Cook County, Illinois

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Cook County, Illinois
Richard J. Daley Plaza.jpg
Frank LLoyd Wright Studio Chicago Frontage.jpg
Evanston, IL Aerial View.jpg
Montrose Beach.JPG
Flag of Cook County, Illinois.svg
Seal of Cook County, Illinois.svg
Map of Illinois highlighting Cook County.svg
Location within Illinois
Map of USA IL.svg
Illinois' location within the United States
Coordinates: 41°48′31″N87°53′20″W / 41.80861°N 87.88889°W / 41.80861; -87.88889 Coordinates: 41°48′31″N87°53′20″W / 41.80861°N 87.88889°W / 41.80861; -87.88889
CountryUnited States
State Illinois
Region Northern Illinois
Metro area Chicago Metropolitan
Incorporated January 15, 1831;191 years ago (1831-01-15),
Named for Daniel Cook
County seat Chicago
Largest city Chicago
Incorporated municipalities
134 (total)
  • 23 cities, 1 town, 111 villages
  • (located entirely or partially
    within county boundaries)
  Type County
  Body Board of Commissioners
  Board President Toni R. Preckwinkle (D)
  County Board 17 commissioners
   County 1,635 sq mi (4,230 km2)
  Land945 sq mi (2,450 km2)
  Water690 sq mi (1,800 km2)
10,874 sq mi (28,160 km2)
  Rank 6th largest county in Illinois
Highest elevation950 ft (290 m)
Lowest elevation580 ft (180 m)
   County 5,275,541
  Density3,200/sq mi (1,200/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
  Summer (DST) UTC−5 (Central)
ZIP Code prefixes
Area codes 224/847, 312/872, 773/872, 708
Congressional districts 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th,
8th, 9th, 10th and 11th
FIPS code 17-031
GNIS feature ID1784766

Cook County is the most populous county in the U.S. state of Illinois and the second-most-populous county in the United States, after Los Angeles County, California. More than 40% of all residents of Illinois live within Cook County. As of 2020, the population was 5,275,541. Its county seat is Chicago, the most populous city in Illinois and the third-most-populous city in the United States.


Cook County was incorporated in 1831 and named for Daniel Pope Cook, an early Illinois statesman. It achieved its present boundaries in 1839. Within one hundred years, the county recorded explosive population growth going from a trading post village with a little over 600 residents to four million citizens, rivalling Paris by the Great Depression. During the first half of the 20th century it had the absolute majority of Illinois's population.

There are more than 800 local governmental units and nearly 130 municipalities located wholly or partially within Cook County, the largest of which is Chicago. The city is home to approximately 54% of the entire county's population. [4] The part of the county outside of the Chicago and Evanston city limits is divided into 29 townships; these often divide or share governmental services with local municipalities. Townships within Chicago were abolished in 1902 but are retained for real estate assessment purposes. Evanston Township was formerly coterminous with the City of Evanston but was abolished in 2014. County government is overseen by the Cook County Board, and countywide state government offices include the Circuit Court of Cook County, the Cook County State's Attorney, the Cook County Sheriff, and the Cook County Assessor.

Geographically, the county is the sixth-largest in Illinois by land area and the largest by total area. It shares the state's Lake Michigan shoreline with Lake County. Including its lake area, Cook County has a total area of 1,635 square miles (4,234.6 km2), the largest county in Illinois, of which 945 square miles (2,447.5 km2) is land and 690 square miles (1,787.1 km2) (42.16%) is water. Land-use in Cook County is mostly urban and densely populated. Within Cook County, the State of Illinois took advantage of its Lake Michigan access and the Chicago Portage, beginning with the construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal in 1848. This helped make the region a central transit hub for the nation. Chicago, with its location on the Great Lakes and via the St. Lawrence Seaway, is a global port city, giving Cook County an international shipping port.

Cook County's population is larger than that of 28 different U.S. states and territories, and larger than the population of 11 of the 13 Canadian provinces and territories. [5] Cook County is included in the Chicago metropolitan Combined Statistical Area (CSA), which has a population of approximately 10 million people.


Cook County was created on January 15, 1831, out of Putnam County by an act of the Illinois General Assembly. It was the 54th county established in Illinois and was named after Daniel Cook, one of the earliest and youngest statesmen in Illinois history. He served as the second U.S. Representative from Illinois and the state's first Attorney General. In 1839, DuPage County was carved out of Cook County.

