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Cook County, Illinois
Seal of Cook County, Illinois
Map of Illinois highlighting Cook County
Location in the state of Illinois
Map of the U.S. highlighting Illinois
Illinois's location in the U.S.
Seat Chicago
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

1,635 sq mi (4,235 km²)
946 sq mi (2,450 km²)
689 sq mi (1,785 km²), 42.16%
PopulationEst.
 - (2008)
 - Density

5,294,664
5,597/sq mi (2,161/km²)
Founded January 15, 1831
Named for Daniel Cook
Website www.cookcountygov.com

Cook County is a county in the U.S. state of Illinois. It is the second most populous county in the United States after Los Angeles County. According to 2008 US Census Bureau estimates, the county has 5,294,664 residents,[1] which is larger than the populations of 29 individual U.S. states, the combined populations of the seven smallest US states, and home to 43.3% of Illinois residents.[2] There are over 130 incorporated municipalities in Cook County, the largest of which is the county seat, Chicago, which makes up approximately 54% of the population of the county. The county is divided into thirty different townships. Geographically the county is the fifth largest in Illinois by land area and shares the state's coast line on Lake Michigan with Lake County.

Contents

History

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

Government and politics

Cook county's current County Board president is Todd Stroger. The county has by far more Democratic Party members than any other Illinois county, and is one of the most Democratic counties in the United States. It has voted only once for a Republican candidate in a Presidential election in the last forty years, when county voters preferred Richard Nixon to George McGovern in 1972.

The Circuit Court of Cook County, which files more than 1.2 million cases every year[3], the Cook County Department of Corrections, which is the largest single-site jail in the nation, and the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center, the first juvenile center in the nation and one of the largest in the nation, are solely the responsibility of Cook County government. 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 second 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 hospitals.

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

The Forest Preserve District, organized in 1915, is a separate, independent taxing body, but the Cook County Board of Commissioners also acts as the Forest Preserve District Board of Commissioners. The District is a belt of 69,000 acres (275 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.

In the 1980s, Cook County was ground zero to an extensive FBI investigation named Operation Greylord. Ninety-two officials were indicted, including 17 judges, 48 lawyers, 8 policemen, 10 deputy sheriffs, 8 court officials, and 1 state legislator. Cook County is the fifth largest employer in Chicago.[4]

In March 2008, the Cook County Board increased sales tax one percent, increasing the county sales tax rate from 0.75% to 1.75%. This followed a recent quarter-cent increase in mass transit taxing coming into effect in April. In Chicago, the rate increased to 10.25 percent, the steepest of any major metropolitan area in America.[5] In Evanston, sales tax reached 10 percent and Oak Lawn residents will pay 9.5 percent.[6] On July 22, 2008, the Cook County board voted against Cook County Commissioner's proposal to repeal the tax increase.[7]

Presidential Election Results 1960-2008
Year Democrat Republican
2008 76.48% 1,582,973 23.05% 477,038
2004 70.25% 1,439,724 29.15% 597,405
2000 68.63% 1,280,547 28.65% 534,542
1996 66.79% 1,153,289 26.73% 461,557
1992 58.21% 1,249,533 28.20% 605,300
1988 55.77% 1,129,973 43.36% 878,582
1984 51.02% 1,112,641 48.40% 1,055,558
1980 51.99% 1,124,584 39.60% 856,574
1976 53.44% 1,180,814 44.69% 987,498
1972 46.01% 1,063,268 53.41% 1,234,307
1968 50.56% 1,181,316 41.11% 960,493
1964 63.18% 1,537,181 36.82% 895,718
1960 56.37% 1,378,343 43.33% 1,059,607
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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, several secession 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.[8] It is likely that Arlington Heights would have been the county seat. This northwest suburban region of Cook is 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 Peloquin tried to organize 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 cited that the south suburbs are often shunned by the city and blamed the Chicago-centric policies of Cook County government for failing to jumpstart the long-depressed local economy of the south suburban region. Pending sufficient interest from local communities, Peloquin planned a petition drive to place a question regarding the secession on the general election ballot.[9]

Talk of secession amongst outlying communities have again heated up in mid-2008 in response to a highly controversial 1% sales tax hike which has pushed the sales tax rate in Chicago proper to 10.25%, and pushed the tax rates across the various other county communities up amongst the highest in the nation.[10][11] Border towns in particular have been outraged, as without a captive tax base like Chicago, people can easily take their business across the county border (paying, for instance, 7% in Lake County instead of Palatine's 11%).[citation needed] In March 2009, advisory referenda in Barrington, Hanover and Palatine Townships passed recommending secession from Cook County.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,635 square miles (4,235 km²), of which 946 square miles (2,449 km²) is land and 689 square miles (1,785 km²) (42.16%) is water, most of it in Lake Michigan. The highest point in Cook County is its northwest corner, at nearly 1,000 feet above sea level.[12]

