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Niles, Illinois
"It's Possible Here"
Location of Niles in Cook County, Illinois
Location of Niles in Cook County, Illinois
Niles, Illinois is located in Illinois
Niles, Illinois
Niles, Illinois
Location in Illinois
Niles, Illinois is located in the United States
Niles, Illinois
Niles, Illinois
Location in the United States
Country United States
State Illinois
County Cook
Townships Maine, Niles
Settled 1832
Incorporated 1899
 • Total 5.85 sq mi (15.15 km2)
 • Land 5.85 sq mi (15.15 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
646 ft (197 m)
 • Total 30,912
 • Density 5,285.91/sq mi (2,040.87/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code(s)
Area codes 847, 224
FIPS code 17-53000
Wikimedia Commons Niles, Illinois

Niles is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States, located in the townships of Maine and Niles, directly neighboring the City of Chicago's far northwest border. The 2010 population from the U.S. Census Bureau was 29,803. The current population as of 2019 is 28,938. The current mayor of Niles is George Alpogianis.


Pace 2649
Niles Free Bus at Golf Mill

Niles was first settled in 1827. The village of Niles was incorporated on August 24, 1899. The village had a population of 500 people at that time.

Article 4 of the Second Treaty of Prairie du Chien, signed between the United States government and several chiefs of the Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatamie left particular tracts of land to individuals of mixed-Native American ancestry. Among these individuals were Billy Caldwell, Victoria Pothier, and Jane Miranda. The land given to these individuals helped for what would eventually established part of the border of Niles. During the 1832 Black Hawk War, there is evidence that one band of Native Americans may have reached Billy Caldwell's property as part of an attempt to reclaim land lost to the United States.

Along with neighboring Skokie and several other suburbs, Niles is partly in Niles Township, from whence it draws its name. It should not be confused with "Niles Center", the original name of Skokie.

There is no clear indication of the origin of the name "Niles." In 1929, the Chicago Tribune ran an article opining that the name was taken from the Niles Register, a newspaper published in the 1820s out of Washington, D.C., and distributed nationally; however, no proof of that has yet been discovered; accounts state only that the name was chosen at public meeting prior to township organization in 1850.

Niles was the first community in Illinois and one of the first in the United States to establish free ambulance service, in 1946.


Niles is located at 42°1′40″N 87°48′36″W / 42.02778°N 87.81000°W / 42.02778; -87.81000 (42.0277127, -87.8100990).

According to the 2010 census, Niles has a total area of 5.85 square miles (15.15 km2), all land.

Niles is adjacent to Chicago to the south, Skokie to the east, Morton Grove to the northeast, Glenview to the north, and Park Ridge and unincorporated Cook County (and portions of Chicago) to the west.

The town is centered along Milwaukee Avenue which forms a main artery diagonally through the town on a northwest-southeast bearing.

The North Branch of the Chicago River flows through the eastern part of the town roughly in a north-to-south direction.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 289
1900 514
1910 569 10.7%
1920 1,258 121.1%
1930 2,135 69.7%
1940 2,168 1.5%
1950 3,587 65.5%
1960 20,393 468.5%
1970 31,432 54.1%
1980 30,363 −3.4%
1990 28,284 −6.8%
2000 30,068 6.3%
2010 29,803 −0.9%
2020 30,912 3.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
Niles, Illinois Police Station
Niles Police Department

As of the census of 2000, there were 30,068 people, 12,002 households, and 7,945 families residing in the village. The population density was 5,117.9 people per square mile (1,974.4/km2). There were 12,256 housing units at an average density of 2,086.1 per square mile (804.8/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 83.22% White, 0.46% African American, 0.09% Native American, 12.68% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.67% from other races, and 1.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.03% of the population.

There were 12,002 households, out of which 21.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.0% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.8% were non-families. 30.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 18.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the village, the population was spread out, with 16.7% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 24.0% from 25 to 44, 24.8% from 45 to 64, and 27.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.3 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $48,627, and the median income for a family was $58,215. Males had a median income of $40,131 versus $30,266 for females. The per capita income for the village was $23,543. About 3.2% of families and 5.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.2% of those under age 18 and 5.8% of those age 65 or over.

Notable places

Leaning Tower of Niles
Located on Touhy Avenue, the Leaning Tower is a one-half scale model of the real one.