The shape of Cook County and the neighboring counties has remained the same since DuPage County was formed. The population in each county and the split of agriculture compared to residential and industrial activity has changed dramatically over the intervening decades to 2020. The county began with 10,201 people in the Census of 1840, growing rapidly to 5,150,233 people estimated for 2019 by the US Census. Growth was rapid in the 19th century, with the County reaching 2.4 million people by 1910. In the 20th century, the County reached 5.1 million population.

Cook County is nearly completely developed, with little agricultural land remaining near the outer county boundaries. [6]


Historical population
1840 10,201
1850 43,385325.3%
1860 144,954234.1%
1870 349,966141.4%
1880 607,52473.6%
1890 1,191,92296.2%
1900 1,838,73554.3%
1910 2,405,23330.8%
1920 3,053,01726.9%
1930 3,982,12330.4%
1940 4,063,3422.0%
1950 4,508,79211.0%
1960 5,129,72513.8%
1970 5,492,3697.1%
1980 5,253,655−4.3%
1990 5,105,067−2.8%
2000 5,376,7415.3%
2010 5,194,675−3.4%
2020 5,275,5411.6%
U.S. Decennial Census [7]
1790–1960 [8] 1900–1990 [9]
1990–2000 [10] 2010–2019 [11]

According to the 2000 Census there were 1,974,181 households, out of which 30.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.0% were married couples living together, 15.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.7% were non-families. 29.4% of all households were someone living alone including 9.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.38.

2000 census age pyramid for Cook County USA Cook County, Illinois age pyramid.svg
2000 census age pyramid for Cook County

In the county, the population age distribution was: 26.0% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 31.7% from 25 to 44, 20.7% from 45 to 64, and 11.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.5 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $45,922, and the median income for a family was $53,784. Males had a median income of $40,690 versus $31,298 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,227. About 10.6% of families and 13.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.9% of those under age 18 and 10.3% of those age 65 or over.

As of the fourth quarter of 2021, the median home value in Cook County was $299,571, an increase of 11.7% from the prior year. [12]

According to Census Bureau estimates, the county's population had decreased by 3.4% between the 2000 census and the 2010 census (5,194,675). The county's population had grown slightly again by 2017 (5,211,263).


Demographics (2010) [13]
White 55.4%
Black 24.8%
Asian 6.2%
Islander 0.0%
Native 0.4%
(any race)

As of the 2010 Census, the population of the county was 5,194,675, White Americans made up 55.4% of Cook County's population; non-Hispanic whites represented 43.9% of the population. African Americans made up 24.8% of the population. Native Americans made up 0.4% of Cook County's population. Asian Americans made up 6.2% of the population (1.8% Indian, 1.2% Filipino, 1.2% Chinese, 0.7% Korean, 0.3% Vietnamese, 0.2% Japanese, 0.8% Other). Pacific Islander Americans made up less than 0.1% of the population. People from other races made up 10.6% of the population; people from two or more races made up 2.5% of the county's population. Hispanics and Latinos (of any race) made up 24.0% of Cook County's population.

As of the 2000 Census, [14] there were 5,376,741 people, 1,974,181 households, and 1,269,398 families residing in the county. The population density was 5,686 inhabitants per square mile (2,195/km2). There were 2,096,121 housing units at an average density of 2,216 per square mile (856/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 56.27% white, 26.14% Black or African American, 0.29% Native American, 4.84% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islanders, 9.88% from other races, and 2.53% from two or more races. 19.93% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 9.1% were of Polish, 8.1% German, 7.9% Irish and 5.7% Italian ancestry. 17.63% reported speaking Spanish at home; 3.13% speak Polish. [15]

Whites (Hispanic and non-Hispanic) number roughly 2,793,500. There are about 2,372,500 non-Hispanic whites residing in Cook County. Sizeable non-Hispanic white populations are those of German (11.4%), Irish (10.3%), Polish (9.7%), Italian (6.1%), and British (4.1%) descent. There are also significant groups of Swedish (1.5%), Russian (1.5%), French (1.3%), Greek (1.2%), Czech (1.0%), Dutch (1.0%), Lithuanian (0.9%), and Norwegian (0.8%) descent.