Major expressways, US and state routes

Adjacent counties

National protected area

Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1840 10,201
1850 43,385 325.3%
1860 144,954 234.1%
1870 349,966 141.4%
1880 607,524 73.6%
1890 1,191,922 96.2%
1900 1,838,735 54.3%
1910 2,405,233 30.8%
1920 3,053,017 26.9%
1930 3,982,123 30.4%
1940 4,063,342 2.0%
1950 4,508,792 11.0%
1960 5,129,725 13.8%
1970 5,492,369 7.1%
1980 5,253,655 −4.3%
1990 5,105,067 −2.8%
2000 5,376,741 5.3%
Est. 2008 5,294,664 −1.5%
2000 census age pyramid for Cook County

As of the 2000 Census,[13] 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 people 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 Islander, 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 according to Census 2000. 17.63% reported speaking Spanish at home; 3.13% speak Polish.[14]

2005 Census estimates placed the non-Hispanic white population of Cook County at 45.4% of the total population of the county. Other racial groups were African-Americans at 26.4%, Latinos at 22.2% and Asians at 5.5%.[15] 2006 estimates showed the non-Hispanic white percentage of the population at 44.7%.[16]

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 made up of individuals and 9.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.38.

In the county the population was spread out with 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.

According to Census Bureau estimates, the county's population was down to 5,303,683 in 2005.[17]

Townships

The county is divided into thirty townships.

Worth Township Wheeling Township Thornton Township Stickney Township Stickney Township Schaumburg Township Riverside Township River Forest Township Rich Township Proviso Township Palos Township Palatine Township Orland Township Oak Park Township Norwood Park Township Northfield Township Niles Township New Trier Township Maine Township Lyons Township Leyden Township Lemont Township Hanover Township Evanston Township Elk Grove Township Cicero Township Calumet Township Bremen Township Bloom Township Berwyn Township Barrington Township
Cook County townships (clickable)

Townships by population

Former townships

The City of Chicago had a population of 2,853,114 as of the 2008 Census. Its 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.

Municipalities

Several municipalities straddle county borders.

Cities

Towns

Villages

Pop culture references

  • NBC medical-drama, ER is set in Cook County. The hospital is named "Cook County General Hospital", although filmed in Los Angeles.
  • The 1928 play The Front Page is a newspaper comedy focussed on the impending hanging of a prisoner at the Cook County Jail. The play has been made into at least four movies and four television productions.
  • In the 1980 film, The Blues Brothers, the title characters race to the offices of the Cook County Assessor to pay the back taxes owed by the church-owned orphanage in which the characters were reared. In reality, however, back taxes are paid in the Office of the Cook County Treasurer, and church-owned property is tax exempt anyway. Near the end, a car is driven through the lobby of the Daley Center courthouse, and the County Building is stormed by the title characters and hundreds of policemen and soldiers. Murphy Dunne, who played the pianist in the movie, is the son of then Cook County Board President George Dunne.[18]
  • In the film The Fugitive, a jail visitation is placed not in the jail but in the County Building, again for better visual effect. This film also places the lead character in the old Cook County Hospital for some key scenes.
  • In “Otis”, an episode of the television series Prison Break, LJ Burrows is sent to a court hearing at the Cook County Courthouse, while his father, Lincoln Burrows, and his uncle, Michael Scofield, attempt to take him out of custody by extracting him while he is in the elevator.
  • In 1927's Chicago, 1942's Roxie Hart, and 2002's Chicago (all of which were based upon stage plays entitled Chicago), Roxie Hart is confined to the Cook County Jail.
  • Exterior photography of the Cook County Criminal Courthouse was used frequently on the television series, Hill Street Blues, to set up the program's court scenes.
  • In the 1990 film, Home Alone, the house is located in the inner-ring suburbs of Chicago, in the village of Winnetka which is located around 19 miles (30 km) north of the city in New Trier Township, Cook County.
  • In the sitcom Married with Children, the Bundy family house (as well as the Rhoades/D'Arcy house) is supposed to be in Cook County.
  • In the musical Pal Joey, Ludlow Lowell says thats his real name because "Cook County says it's my name."

