Cook County's population. Blacks of non-Hispanic origin form 25.2% of the population; black Hispanics make up the remaining 0.2% of the populace. There are roughly 1,341,000 African Americans of both Hispanic and non-Hispanic origin living in Cook County; 1,328,000 are non-Hispanic blacks. Roughly 52,500 people were of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, making up 1.0% of the total population.

The Native American population is sizeable but small proportionally. Over 10,200 residents of Cook County are of Native American ancestry, equivalent to just 0.2% of the total population. There are 974 Cherokee, 612 Chippewa, 430 Navajo, and 96 Sioux living in Cook County. Native Americans of Hispanic origin represent much of the Native American population group. Some 5,900 Native Americans are of non-Hispanic origin, so some 4,300 are of Hispanic origin. Over 40% of the Native American racial group is of Hispanic descent.

Asian Americans are a sizeable racial group in the county, numbering over 300,800. The Asian population is ethnically diverse, and includes roughly 87,900 Indians, 61,700 Filipinos, 60,700 Chinese, 35,000 Koreans, 13,700 Vietnamese, and 11,100 Japanese. Roughly 30,800 are of other Asian ethnic groups, such as Thai, Cambodian, and Hmong. Indian Americans make up 1.7% of the population, while Chinese and Filipino Americans make up 1.2% of the population each.

Pacific Islander Americans form the smallest racial group in Cook County. Just over 3,000 are of Pacific Islander heritage. This group includes roughly 780 Native Hawaiians, 670 Guamanians, 120 Samoans, and 1,400 people of other Pacific Islander groups.

Hispanic and Latino Americans make up over one-fifth (22.8%) of Cook County's population. Roughly 1,204,000 Hispanics live in the county. Mexicans are, by far, the most common Hispanic group. Cook County's 925,000 Mexican Americans make up 17.5% of its population. Roughly 127,000 Puerto Ricans make up 2.4% of the population. About 12,200 Cubans form 0.2% of the total population. There are some 140,000 Hispanics and Latinos of other nationalities living in Cook County (i.e. Colombian, Bolivian, etc., and they collectively make up 2.6% of the county's population.

According to the 2000 Census there were 1,974,181 households out of which 30.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.0% were married couples living together, 15.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.7% were non-families. 29.4% of all households were someone living alone including 9.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.38.

In the county, the population age distribution was: 26.0% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 31.7% from 25 to 44, 20.7% from 45 to 64, and 11.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 93.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.5 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $45,922, and the median income for a family was $53,784. Males had a median income of $40,690 versus $31,298 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,227. About 10.6% of families and 13.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.9% of those under age 18 and 10.3% of those age 65 or over.

According to Census Bureau estimates, the county's population was down to 5,303,683 in 2005, decreased further by 2010 (5,194,675) and had grown slightly by 2014 (5,246,456).

Communities

Cities

Towns

Villages

Unincorporated communities

Townships

The county is divided into 29 townships, in addition to the cities of Chicago and Evanston.

Worth TownshipWheeling TownshipThornton TownshipStickney TownshipStickney TownshipSchaumburg TownshipRiverside TownshipRiver Forest TownshipRich TownshipProviso TownshipPalos TownshipPalatine TownshipOrland TownshipOak Park TownshipNorwood Park TownshipNorthfield TownshipNiles TownshipNew Trier TownshipMaine TownshipLyons TownshipLeyden TownshipLemont TownshipHanover TownshipEvanstonElk Grove TownshipCicero TownshipCalumet TownshipBremen TownshipBloom TownshipBerwyn TownshipBarrington TownshipMap of Cook County Illinois showing townships
Cook County townships (clickable)

Current townships

The 29 townships of Cook County, with their populations as of the 2010 Census, are:

  • Thornton Township – 169,326
  • Wheeling Township – 153,630
  • Worth Township – 152,633
  • Proviso Township – 151,704
  • Maine Township – 135,772
  • Schaumburg Township – 131,288
  • Palatine Township – 112,994
  • Lyons Township – 111,688
  • Bremen Township – 110,118
  • Niles Township – 105,882
  • Hanover Township – 99,538
  • Orland Township – 97,558
  • Elk Grove Township – 92,905
  • Leyden Township – 92,890
  • Bloom Township – 90,922
  • Northfield Township – 85,102
  • Cicero Township – 83,891
  • Rich Township – 76,727
  • Berwyn Township – 56,657
  • New Trier Township – 55,424
  • Palos Township – 54,615
  • Oak Park Township – 51,878
  • Stickney Township – 40,772
  • Norwood Park Township – 26,385
  • Lemont Township – 21,113
  • Calumet Township – 20,777
  • Barrington Township – 15,636
  • Riverside Township – 15,594
  • River Forest Township – 11,172

Former townships

Chicago's eight former townships and annexed parts of others no longer have any governmental structure or responsibility since their annexations, but their names and boundaries are still used on property plats and by Cook County for tax assessment purposes.

In 2014, Evanston Township was dissolved by voters and its functions were absorbed by the city of Evanston.

  • Evanston Township
  • Jefferson Township
  • Hyde Park Township
  • Lake Township
  • Lake View Township
  • North Township
  • Rogers Park Township
  • South Township
  • West Township

Cook County, Illinois Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.