Black Americans are the second largest racial group. Black Americans form over one-quarter (25.4%) of Cook County's population. Blacks of non-Hispanic origin form 25.2% of the population; black Hispanics make up the remaining 0.2% of the populace. There are roughly 1,341,000 African Americans of both Hispanic and non-Hispanic origin living in Cook County; 1,328,000 are non-Hispanic blacks. Roughly 52,500 people were of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, making up 1.0% of the total population.

Approximately 10,300 residents of Cook County are of Native American ancestry. They consist of Cherokee, Chippewa, Navajo, and Sioux. Native Americans of Hispanic origin represent a sizeable portion of the Native American population. Nearly 6,000 Native Americans are of non-Hispanic origin, and some 4,300 are of Hispanic origin. Over 40% of the Native American racial group is of Hispanic descent.

Non-English speakers in Cook County Bar Chart of Non-English Speakers in Cook County, Il (2015).svg
Non-English speakers in Cook County

Asian Americans are a very sizeable racial group in the county, numbering about 301,000. The Asian population is ethnically diverse, and includes roughly 87,900 Indians, 61,700 Filipinos, 60,700 Chinese, 35,000 Koreans, 13,700 Vietnamese, and 11,100 Japanese. Roughly 30,800 are of other Asian ethnic groups, such as Thai, Cambodian, and Hmong.

Approximately 3,000 residents are of Pacific Islander heritage. This group includes roughly Native Hawaiians, Guamanians, Samoans, and various people of other Pacific Islander groups.

Hispanic and Latino Americans make up over one-fifth (22.8%) of Cook County's population. Roughly 1,204,000 Latinos live in the county. Mexicans are the most common Latino group. Cook County's 925,000 Mexican Americans make up 17.5% of its population. Roughly 127,000 Puerto Ricans live in the county, while over 12,200 Cubans reside in the county. There are some 140,000 Hispanics and Latinos of other nationalities living in Cook County (i.e. Colombian, Bolivian, etc., and they collectively make up 2.6% of the county's population. [16] [17]


In 2010 statistics, the largest religious group in Cook County was the Archdiocese of Chicago, with 1,947,223 Catholics worshipping at 371 parishes, followed by 209,195 non-denominational adherents with 486 congregations, an estimated 201,152 Muslims with 62 congregations, 68,865 NBC Baptists with 99 congregations, 49,925 ELCA Lutherans with 145 congregations, 49,909 SBC Baptists with 181 congregations, 45,979 LCMS Lutherans with 120 congregations, 39,866 UCC Christians with 101 congregations, 33,584 UMC Methodists with 121 congregations, and 32,646 AG Pentecostals with 64 congregations. Altogether, 59.6% of the population was claimed as members by religious congregations, although members of historically African-American denominations were underrepresented due to incomplete information. [18] In 2014, Cook County had 2,001 religious organizations, second only to Los Angeles County out of all US counties. [19]


Chicago, Illinois
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: The Weather Channel [20]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,635 square miles (4,230 km2), of which 945 square miles (2,450 km2) is land and 690 square miles (1,800 km2) (42.2%) is water. [21] It is the sixth largest county in Illinois by land area, and the largest in total area. Most of the water is in Lake Michigan. The highest point is more than 950 feet (290 m), [1] [2] and is in northwest Barrington Township, in the northwest corner of the county. The lowest point is less than 580 feet (180 m), [1] [3] along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

Climate and weather

In July, temperatures in Chicago, Cook County average daytime highs of 84 °F (29 °C), and nighttime lows of 68 °F (20 °C); and January daytime highs of 31 °F (−1 °C), and nighttime lows of 18 °F (−8 °C). Winter temperatures will sometimes veer above 40 °F (4 °C), and, although not common, have also risen over 50 °F (10 °C) on some winter days. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 4.30 inches (109 mm) in June to 1.77 inches (45 mm) in February. [20]

Cook County is among the few counties in the United States to border two counties with the same name (Lake County, Illinois and Lake County, Indiana). Illinois has two such counties (Randolph County borders both Perry County, Illinois and Perry County, Missouri).