References

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ http://www.census.gov/popest/counties/CO-EST2007-01.html
  3. ^ "CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY AN INFORMATIONAL GUIDE". 2008. http://www.cookcountycourt.net/publications/pdf/Informational-Guide.pdf. Retrieved 2008-12-16. 
  4. ^ "All the extra cost will be no small change". Chicago Tribune. 2008. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-tax_blurb_bdmar02,0,2967710.story. Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  5. ^ "Second City No More". Wall Street Journal. 2008-03-05. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120467859057311951.html. Retrieved 2008-03-05. 
  6. ^ Communications, Inc. "Chicago's Largest Employers". ChicagoBusiness. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-tax_blurb_bdmar02,0,2967710.story Communications, Inc.. 
  7. ^ ""Cook County Board 'rejects' sales tax increase repeal"". Chicago Tribune. 2008-07-22. http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/clout_st/2008/07/cook-county-boa.html. Retrieved 2008-07-23. 
  8. ^ Cleveland, Charles (September 1977). "Carving another county out of Cook". Illinois Issues. http://www.lib.niu.edu/ipo/1977/ii770934.html. 
  9. ^ "Blue Island mayor wants to create "Lincoln County"". WLS-TV News (abc7chicago.com). 2004-06-25. http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=News&id=1780024. 
  10. ^ "Cook County tax hike will bite consumers, businesses". Sun-Times News Group (southtownstar.com). 2008-06-30. http://www.southtownstar.com/news/1030946,063008salestax.article. 
  11. ^ "Tax Rebellion Stirs Talk of Secession in Cook County, Illinois". Heartland Institute (heartland.org). 2008-07-01. http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=23218. 
  12. ^ http://www.isgs.uiuc.edu/maps-data-pub/cook-atlas/topo.shtml
  13. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  14. ^ http://www.mla.org/map_data_results&state_id=17&county_id=31&mode=geographic&zip=&place_id=&cty_id=&ll=all&a=&ea=&order=r mla.org
  15. ^ Cook County QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau
  16. ^ 2006 Census Estimate Map
  17. ^ Cook County, Illinois, United States Census Bureau
  18. ^ "Resolution of the Cook County Board" (PDF). Cook County Clerk. 2006-11-14. http://www.cookctyclerk.com/pdf/111406resdoc.pdf.  "Biography of Murphy Dunne". Internet Movie Database, IMDb.com. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0242886/bio. 

External links

Coordinates: 41°48′N 87°43′W / 41.8°N 87.717°W / 41.8; -87.717


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Chicagoland article)

From Wikitravel

Chicagoland consists of the Chicago metropolitan area in northeastern Illinois, including Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. Broader definitions also include parts of Southeast Wisconsin and Northern Indiana.

Cities

The major cities of the region are, well, Chicago — period. None of the outlying cities remotely approach the size of this mammoth metropolis. But that's not to say that Chicagoland doesn't include other destinations; some of the larger cities include:

Illinois Counties

Cook County

Cook County, where Chicago is located, is the largest county by population in Illinois and the second-largest in the United States (after California's L.A. County). With more than 5 million residents, its population is larger than that of most U.S. states; a little more than half of them live in the central city, with the rest in a chain of suburbs that surrounds Chicago on the north, west and south sides.

  • Evanston, the first city north of Chicago along the lake, is home to Northwestern University. Other communities along Cook County's affluent North Shore are:

To the northwest of Chicago, in the vicinity of O'Hare International Airport, are such towns as:

Cook County's West Side includes towns like:

  • Berwyn
  • Cicero
  • Oak Park — a very upscale suburb with popular shopping strips and a Frank Lloyd Wright lover's dream

To the south are such communities as:

DuPage County

West of Cook County, DuPage contains mainly Chicago bedroom communities, such as:

  • Glen Ellyn
  • Itasca
  • Lisle — well worth a visit for the marvelous Morton Arboretum
  • Naperville — despite being the target of endless derision from Chicagoans, there is plenty reason to visit for Naperville's Riverwalk and upscale dining scene
  • Downers Grove
  • Woodridge
  • Aurora — the second largest city in Illinois

Lake County

Lake County, in the northeast corner of the state, was once largely rural but has become increasingly suburban in recent years. Its largest city, Waukegan, is also the county seat.

Its southeast is part of Chicago's affluent North Shore, including:

Other Lake County towns include:

Will County

Will County lies south of Cook and DuPage; its largest city and county seat is Joliet, undoubtedly best known for its huge prison.

Counties outside Illinois

Just how much territory is covered in the term "Chicagoland" is a point of controversy. Certain surrounding counties in Wisconsin and especially Indiana have enormous commuter populations, which share Chicago's regional culture, and it is hard to exclude them.

