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Lake Zurich, Illinois
Lake Zurich
View of Lake Zurich from the downtown promenade
View of Lake Zurich from the downtown promenade
Location of Lake Zurich in Lake County, Illinois.
Location of Lake Zurich in Lake County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Country United States
State Illinois
County Lake
Township Ela
Founded September 29, 1896
 • Total 7.33 sq mi (18.99 km2)
 • Land 6.93 sq mi (17.94 km2)
 • Water 0.41 sq mi (1.05 km2)
850 ft (260 m)
 • Total 19,759
 • Density 2,852.87/sq mi (1,101.45/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code(s)
Area codes 847 and 224
FIPS code 17-41742
Wikimedia Commons Commons:Lake Zurich, Illinois

Lake Zurich is a village in Lake County, Illinois, United States, a northwest suburb of Chicago. Per the 2020 census, the population was 19,759. The village is named after a body of water named "Lake Zurich," which is completely located inside the village.


Lake Zurich is located at 42°11′32″N 88°5′17″W / 42.19222°N 88.08806°W / 42.19222; -88.08806 (42.192324, -88.088098), with an elevation of 850 feet (260 m) above sea level.

According to the 2010 census, Lake Zurich has a total area of 7.187 square miles (18.61 km2), of which 6.77 square miles (17.53 km2) (or 94.2%) is land and 0.417 square miles (1.08 km2) (or 5.8%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 146
1900 215
1910 304 41.4%
1920 316 3.9%
1930 368 16.5%
1940 421 14.4%
1950 850 101.9%
1960 3,458 306.8%
1970 4,082 18.0%
1980 8,225 101.5%
1990 14,947 81.7%
2000 18,104 21.1%
2010 19,631 8.4%
2020 19,759 0.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
2010 2020

2020 census

Lake Zurich village, Illinois – Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010 Pop 2020 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 16,223 15,552 82.64% 78.71%
Black or African American alone (NH) 165 174 0.84% 0.88%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 10 8 0.05% 0.04%
Asian alone (NH) 1,440 1,781 7.34% 9.01%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 11 2 0.06% 0.01%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 18 31 0.09% 0.16%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 243 573 1.24% 2.90%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 1,521 1,638 7.75% 8.29%
Total 19,631 19,759 100.00% 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.


The area of Lake Zurich was first settled by European descendants in the 1830s. Two early pioneers were George Ela, after whom the Ela township is named, and Seth Paine, who established a number of commercial ventures in the town. New England farmers moved to the area in the 1830s and 1840s, and German immigrants began to move to the area from the middle of the century. The lake now known as Lake Zurich was once named Cedar Lake in the 19th century. The village of Lake Zurich was incorporated on September 29, 1896. It remained primarily a farming community; although the village was connected to the railroad in 1910, the line was closed ten years later. However, the arrival of the highway system with Rand Road (U.S. Route 12) in 1922 and Half Day Road (Illinois Route 22) in 1927 established Lake Zurich as a convenient summer resort. The now-defunct Palatine, Lake Zurich and Wauconda Railroad also served the community. Housing development began in the 1950s, with the population expanding throughout the latter part of the 20th century.

In 1988, a historic, landmark legal case in Illinois took place settling a dispute on Lake Zurich, thereby clarifying throughout Illinois property owners' rights on private lakes. In 1988, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in Beacham v. Lake Zurich Property Owners Association (123 Ill. 2d 227; 526 N.E.2d 154; 1988 Ill. LEXIS 91; 122 Ill. Dec 14, filed June 20, 1988) that each individual owner of the private (aka non-public) lake's bottom has the legal right to recreate over the surface waters of the entire private lake. The High Court ruled that by ownership of a lake bottom land, each partial-lake-bottom owner of a private lake can not be prohibited from recreating on the surface waters that may be located above other owners' lake bottom properties. Riparian land rights were defined in Illinois.

Redevelopment plans

In October 2006, a four-lane bypass to Illinois Route 22 (Main Street) was completed, rerouting east-west traffic to the south and east of the downtown area. This project caused a local controversy when environmental authorities determined that construction crews were dumping silt-laden water into the spring-fed Lake Zurich. The threat of state and federal enforcement was brought against the project in 2006 and 2007.

In order to compensate for the loss of traffic on Route 22, the village began a "downtown redevelopment" plan which would eventually become one of the most contentious battles in village history.

Plans were drawn several years earlier but the first developer, the Flex Group, determined it would not have sufficient resources to handle the project and abandoned it. A second developer, McCaffery Interests, was hired and began construction on the first phase. In 2006 the Somerset Townhomes, located on the north side of West Main Street, broke ground. Unfortunately, sales were not as strong as once hoped. As of June 2009, the townhomes are about 50% unfilled due to various factors which include the nationwide housing slump. The developer abandoned the project, and legal action between the village and the developer followed.

In 2008, the village government began talks with a third developer, Equity Service Group, to redesign and recapitalize the downtown redevelopment. The developer immediately came under scrutiny from members of the community, who were wary of the past two failed attempts to redevelop the downtown area. The backlash culminated with the 2009 full-slate election of an opposition party, who vowed fiscal restraint and environmental protection during future attempts to redevelop the downtown area. While the new village administration is legally bound to negotiate with Equity Services Group, the village has begun renting out previously-vacant downtown buildings to local businesses while the redevelopment plans are on hold for analysis.

Popular culture

Lake Zurich is the hometown of Sandra Bullock's character Dr. Ryan Stone in the 2013 science fiction film Gravity.

Lake Zurich is also the hometown of Sam Holtz, the sixth-grader sports-picking prodigy who won first place in the 2015 ESPN NCAA Bracket Challenge, beating 11.57 million other submitted brackets and earning national fame.


Public schools

Public schools are managed by the Lake Zurich Lake Zurich Community Unit School District 95. A small section of east Lake Zurich is served by Kildeer Countryside Community Consolidated School District 96 and Consolidated High School District 125.

Elementary schools (K-5):

  • Isaac Fox
  • Sarah Adams
  • Seth Paine
  • Spencer Loomis
  • May Whitney (also Pre-K)

Until 2009, Charles Quentin Elementary School was also a school in the district, located in nearby Kildeer, that served students in Kildeer, parts of Deer Park and a small part of Lake Zurich, but it closed due to the small total number of students attending it. The district was remapped and students attending Charles Quentin were assigned to various other schools. The site of the former Charles Quentin school became a large part of the retail shopping center known as Kildeer Village Square.

Middle schools (6-8):

  • Lake Zurich Middle School South (takes students from Fox and Adams and took students from the former Quentin School, also takes Whitney students)
  • Lake Zurich Middle School North (takes students from Paine, Loomis and Whitney)

High school (9-12):

  • Lake Zurich High School

Non-Lake Zurich schools:

  • Willow Grove Kindergarten Center (K) (in Buffalo Grove)
  • Kildeer Countryside Elementary School (1-5) (in Long Grove)
  • Woodlawn Middle School (6-8) (in Long Grove)
  • Adlai E. Stevenson High School (9-12) (in Lincolnshire)

Private schools

  • St. Francis de Sales (Catholic) (Preschool-8)
  • St. Matthew (Lutheran) (K-8)
  • Quentin Road Christian School (Baptist) (K-12)

Notable people

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