National protected areas

Government and politics


The government of Cook County is primarily composed of the Board of Commissioners headed by the President of the County board, other elected officials such as the Sheriff, State's Attorney, Treasurer, Board of Review, Clerk, Assessor, Recorder, Circuit Court judges, and Circuit Court Clerk, as well as numerous other officers and entities. Cook County is the only home rule county in Illinois. [22] The Cook County Code is the codification of Cook County's local ordinances. Cook County's current County Board president is Toni Preckwinkle.

The Circuit Court of Cook County, which is an Illinois state court of general jurisdiction is funded, in part, by Cook County, and accepts more than 1.2 million cases each year for filing. [23] The Cook County Department of Corrections, also known as the Cook County Jail, is the largest single-site jail in the nation. The Cook County Juvenile Detention Center, under the authority of the Chief Judge of the court, is the first juvenile center in the nation and one of the largest in the nation. The Cook County Law Library is the second-largest county law library in the nation.

The Bureau of Health Services administers the county's public health services and is the third-largest public health system in the nation. Three hospitals are part of this system: John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Provident Hospital, and Oak Forest Hospital of Cook County, along with over 30 clinics.

The Cook County Department of Transportation is responsible for the design and maintenance of roadways in the county. These thoroughfares are composed mostly of major and minor arterials, with a few local roads. Although the County Department of Transportation was instrumental in designing many of the expressways in the county, today they are under the jurisdiction of the state.

The Cook County Forest Preserves, organized in 1915, is a separate, independent taxing body, but the Cook County Board of Commissioners also acts as its Board of Commissioners. The district is a belt of 69,000 acres (280 km2) of forest reservations surrounding the city of Chicago. The Brookfield Zoo (managed by the Chicago Zoological Society) and the Chicago Botanic Garden (managed by the Chicago Horticultural Society) are located in the forest preserves.

Cook County is the fifth-largest employer in Chicago. [24]

In March 2008, the County Board increased the sales tax by one percent to 1.75 percent. This followed a quarter-cent increase in mass transit taxes. In Chicago, the rate increased to 10.25 percent, the steepest nominal rate of any major metropolitan area in America. In Evanston, sales tax reached 10 percent and Oak Lawn residents pay 9.5 percent. [25] On July 22, 2008, the Cook County board voted against Cook County Commissioner's proposal to repeal the tax increase. [26]

In 2016, Cook County joined Chicago in adopting a $13 hourly minimum wage. [27] Cook County Board chairman John Daley called the wage hike "the moral and right thing to do." In June 2017, however, nearly 75 home rule municipalities passed measures opting themselves out of the increase. [28]


The county has more Democratic Party members than any other Illinois county and it is one of the most Democratic counties in the United States. [29] Since 1932, the majority of its voters have only supported a Republican candidate in a Presidential election three times, all during national Republican landslides–Dwight Eisenhower over native son Adlai Stevenson II in 1952 and 1956, and Richard Nixon over George McGovern in 1972. Since then, the closest a Republican has come to carrying the county was in 1984, when Ronald Reagan won 48.4 percent of the county's vote. In 2020, 74 percent of the county voted for Joe Biden and 24 percent voted for Donald Trump.

In 1936, with Franklin D. Roosevelt receiving 1,253,164 votes in the county, Cook County became the first county in American history where a candidate received one million votes.

The Cook County Democratic Party represents Democratic voters in 50 wards in the city of Chicago and 30 suburban townships of Cook County. The organization has dominated County, city, and state politics since the 1930s. The last Republican mayor of Chicago was William Hale "Big Bill" Thompson, who left office in 1931 with a record of corruption. The most successful Republican candidate for mayor since then was Bernard Epton, who in 1983 came within 3.3 percentage points of defeating Democrat Harold Washington. [30] The county's Republican Party organization is the Cook County Republican Party.

The last Republican governor to carry the county was Jim Edgar in his 1994 landslide. The last Republican senator to do so was Charles H. Percy in 1978.

