McHenry, Illinois facts for kids

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Nickname: The Heart Of The Fox
Country United States
State Illinois
County McHenry
Area 15.18 sq mi (39 km²)
 - land 14.74 sq mi (38 km²)
 - water 0.44 sq mi (1 km²)
Population 26,992 (2010)
Density 1,850.2 /sq mi (714 /km²)
Mayor Susan E. Low
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Postal code 60050 and 60051
Area code 815
Location of McHenry within Illinois
Location of McHenry within Illinois
Locator Red.svg
Location of McHenry within Illinois
Wikimedia Commons: McHenry, Illinois
Website: {{#property:P856}}

McHenry is a city in McHenry County, Illinois, United States. The 2010 U.S. census reported its population at 26,992. McHenry was at one time the county seat of McHenry County, which once included adjoining Lake County to the east. McHenry took its name from McHenry County, which was named for Major William McHenry, an Indian fighter.

McHenry is surrounded by natural lakes and streams, grassy moraine hills, gravel banks and shallow nutrient-rich peat bogs, remnants of receding glaciers from the last ice age. Moraine Hills State Park and Volo Bog State Natural Area preserve some of these unique natural features.


McHenry is located 60 miles northwest of Chicago in northern Illinois on the Fox River. According to the 2010 census, McHenry has a total area of 15.175 square miles (39.30 km2), of which 14.74 square miles (38.18 km2) (or 97.13%) is land and 0.435 square miles (1.13 km2) (or 2.87%) is water. McHenry lies within the watershed of the Fox River, and its downtown area is situated on that river which is how it earned the nickname "The Heart of the Fox".

Major streets

  • Illinois 31.svg Richmond Road/Elm Street/Front Street
  • Illinois 120.svg Elm Street
  • Ringwood Road
  • Ridge Road
  • Curran Road
  • Bull Valley Road
  • McCullom Lake Road
  • Crystal Lake Road
  • Green Street
  • Charles J Miller Road
  • Chapel Hill Road
  • River Road
  • Draper Road
  • Martin Road
  • Riverside Drive
  • Pearl Street
  • Lincoln Road
  • Dartmoor Drive
  • Hollywood Blvd.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 874
1890 979 12.0%
1900 1,013 3.5%
1910 1,031 1.8%
1920 1,146 11.2%
1930 1,354 18.2%
1940 1,596 17.9%
1950 2,080 30.3%
1960 3,336 60.4%
1970 6,772 103.0%
1980 10,737 58.5%
1990 16,177 50.7%
2000 21,501 32.9%
2010 26,992 25.5%
Est. 2015 26,657 −1.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

The population density was 1,850.2 per square mile (714.4/km²). There were 8,127 housing units at an average density of 699.4 per square mile (270.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.18% White, 0.35% African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.89% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 3.31% from other races, and 1.02% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.10% of the population.

There were 7,872 households of which 38.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.2% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.4% were non-families. 24.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.25.

Age distribution was 28.5% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 32.7% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 11.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 94.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.2 males.

The median household income was $55,759, and the median family income was $66,040. Males had a median income of $46,552 versus $29,808 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,272. About 3.8% of families and 4.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.1% of those under age 18 and 2.6% of those age 65 or over.


McHenry is currently the terminus of a branch line on Metra's Union Pacific/Northwest Line, with daily passenger service to Ogilvie Transportation Center (Northwestern Station) in downtown Chicago. The line that now terminates at McHenry once continued to Williams Bay, Wisconsin, but that service was discontinued in stages in the 1960s and 1970s.

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