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Markham, Illinois
Prairie Capital of the Prairie State
Unity for the Community
Location of Markham in Cook County, Illinois.
Location of Markham in Cook County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Country  United States
State  Illinois
County Cook
Townships Bremen, Thornton
Incorporated 1925
 • Total 5.41 sq mi (14.00 km2)
 • Land 5.41 sq mi (14.00 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)  0%
 • Total 11,661
 • Density 2,157.45/sq mi (833.01/km2)
Standard of living (2007-2011)
 • Per capita income $19,318
 • Median home value $120,300
ZIP code(s)
Area code(s) 708
Geocode 47007
FIPS code 17-47007

Markham is a city and a south suburb of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 11,661 at the 2020 census.


Markham is located at 41°35′51″N 87°41′30″W / 41.59750°N 87.69167°W / 41.59750; -87.69167 (41.597467, -87.691570).

According to the 2010 census, Markham has a total area of 5.31 square miles (13.75 km2), all land.


It is claimed this area was beach 10,000 years ago. After countless ages of geologic swamps, marshes and sloughs, the prairies dominated the landscape with groves of trees, flowers, and wildlife in abundance.

Markham, southwest of the southern tip of Lake Michigan, had been a crossroad for early pioneers. In 1816 a treaty was made with the Ottawa, Chippewa and Potawatomi tribes which ceded a corridor of land located between a point north of the Chicago River and the mouth of the Calumet River to the settlers. The southern boundary, one of two Indian Treaty Boundary Lines, was surveyed along a line from the Kankakee River to Lake Michigan. The line still appears on government maps and now includes a short portion of Interstate 57 near the US 6 interchange northwest of Markham.

The village of Markham was incorporated in 1925 with a population under 300. The village was named for Charles H. Markham, president of the Illinois Central Railroad 1911-1918, 1919-1926. In the mid-1930s, the Croissant Park subdivision was built and increased the population from 349 to 1,388. After World War II, Markham's population doubled to 2,753 residents by 1950. The village developed into a bedroom community as residents sought homes, not industry. An airport developed at 165th Street and Kedzie Avenue was the nearest field outside of Chicago. The airport site was located near what is now the Cook County Sixth Circuit Courthouse. On August 24, 1967, Markham was incorporated as a city.

The Lone Pine Tree

In 1860, a German immigrant named Lawrence Roesner made his way to the southern boundary and settled on land located in the northwest corner of Markham. He brought with him six seedlings from the Black Forest of Germany and planted them along the Indian Boundary Line. This "Lone Pine Tree" was adopted as the official city symbol in 1985. The lone survivor of six pine trees brought from the Black Forest in 1860 died in 1986. The Markham City Council appropriated money to get a replacement tree from the Black Forest, which the Markham Garden Club planted that year.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 349
1940 1,288 269.1%
1950 2,783 116.1%
1960 11,704 320.6%
1970 15,987 36.6%
1980 15,534 −2.8%
1990 13,136 −15.4%
2000 12,620 −3.9%
2010 12,508 −0.9%
2020 11,661 −6.8%
U.S. Decennial Census
2010 2020

2020 census

Markham, Illinois - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010 Pop 2020 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 1,275 1,661 10.19% 7.06%
Black or African American alone (NH) 10,076 8,420 80.56% 72.21%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 15 11 0.12% 0.09%
Asian alone (NH) 84 103 0.67% 0.88%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 8 0 0.06% 0.00%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 22 32 0.18% 0.27%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 191 258 1.53% 2.21%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 837 2,014 6.69% 17.57%
Total 12,508 11,661 100.00% 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.

2010 Census

As of the 2000 census, there were 12,620 people, 3,842 households, and 3,119 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,420.6 people per square mile (935.2/km2). There were 4,019 housing units at an average density of 770.9 per square mile (297.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 17.30% White, 78.86% African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.59% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.61% from other races, and 1.46% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.14% of the population.

The top three non-African American ancestries reported in Markham as of the 2000 census were Irish (5.5%), German (5.1%) and Polish (3.1%).

There were 3,842 households, out of which 33.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.6% were married couples living together, 30.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 18.8% were non-families. 15.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.28 and the average family size was 3.61.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 31.4% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 86.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $41,592, and the median income for a family was $44,149. Males had a median income of $37,281 versus $27,723 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,870. About 13.9% of families and 16.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.9% of those under age 18 and 11.4% of those age 65 or over.

Indian Boundary Prairies

There are approximately 2,500 acres (10 km2) of virgin and restored prairie land located within the boundary of Markham. There are four prairies known as "Dropseed", "Sundrop", "Paintbrush" and "Gensburg". The prairie is under the supervision of Northeastern Illinois University and The Nature Conservancy. The Gensburg-Markham Prairie portion has been designated a National Natural Landmark. The prairies continue to grow and flourish with the help of the Friends of the Indian Boundary Prairies.


A portion of Markham is within the Posen-Robbins School District 143½.

Most of Markham is served by Bremen High School, with the small remaining section going to Tinley Park High School in Bremen Community High School District 228

Notable people

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