United States presidential election results for Cook County, Illinois [31] [32]
Year Republican  /  Whig Democratic Third party
2020 558,26924.01%1,725,97374.22%41,1631.77%
2016 453,28720.79%1,611,94673.93%115,1115.28%
2012 495,54224.59%1,488,53773.88%30,7401.53%
2008 487,73622.82%1,629,02476.21%20,7060.97%
2004 597,40529.15%1,439,72470.25%12,3050.60%
2000 534,54228.65%1,280,54768.63%50,8182.72%
1996 461,55726.73%1,153,28966.79%111,8206.48%
1992 605,30028.20%1,249,53358.21%291,82213.59%
1988 878,58243.36%1,129,97355.77%17,5890.87%
1984 1,055,55848.40%1,112,64151.02%12,5360.57%
1980 856,57439.60%1,124,58451.99%181,9398.41%
1976 987,49844.69%1,180,81453.44%41,4361.88%
1972 1,234,30753.41%1,063,26846.01%13,4620.58%
1968 960,49341.11%1,181,31650.56%194,7298.33%
1964 895,71836.82%1,537,18163.18%00.00%
1960 1,059,60743.33%1,378,34356.37%7,3190.30%
1956 1,293,22356.80%977,82142.95%5,8000.25%
1952 1,188,97350.21%1,172,45449.51%6,5120.28%
1948 1,015,80045.23%1,216,63654.17%13,4630.60%
1944 924,65941.91%1,275,36757.81%6,1650.28%
1940 938,45444.38%1,168,14155.24%8,2120.39%
1936 701,20634.90%1,253,16462.36%55,0872.74%
1932 690,14641.47%919,23155.23%54,8553.30%
1928 812,06352.73%716,28346.51%11,8250.77%
1924 688,97361.87%226,14120.31%198,53817.83%
1920 635,19771.12%197,49922.11%60,4416.77%
1916 435,69551.20%379,43844.59%35,8304.21%
1912 74,85117.44%130,70230.44%223,75952.12%
1908 230,40055.51%152,99036.86%31,7017.64%
1904 229,84858.49%103,76226.41%59,33515.10%
1900 203,76050.80%186,19346.42%11,1812.79%
1896 221,82358.43%152,14640.08%5,6391.49%
1892 111,25442.57%144,60455.33%5,4722.09%
1844 1,11935.58%2,02664.42%00.00%

Secession movements

To establish more localized government control and policies which reflect the often different values and needs of large suburban sections of the sprawling county, scivillysecession movements have been made over the years which called for certain townships or municipalities to form their own independent counties.

In the late 1970s, a movement started which proposed a separation of six northwest suburban townships, Cook County's panhandle (Barrington, Hanover, Palatine, Wheeling, Schaumburg, and Elk Grove) from Cook to form Lincoln County, in honor of the former U.S. president and Illinois resident. [33] It is likely that Arlington Heights would have been the county seat. This northwest suburban region of Cook was at the time moderately conservative and has a population over 500,000. Local legislators, led by State Senator Dave Regnar, went so far as to propose it as official legislation in the Illinois House. The legislation died, however, before coming to a vote.

In 2004, Blue Island Mayor Donald E. Peloquin organized a coalition of fifty-five south and southwest suburban municipalities to form a new county, also proposing the name Lincoln County. The county would include everything south of Burbank, stretching as far west as Orland Park, as far east as Calumet City, and as far south as Matteson, covering an expansive area with a population of over one million residents. Peloquin argued that the south suburbs are often shunned by the city (although Chicago is not bound or required to do anything for other municipalities) and he blamed the Chicago-centric policies of Cook County for failing to jumpstart the somewhat-depressed south suburban local economy. Pending sufficient interest from local communities, Peloquin planned a petition drive to place a question regarding the secession on the general election ballot, but the idea was not met with success. [34]

In arguing against the Lincon County proposal, others noted several of the cities involved had power structures, law enforcement, or de facto "mayors for life" often accused in the press, or civilly or criminally charged with, political corruption, cronyism, and nepotism, and themselves being the main factor in their depressed economies rather than anyone in Cook County government. The opposition decried that their true reason for joining the secession effort was to start with a 'clean slate' with a new county government by design less willing to enforce responsibility against their abuses of power. [35] [36]

Talk of secession from Cook County amongst some outlying communities again heated up in mid-2008 in response to a highly controversial 1% sales tax hike which has pushed the tax rates across the county communities up amongst the highest in the nation. Some border towns in particular had been outraged, as people can take their business across the county border (paying, for instance, 7% in Lake County instead of Palatine's 9.5%). [37] The secession issue eventually died down from the nominal tax increase.

