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South Holland, Illinois
Village of South Holland
South Holland Town Center
South Holland Town Center
"A Heritage of Faith; An Emphasis on Family; A Home for Our Future"
Location in Cook County and the state of Illinois.
Location in Cook County and the state of Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Country  United States
State Illinois Illinois
County Cook
Township Thornton
Settled 1847
Incorporated May 12, 1894
 • Type Council-Trustee
 • Body Board of Trustees
 • Total 7.28 sq mi (18.9 km2)
 • Land 7.27 sq mi (18.8 km2)
 • Water 0.02 sq mi (0.05 km2)  0.27%
601 ft (183 m)
 • Total 22,030
 • Density 3,030.3/sq mi (1,170.0/km2)
  Down .05% from 2000
Standard of living (2009-11)
 • Per capita income $25,887
 • Median home value $168,600
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code 708
FIPS code 17-70850
GNIS feature ID 0418788
Demographics (2010)
White Black Asian
20.5% 74.2% 0.6%
Islander Native Other Hispanic
(any race)
0.01% 0.2% 4.5% 5.8%

South Holland is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States, within Thornton Township. The population was 22,030 at the 2010 census.


The area currently occupied by South Holland, Illinois, was first settled in 1846 by immigrants from South Holland, Netherlands. When the community formally incorporated as a village in 1894, its population was about 1,000. Originally a general farming community, it later specialized in vegetable growing, especially onion sets. By the 1940s South Holland was known as the "Onion Set Capital of the World". The town was built on low ground near the Calumet River and was originally called de Laage Prairie (Low Prairie) to differentiate it from another Dutch settlement further north on higher ground and called de Hooge Prairie (now the Roseland neighborhood of Chicago).

In October 2007, declared South Holland to be the "Most Livable Metro-Area suburb" of the Chicago metropolitan area.

Distinctive traits

South Holland is an anomaly in Chicago Southland because of its laws. All businesses (except travel-related establishments such as hotels, restaurants, and gas stations) are closed on Sunday. This can be seen easily when driving on one of the village's main thoroughfares—162nd Street or South Park Avenue. South Holland is a "dry" municipality; that is, no alcohol is sold anywhere within the village limits. Zoning restrictions do not allow the development of apartment buildings or condominiums. These laws are a remnant of the village's religious roots as a settlement of conservative Dutch Reformed immigrants. Even today, South Holland's motto is "A Community of Churches".


South Holland is located at 41°36′N 87°36′W / 41.600°N 87.600°W / 41.600; -87.600 (41.60, -87.60). It is bordered by Harvey and Phoenix to the west, Dolton to the north, Thornton to the south, and Calumet City and Lansing to the east.

According to the 2010 census, South Holland has a total area of 7.286 square miles (18.87 km2), of which 7.27 square miles (18.83 km2) (or 99.78%) is land and 0.016 square miles (0.04 km2) (or 0.22%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 1,005
1900 766 −23.8%
1910 1,065 39.0%
1920 1,247 17.1%
1930 1,873 50.2%
1940 2,272 21.3%
1950 3,247 42.9%
1960 10,412 220.7%
1970 23,931 129.8%
1980 24,977 4.4%
1990 22,105 −11.5%
2000 22,147 0.2%
2010 22,030 −0.5%
Est. 2015 22,043 0.1%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the 2010 census South Holland had a population of 22,030 people. The ethnic and racial makeup of the population was 18.3% non-Hispanic white, 73.8% non-Hispanic African-American, 0.2% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.1% non-Hispanics reporting some other race, 1.5% reporting two or more races and 5.8% Hispanic or Latino.

As of the census of 2000, there were 22,147 people, 7,663 households, and 6,007 families residing in the village. The population density was 3,042.1 people per square mile (1,174.6/km²). There were 7,825 housing units at an average density of 1,074.8 per square mile (415.0/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 50.81% African American, 45.04% White, 0.17% Native American, 0.86% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.93% from other races, and 1.18% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.77% of the population.

There were 7,663 households out of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.8% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.6% were non-families. 19.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.82 and the average family size was 3.24.

In the village, the population was spread out with 25.6% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 25.5% from 25 to 44, 24.3% from 45 to 64, and 17.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 89.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.6 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $60,246, and the median income for a family was $67,451. Males had a median income of $46,582 versus $35,557 for females. The per capita income for the village was $24,977. About 2.8% of families and 4.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.9% of those under age 18 and 4.2% of those age 65 or over.

In literature

The 1925 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel So Big by Edna Ferber is set in South Holland. The Widow Paarlberg inspired one of the main characters and her family farm is preserved in a municipal park.

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