A notable landmark and point of pride among Niles' residents is the Leaning Tower of Niles, a smaller-scale replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. This landmark is seen in the opening Chicago-area montage of the film Wayne's World. The Niles Leaning Tower has also been featured in many national magazines, including Oprah's "O" Magazine in 2014. It is located next to the local YMCA (which is appropriately called the "Leaning Tower YMCA"). Several concerts covering a variety of musical forms are held here throughout the summer.

Another notable landmark is the Tam O'Shanter Golf Course, which is currently under the ownership of the Niles Park District. From 1941 to 1957, the course was host to the All American Open on the PGA Tour. In 1964 and 1965, the course hosted the Western Open.

St. Adalbert Cemetery, the largest in the Archdiocese of Chicago in terms of burials, is the resting place of German immigrant Fredrak Fraske (1872–1973), who was the last surviving veteran of the "Indian Wars". St. Adalbert's is also the location of the Halas Family mausoleum, and is the final resting place of George Halas, former head coach of the Chicago Bears.

The world headquarters of the Bradford Group, a major collectibles company, is located on Milwaukee Avenue.

St. John Brebeuf Catholic Church was the first Catholic parish in Niles.

Golf Mill Shopping Center opened in 1960 and is still the largest shopping center in Niles.

Niles Community Rain Garden created in 2008.

Recent events

Niles Illinois Village Hall
Niles Illinois Village Hall

2011-Named Best Place in U.S. to Raise Kids by Bloomberg's BusinessWeek

2011- Gold U.S. Maxi Award (Teen Center)

2011 -Named "America's Best, Affordable Place to Raise Kids" by Businessweek studied the lifestyle parameters of 5,418 communities across the country, focusing on good schools, low taxes, safe neighborhoods and affordability of housing.

2010- Bright Ideas Initiative Award (Teen Center)

2010 - Nicholas B. Blase served as mayor of Niles for 47 years, from 1961 to 2008. He resigned amid federal charges that he participated in an insurance kickback scheme. Several months later he pleaded guilty to mail fraud and tax evasion, and admitted that he had pressured local businesses to buy insurance from a friend's agency in return for a share of the commissions, receiving more than $420,000 over a period of more than 30 years. In 2010 Blase, then 81 years old, was sentenced to a year and a day in prison.

2003- Clean Air Counts Award Winner

Public Works Project of the Year by APWA Suburban Branch- Chicago Chapter

1964- Named All America City

Sister cities

Niles has four sister cities as of 2008:


Companies based in Niles include Shure, Bradford Exchange, Hammacher Schlemmer, and MFRI.

According to the Village's 2019 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Woodward, Inc. 1,000
2 Shure (HQ) 680
3 Bradford Exchange (HQ) 600
4 Coca-Cola Bottling Company 500
5 Village of Niles 425
6 Specialty Print Communications 250
7 Talk-A-Phone, LLC 250
8 Fort Dearborn Company 210
9 GlobalTranz Enterprises, Inc. 200
10 Golf Mill Motor Sales 181


The Niles Public Library on Waukegan and Oakton. The space in the parking lot is a memorial to military veterans.
Notre Dame High School is located on Dempster Street.

Elementary school districts:

  • East Maine School District 63
  • Park Ridge-Niles School District 64
  • Golf School District 67
  • Niles Elementary School District 71
  • Fairview School District 72
  • The Niles Township District for Special Education 807 serves some residents in these districts.

High school districts:

  • Maine Township High School District 207
• Maine East High School
• Maine South High School
  • Niles Township Community High School District 219
• Niles North High School
• Niles West High School

Community College district:

  • Oakton Community College

Catholic schools:

  • St. John Brebeuf School is a Catholic parish school serving students from pre-school through 8th grade.
  • Northridge Preparatory School is a Catholic independent private high school.
  • Notre Dame High School was founded by the Congregation of Holy Cross but is now independent.

Baptist schools:

  • Logos Christian Academy is a Romania-Baptist school.

Until 1998 the Chicago Futabakai Japanese School was located in Niles. In 1998 it moved to Arlington Heights.


Niles Free Bus

The Niles Free Bus is a courtesy bus system, which operates within the Village of Niles at no charge to riders. The Free Bus runs continually from 6:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays, and from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekends. The buses stop at all major shopping centers, public facilities, and within a short distance of every residence.

Major highways

Major highways in Niles include:

See also

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