In 2011, two downstate Republican state representatives, Bill Mitchell of the 87th district and Adam Brown of the 101st district, proposed statehood for Cook County. Mitchell said that Chicago is "dictating its views" to the rest of the state and Brown added that Chicago "overshadows" the rest of Illinois. [38]



Construction of the Erie Canal in New York State made a connection from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes in 1821. As the Midwest farms proved productive, with much grain to sell to other parts of the US, Chicago and Cook County saw the benefit of a canal to improve the link from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River. The Illinois and Michigan Canal was completed in 1848, extending from the Bridgeport neighborhood in Chicago on the Chicago River, to the Illinois River at the cities of LaSalle-Peru. This canal spurred the growth of Chicago and the areas around it, as water travel was the primary way to ship grain or other commodities in that part of the 19th century. The Illinois and Michigan Canal ceased major operation in 1933. Portions are now designated as a National Historic Corridor. The two canals and the Great Lakes cemented trade ties between the Midwest and the Northeast, encouraging farmers to grow more than they needed to feed themselves in Illinois, with a large market for grain now open to them. Towns in Cook County along the Canal grew. From a national perspective, the trade ties made the South region of the US less important to the Northeast as a trade partner.

The Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, completed in 1900, largely replaced the functions of the Illinois and Michigan Canal. This canal resulted in the reversal of the direction of flow of the main stem and the South branch of the Chicago River; they used to empty into Lake Michigan and now those river sections flow toward the Des Plaines River. The Sanitary and Ship Canal was built to serve many aims, including ending using Lake Michigan as a sewer, sending waste water through treatment plants and sending it away from Lake Michigan. It is also a waterway for movement of ships.

Railway network

The next major technology for transportation was railroads. Chicago and the towns along the canal and rivers understood the value of being a hub of a major network. Rail lines spurred out from Chicago by the 1850s, with major growth in the rail network for freight and passenger transportation coming after the Civil War, when the transcontinental railroads were completed, coast to coast across the US, stopping in Chicago, the heart of Cook County.

Major highways

Following on the well-established position of Chicago as a transportation hub, the Interstate highway network maintained Chicago as a hub of that network, as well as serving the travel needs within the region.


When the age of air travel began in the 20th century, Midway Airport was built on one square mile of land and served as the major Chicago area airport from 1927 to 1955. Midway International Airport has been enlarged and continues to operate as of 2020. As air travel became more important for passenger travel, and then for select freight commodities, O'Hare International Airport was built adjacent to a military airfield in the northwest part of Cook County. The City of Chicago annexed the land for the airport, so that the city controls both airports serving a large area. During the second half of the 20th century, it was the world's busiest airport. The approach of Cook County and Chicago to air travel has been the same as the approach to canal, railroad and highway transportation, to serve as a major national hub.

There has been a long running plan for a third major airport to serve the south side of the city and the southern and southwestern suburbs, the Proposed Chicago south suburban airport intended for Peotone, Illinois. The state of Illinois has been addressing this topic since 1986. Some land has been acquired, but there is not a functioning airport there, as of August 2020.


Largest cities or towns in Cook County, Illinois
2018 U.S. Census Bureau Estimate [39]
Rank County Pop.
Chicago Skyline (15239868531).jpg
1 Chicago Cook / DuPage 2,705,994
2 Elgin Cook / Kane 111,683
3 Cicero Cook 81,597
4 Arlington Heights Cook 75,249
5 Evanston Cook 73,509
6 Schaumburg Cook / DuPage 71,290
7 Palatine Cook 68,053
8 Skokie Cook 63,280
9 Des Plaines Cook 58,959
10 Orland Park Cook / Will 58,312




Unincorporated communities

Historic Site


The county is divided into 29 townships, in addition to the cities of Chicago and Evanston.