Lake County (Indiana)

Lake County, Indiana, a highly industrialized and densely populated section of Lake Michigan's shoreline, represents some of the poorest suburban areas and satellite cities in Chicagoland. Gary in particular has fallen on extraordinarily hard times, and has one of the highest violent crime rates in the country. Once upon a time the city was an industrial giant, and was an urban center in its own right, but today an ever increasing number of Gary residents commute towards Chicago for employment. And in terms of culture, Lake Co. is solid Chicagoland territory, from hot dogs to the blues. Other major population centers in Lake County include:

  • Crown Point
  • East Chicago — right on Chicago's eastern border, East Chicago is home to Marktown, one of the nation's most bizarre planned communities
  • Hammond the largest close-in suburb of Chicago in Indiana, and offers some great deals on hotels just across the border from the city itself
  • Lake Station

Kenosha County (Wisconsin)

Residents of Kenosha consider the Chicagoland denotation controversial, as it is closer to Milwaukee, but nonetheless there is a big Chicago commuter population here, largely from expatriates of Chicago's northern suburbs. The main city, and only city, is Kenosha.

Understand

Chicagoland is huge; it is one of the world's largest metropolitan areas both in terms of population and area.

  • O'Hare International Airport, one of the largest and busiest in the world, is located in the northwest Chicagoland area.
  • Midway Airport is a smaller airport on the South Side of Chicago.
  • Dupage County Airport a "designated reliever airport" for O'Hare and an increasingly popular destination. http://www.dupageairport.com/.

By train

Chicagoland is served by numerous Amtrak routes.

Metra system map
Metra system map

In addition to an extensive highway system, Chicagoland is served by Metra's 12 rail lines[1] and by Chicago's CTA, which reaches some of the nearer suburbs.

  • The Baha'i Temple, a cultural and architectural wonder in Wilmette.
  • The beautiful Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe.
  • Frank Lloyd Wright House and several houses designed by the architect in Oak Park.
  • The Kohl's Children's Museum in Glenview.
  • The splendid Morton Arboretum in Lisle.
  • The Elmhurst Art Museum in Elmhurst.
  • Chain o' Lakes State Park in Spring Grove.
  • Volo Bog State Natural Area in Ingleside.
  • The Joliet Correctional Facility, Illinois' most notorious prison, in Joliet.
  • The Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield.
  • The Forest Preserve District of Cook County [2] is responsible for the numerous open spaces ("forest preserves") around the county. These preserves range from heavily used parks with extensive roads and well-developed picnic areas, to relatively isolated expanses of land that are only really accessible on foot (or cross-country skis in winter).
  • The Pickwick in Park Ridge is one of the true grand movie palaces remaining in the Chicagoland area.
  • Ribfest in Naperville is one of the largest festivals in the county.
  • The annual Eyes to the Skies Balloon Festival in Lisle.
  • The Illinois Prairie Path runs through the center of DuPage County.
  • Illinois Beach State Park in Zion.
  • The Six Flags Great America amusement park in Gurnee.
  • The Empress and Harrah's casinos in Joliet.
  • The Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet

Eat

For all intents and purposes, Chicagoland is Chicago when it comes to food. You don't need to head into the city proper to get your Chicago-style pizza, hot dogs, beef, steaks, and what have you. There are some Chicago-style fast-food locations outside the city that will serve you these items, prepared better than anywhere in the city. Same goes for many styles of ethnic food—you can get Mexican, Polish, Italian, Greek just as good or even better in the 'burbs. Some ethnic cuisines out here you would have trouble finding in the city—Uzbek, Russian, Afghan, etc.

For upscale cuisine, the hautest of the haute is still to be found downtown. But there are plenty of nice restaurants in places like Evanston (especially), Naperville, and others.

  • The Chicago Tribune [3] ("The Trib") is the Chicago area's biggest daily, and publishes a suburban edition.
  • The Daily Herald [4] is a large daily newspaper aimed primarily at the suburbs.
  • The Northwest Herald.

Get out

Chicagoland is adjacent to Northern and Central Illinois, to Southeast Wisconsin, and to Northern Indiana. Parts of Wisconsin and Indiana are sometimes included in the definition of Chicagoland.

