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The City of Chicago is divided into seventy-seven community areas. These areas are well-defined and static. Census data are tied to the community areas, and they serve as the basis for a variety of urban planning initiatives on both the local and regional levels.

The Social Science Research Committee at University of Chicago defined seventy-five community areas during the late 1920s. At the time, these community areas corresponded roughly to neighborhoods within the city. In the 1950s, with the city's annexations for O'Hare airport, a seventy-sixth community area was added. Other than the creation of the seventy-seventh community area in 1980 (by separating #77 Edgewater from #3 Uptown), boundaries have never been revised to reflect change but instead have been kept relatively stable to allow comparisons of these areas over time.

Today many of the community areas no longer correspond to any single neighborhood, and some community area names have fallen out of colloquial use. In many cases, the actual character of the community area is quite independent of that of the individual neighborhoods which comprise it.

Community Area designations are useful more than merely as a historical curiosity because they are considered more durable than the names of neighborhoods, which can change over time due to urban redevelopment, gentrification and the constant shuffle and absorption of the immigrant population.

A full list in numerical order and map is available below.


City of Chicago community numbering map
Flag of the City of Chicago

Following is a list of the Chicago Community Areas by community area number (see map).

{!}Cicero |21 |Avondale |41 |Hyde Park |61 |New City |- |02 |West Ridge |22 |Logan Square |42 |Woodlawn |62 |West Elsdon |- |03 |Uptown |23 |Humboldt Park |43 |South Shore |63 |Gage Park |- |04 |Lincoln Square |24 |West Town |44 |Chatham |64 |Clearing |- |05 |North Center |25 |Austin |45 |Avalon Park |65 |West Lawn |- |06 |Lake View |26 |West Garfield Park |46 |South Chicago |66 |Chicago Lawn |- |07 |Lincoln Park |27 |East Garfield Park |47 |Burnside |67 |West Englewood |- |08 |Near North Side |28 |Near West Side |48 |Calumet Heights |68 |Englewood |- |09 |Edison Park |29 |North Lawndale |49 |Roseland |69 |Greater Grand Crossing |- |10 |Norwood Park |30 |South Lawndale |50 |Pullman |70 |Ashburn |- |11 |Jefferson Park |31 |Lower West Side |51 |South Deering |71 |Auburn Gresham |- |12 |Forest Glen |32 |Loop |52 |East Side |72 |Beverly |- |13 |North Park |33 |Near South Side |53 |West Pullman |73 |Washington Heights |- |14 |Albany Park |34 |Armour Square |54 |Riverdale |74 |Mount Greenwood |- |15 |Portage Park |35 |Douglas |55 |Hegewisch |75 |Morgan Park |- |16 |Irving Park |36 |Oakland |56 |Garfield Ridge |76 |O'Hare |- |17 |Dunning |37 |Fuller Park |57 |Archer Heights |77 |Edgewater |- |18 |Montclare |38 |Grand Boulevard |58 |Brighton Park |- |19 |Belmont Cragin |39 |Kenwood |59 |McKinley Park |- |20 |Hermosa |40 |Washington Park |60 |Bridgeport

Community areas by sides

Community areas by side

Downtown and The Loop

The downtown area covers about 3 SQ miles, lying somewhat roughly between Chicago Avenue(800N) on the north, Lake Michigan on the east, Roosevelt Road(1200S) on the south and DesPlaines(650W) Avenue on the west, serves as the city's commercial hub. The area known as The Loop, is a portion of downtown originally named for it once having been located within a circuit of cable cars. Today the name reflects the elevated train Loop which follows roughly the same path as the original cable cars. Many of downtown's commercial, cultural, and financial institutions are located in the Loop. The current CTA Elevated Loop follows Wells St on the West, Van Buren St on the South, Wabash St on the East, and Lake St on the North. The North Side is also home to the city's largest parades: the annual Christmas, Thanksgiving and the Chicago Saint Patrick's Day Parades, which is always held the Saturday prior to Saint Patrick's Day, unless the holiday falls on a Saturday in which case the parade is held that day.

North Side

The city's North Side (extending north of downtown along the lakefront) is the most densely populated residential section of the city. It contains public parkland and beaches stretching for miles along Lake Michigan to the city's northern border. Much of the North Side has benefited from an economic boom which began in the 1990s. For example, the River North area, located just north of the Chicago River and the Loop, has undergone a transition from a warehouse district to an active commercial, residential, and entertainment hub, featuring the nation's largest concentration of contemporary art galleries outside of Manhattan. Just north of River North's galleries and bistros, demolition of the CHA's Cabrini-Green housing project began in 2003, being replaced by upscale townhomes.[1]

South Side

The South Side (extending south of downtown along Lake Michigan) is the largest section of the city, encompassing roughly 60% of the city's land area. The section along the lake is marked with public parkland and beaches. The South Side has a higher ratio of single-family homes and also contains most of the city's industry.