Cook County townships (clickable) Map of Cook County Illinois showing townships.pngWorth TownshipWheeling TownshipThornton TownshipStickney TownshipStickney TownshipSchaumburg TownshipRiverside TownshipRiver Forest TownshipRich TownshipProviso TownshipPalos TownshipPalatine TownshipOrland TownshipOak Park TownshipNorwood Park TownshipNorthfield TownshipNiles TownshipNew Trier TownshipMaine TownshipLyons TownshipLeyden TownshipLemont TownshipHanover TownshipEvanstonElk Grove TownshipCicero TownshipCalumet TownshipBremen TownshipBloom TownshipBerwyn TownshipBarrington Township
Cook County townships (clickable)

Current townships & Independent cities

The 29 townships and 2 independent cities of Cook County, with their populations as of the 2010 Census, are: [40]

Former townships

Chicago's eight former townships and annexed parts of others no longer have any governmental structure or responsibility since their annexations, but their names and boundaries are still used on property plats and by Cook County for tax assessment purposes. In 2014, Evanston Township was dissolved by voters and its functions were absorbed by the city of Evanston. [41]

Adjacent counties

Cook County and adjacent counties, from ISS Expedition 37 in 2013. ISS037-E-8322.jpg
Cook County and adjacent counties, from ISS Expedition 37 in 2013.


Public school districts

Colleges and universities

See also

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Wayne County is the most populous county in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of 2020, the United States Census placed its population at 1,793,561 making it the 19th-most populous county in the United States. The county seat is Detroit. The county was founded in 1796 and organized in 1815. Wayne County is included in the Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is one of several U.S. counties named after Revolutionary War-era general Anthony Wayne.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lake County, Illinois</span> County in Illinois, United States

Lake County is situated in the northeastern corner of the U.S. state of Illinois, along the shores of Lake Michigan. As of the 2020 census, it has a population of 714,342, making it the third-most populous county in Illinois. Its county seat is Waukegan, the tenth-largest city in Illinois. The county is primarily suburban, with some urban areas and some rural areas. Due to its location, immediately north of Cook County, Lake County is one of the collar counties of the Chicago metropolitan area. Its northern boundary is the Wisconsin state line.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kane County, Illinois</span> County in Illinois, United States

Kane County is a county in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 515,269, making it the fifth-most populous county in Illinois. Its county seat is Geneva, and its largest city is Aurora. Kane County is one of the collar counties of the metropolitan statistical area designated "Chicago–Naperville–Elgin, IL–IN–WI" by the US Census.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">DuPage County, Illinois</span> County in Illinois, United States

DuPage County is a county in the U.S. state of Illinois, and one of the collar counties of the Chicago metropolitan area. As of the 2020 census, the population was 932,877, making it Illinois' second-most populous county. Its county seat is Wheaton.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Evanston, Illinois</span> City in Illinois, United States

Evanston is a college town suburb of Chicago. Located in Cook County, Illinois, United States, it is situated on the North Shore along Lake Michigan. Evanston is 12 miles (19 km) north of Downtown Chicago, bordered by Chicago to the south, Skokie to the west, Wilmette to the north, and Lake Michigan to the east. Evanston had a population of 78,110 as of 2020.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Buffalo Grove, Illinois</span> Village in Illinois, United States of America

Buffalo Grove, officially the Village of Buffalo Grove, is a village in Lake and Cook County, Illinois. A suburb of Chicago, it lies about 30 miles (50 km) northwest of Downtown Chicago. As of the 2020 Census, Buffalo Grove has a population of 43,212. It totals 9.6 square miles (25 km2) of land, with the top three-quarters in Lake County and the bottom quarter in Cook County. Roads in the village such as Lake Cook Road and Illinois Route 83 converge on I-294, which take drivers to O'Hare International Airport 20 miles (32 km) south of Buffalo Grove.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Burr Ridge, Illinois</span> Village in Illinois, United States

Burr Ridge is a village in Cook and DuPage counties in the U.S. state of Illinois. A suburb of Chicago, it is among the wealthiest towns in Illinois and is locally known for its large, elegant mansions and luxury lifestyles. Per the 2020 census, the population was 11,192.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hanover Park, Illinois</span> Village in Illinois, United States

Hanover Park is a village in Cook and DuPage counties in the U.S. state of Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. The population was 37,470 at the 2020 census. Ontarioville is a neighborhood within the village.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lemont, Illinois</span> Village in Illinois, United States

Lemont is a village located in Cook, DuPage, and Will counties in the U.S. state of Illinois, and is a suburb of Chicago. The population was 17,629 as of the 2020 census. Lemont is home to Argonne National Laboratory and other heavy industrial sites, and has a substantial European immigrant population.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Joliet, Illinois</span> City in Illinois, United States

Joliet is a city in Will and Kendall counties in the U.S. state of Illinois, 35 miles (56 km) southwest of Chicago. It is the county seat of Will County. At the 2020 census, the city was the third-largest in Illinois, with a population of 150,362.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chicago metropolitan area</span> Place in the United States

The Chicago metropolitan area, also colloquially referred to as Chicagoland, is a metropolitan area in the Midwestern United States. Encompassing 10,286 sq mi, the metropolitan area includes the city of Chicago, its suburbs and hinterland, spanning 14 counties in northeast Illinois, northwest Indiana, and southeast Wisconsin. The MSA had a 2020 census population of 9,618,502 and the combined statistical area which spans up to 19 counties had a population of nearly 10 million people. The Chicago area is the third-largest metropolitan area and combined statistical area in the United States. It is also the fourth-largest metropolitan area in North America, the largest within the Great Lakes megalopolis, and its urban area is one of the forty largest in the world.

North Shore (Chicago) Many affluent suburbs north of Chicago, Illinois

The North Shore consists of many affluent suburbs north of Chicago, Illinois, bordering the shore of Lake Michigan. These communities fall within suburban Cook County and Lake County. The North Shore's membership is often a topic of debate, and it includes some Chicago suburbs which do not border Lake Michigan. However, Evanston, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Winnetka, Glencoe, Highland Park, Highwood, Lake Forest, and Lake Bluff are the main constituents of the North Shore.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Worth Township, Cook County, Illinois</span> Township in Illinois, United States

Worth Township is one of 29 townships in Cook County, Illinois. As of the 2010 census, its population was 152,633, with its most populous municipalities including Oak Lawn, Evergreen Park (19,852), Alsip, and Chicago Ridge. It was founded in 1849, when the county voted to subdivide itself into townships.

Bremen Township, Cook County, Illinois Township in Illinois, United States

Bremen Township is one of 29 townships in Cook County, Illinois, USA. As of the 2010 census, its population was 110,118. It was organized in 1850 and is located southwest of Chicago in southern Cook County. An administrative office for Bremen Township is located at 16361 South Kedzie Parkway, Markham, Illinois.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Barrington Township, Cook County, Illinois</span> Township in Illinois, United States

Barrington Township is one of 29 townships in Cook County, Illinois, USA. As of the 2010 census, its population was 15,636. The northwestern corner of the Cook County panhandle, it is the county's northwesternmost township. It is also by far the least densely populated township in the county, with less than half the population density of the next least Lemont Township.

Evanston Township, Cook County, Illinois Former Township in Illinois, United States

Evanston Township was a civil township in Cook County, Illinois, United States from 1857 until 2014, when it was dissolved. At the time it was dissolved, its boundaries were coterminous with the city of Evanston, and the population at the 2010 census was 74,486.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hanover Township, Cook County, Illinois</span> Township in Illinois, United States

Hanover Township is one of 29 townships in Cook County, Illinois, USA and is located at the end of the county's panhandle. As of the 2010 census, its population was 99,538. Hanover Township was established on April 2, 1850. The first reported population of the Township was 672. The Township gets its name from the "Kingdom of Hanover in Western Germany," which is where a majority of the Township's first residents originated from.

Lyons Township, Cook County, Illinois Township in Illinois, United States

Lyons Township is one of 29 townships in Cook County, Illinois. As of the 2010 census, its population was 111,688, with its most populous municipalities including La Grange, Justice and Summit. Lyons Township was established in 1850. The village of Lyons, almost all of which lies within the township, is often confused with it.

Palos Township, Cook County, Illinois Township in Illinois, United States

Palos Township is one of 29 townships in Cook County, Illinois. As of the 2010 census, its population was 54,615, with its most populous municipality being Palos Hills. The vast majority of the township's population resides in its eastern half; the half west of La Grange Road consists mainly of facilities in the Cook County Forest Preserves. In 1850 the small town of Trenton, Illinois changed its name to Palos; this recommendation was made by M.S. Powell, the local postmaster, whose ancestor supposedly sailed with Christopher Columbus from Palos de la Frontera. When it incorporated as a village in 1914, Palos officially became Palos Park. The neighboring communities of Palos Hills and Palos Heights incorporated at later points. All three municipalities lie completely or substantially within Palos Township.


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