Along with being the largest section of the city in terms of geography, the South Side is also home to one of the city's largest parades: the annual Bud Billiken Day parade, which is held during the second weekend of August and celebrates children returning to school.

The South Side has two of Chicago's largest public parks. Jackson Park, which hosted the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893, is currently the site of the Museum of Science and Industry. The park stretches along the lakefront, linking the neighborhoods of Hyde Park and South Shore. Washington Park, which is connected to Jackson Park by the Midway Plaisance, was considered as the primary site of the Olympic Stadium for the 2016 Summer Olympics, had Chicago won the bid.

West Side

The West Side (extending west of downtown) is made up of neighborhoods such as Austin, Lawndale, Garfield Park, West Town, and Humboldt Park among others. Some neighborhoods, particularly Garfield Park and Lawndale, have socio-economic problems including urban decay and crime. Other West Side neighborhoods, especially those closer to downtown, have been undergoing gentrification.

Major parks on the West Side include Douglas Park, Garfield Park, and Humboldt Park. Garfield Park Conservatory houses one of the largest collections of tropical plants of any U.S. city. Cultural attractions on the West Side include Humboldt Park's Puerto Rican Day festival, and the National Museum of Mexican Art in Pilsen.

Alternate geographic breakdowns



Another method of neighborhood nomenclature in heavily Catholic neighborhoods of Chicago has been to refer to communities in terms of parishes. For example, one might say, "I live in St. Gertrude's, but he's from Saint Ita's." Some of these designations have come into common parlance as developers have used them to market new gentrifying areas such as "St. Ben's", a neighborhood found on the Chicago Realtor Association's official Chicago Neighborhood map. Chicago's 'Polish Patches' are also named after the historically Polish church located in the vicinity.


Since 1923, the City of Chicago has been divided into 50 City Council Aldermanic wards.[2] Each of the 50 areas is represented on the City council by one Alderman and in many social, political and economic contexts, it is reasonable to describe what part of Chicago one is from by who one's alderman is or what ward one lives in. However, using wards as the basis for comparing areas of the city over time has limited utility, due to the fact that the wards need to be redistricted every ten years. The current ward boundaries are mapped here.

Far North side

Chicago's far north side communities.

Rogers Park (01)

O'Hare (76)

West Ridge (02)

Edgewater (77)

Edison Park (09)

Norwood Park (10)

Jefferson Park (11)

Forest Glen (12)

North side

Chicago's north side communities.

North Center (05)

Lake View (06)

Lincoln Park (07)

Uptown (03)

Lincoln Square (04)

Northwest side

Chicago's northwest side communities.

North Park (13)

Albany Park (14)

Avondale (21)

Logan Square (22)

Portage Park (15)

Irving Park (16)

Dunning (17)

Montclare (18)

Belmont Cragin (19)

Hermosa (20)

Central, Near North, and Near South sides

Downtown Chicago including near north and near south side communities.

Near North Side (08)

Loop (32)

  • Near East Side
  • West Loop Gate

Near South Side (33)

West side

Chicago's west & near west side communities.

Humboldt Park (23)

West Town (24)

Austin (25)

West Garfield Park (26)

East Garfield Park (27)

Near West Side (28)

North Lawndale (29)

South Lawndale (30)

Lower West Side (31)

Southwest side

Chicago's southwest side communities.

Garfield Ridge (56)

Archer Heights (57)

Brighton Park (58)

McKinley Park (59)

New City (61)

West Elsdon (62)

Gage Park (63)

Clearing (64)

West Lawn (65)

Chicago Lawn (66)

West Englewood (67)

Englewood (68)

South side

Chicago's south side communities.

Armour Square (34)

Douglas (35)

Oakland (36)

Fuller Park (37)

Grand Boulevard (38)

Kenwood (39)

Washington Park (40)

Hyde Park (41)

Woodlawn (42)

South Shore (43)

Bridgeport (60)

Greater Grand Crossing (69)

Far Southwest side

Chicago's far southwest side communities.

Ashburn (70)

Auburn Gresham (71)

Beverly (72)

Washington Heights (73)

Mount Greenwood (74)

Morgan Park (75)

Far Southeast side

Chicago's far southeast side communities.

Chatham (44)

Avalon Park (45)

South Chicago (46)

Burnside (47)

Calumet Heights (48)

Roseland (49)

Pullman (50)

South Deering (51)

East Side (52)

West Pullman (53)

Riverdale (54)

Hegewisch (55)


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