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Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

This article requires significantly more historical detail on the particular phases of this location's historical development. The ideal article for a place will give the reader a feel for what it was like to live at that location at the time their relatives were alive there..
Please help to improve this page yourself if you can..
Cook County, Illinois
Seal of Cook County, Illinois
Map
File:Map of Illinois highlighting Cook County.png
Location in the state of Illinois
Map of the USA highlighting Illinois
Illinois's location in the USA
Statistics
Founded January 15 1831
Seat Chicago
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

 sq mikm²)
 sq mi ( km²)
 sq mi ( km²), 42.16%
wikipedia:Population
 - (2006)
 - Density

5288655
Website: www.cookcountygov.com

Cook County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. As of 2006, the population was 5,288,655, making it the second largest county by population in the United States (after Los Angeles County), and accounting for 43.3% of the state's population (if Cook County were an independent state, it would have the 21st largest population). The county seat is Chicago, the principal city of its metropolitan area; Chicago makes up about 54% of the population of the county, the rest being provided by various suburbs. Cook County is the 19th largest government in the United States. Cook County has by far more Democratic Party members than any other Illinois county, and is one of the most Democratic counties in the United States. It has only voted once for a Republican candidate in a Presidential election in the last forty years, in 1972, when county voters preferred Richard Nixon to George McGovern by 53.4% to 46%.

Cook County's current County Board president is Todd Stroger.

Contents

History

Cook County was created on January 15 1831 by an act of the Illinois State Legislature. It was the 54th county established in Illinois and was named after Daniel Pope Cook, one of the earliest and youngest statesmen in Illinois history, who served as the second U.S. Representative from Illinois and the first Attorney General of the State of Illinois. Shortly thereafter, in 1839, DuPage County was carved out of Cook County.

As mandated by state law, Cook County government has principal responsibility for the protection of persons and property, the provision for public health services and the maintenance of county highways.

Government

The Circuit Court of Cook County, which is the largest unified court system in the world, disposing of over 6 million cases in 1990 alone, the Cook County Department of Corrections, which is the largest single-site jail in the nation, and the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center, the first juvenile center in the nation and one of the largest in the nation, are solely the responsibility of Cook County government. 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 second largest public health system in the nation. Three hospitals are part of this system: John H. Stroger, Provident Hospital, and Oak Forest Hospital of Cook County, along with over 30 outpatient clinics.

The Cook County Highway Department is responsible for the design and maintenance of over 578 miles of roadways in the county. These thoroughfares are mostly composed of major and minor arterials, with a few local roads. Although the Highway Department was instrumental in designing many of the expressways in the county, today they are under the jurisdiction of the state.

The Forest Preserve District, organized in 1915, is a separate, independent taxing body, but the Cook County Board of Commissioners also acts as the Forest Preserve District Board of Commissioners. The District is a belt of 68,000 acres (275 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.

In the 1980s, Cook County was ground zero to an extensive FBI investigation named Operation Greylord. Ninety-two officials were indicted, including 17 judges, 48 lawyers, 8 policemen, 10 deputy sheriffs, 8 court officials, and 1 state legislator.

Cook County is the fifth largest employer in Chicago.[1]

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, several secession 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 native former U.S. president who ironically does not have an Illinois county named after him.[2] It is likely that Arlington Heights would have been the county seat. This northwest suburban region of Cook is 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 Peloquin tried to organize a coaliton 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 cited that the south suburbs are often shunned by the city and blamed the Chicago-centric policies of Cook County government for failing to jumpstart the long-depressed local economy of the south suburban region. Pending sufficient interest from local communities, Peloquin planned a petition drive to place a question regarding the secession on the general election ballot.[3]

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 4,235 km² (1,635 sq mi). 2,449 km² (946 sq mi) of it is land and 1,785 km² (689 sq mi) of it (42.16%) is water, most of it in Lake Michigan.

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Cook County
Population by year
[4]

2006 - 5,288,655
2000 - 5,376,741
1990 - 5,105,067
1980 - 5,253,655
1970 - 5,492,369
1960 - 5,129,725
1950 - 4,508,792
1940 - 4,063,342
1930 - 3,982,123
1920 - 3,053,017
1910 - 2,405,233
1900 - 1,838,735
1890 - 1,191,922
1880 - 607,524
1870 - 349,966
1860 - 144,954
1850 - 43,385
1840 - 10,201

2000 census age pyramid for Cook County

As of the 2000 Census², there were 5,376,741 people, 1,974,181 households, and 1,269,398 families residing in the county. The population density was 2,195/km² (5,686/sq mi). There were 2,096,121 housing units at an average density of 856/km² (2,216/sq mi). 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 Islander, 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. 17.63% reported speaking Spanish at home; 3.13% speak Polish [1].

2005 Census estimates placed the non-Hispanic white popuation of Cook County at 45.4% of the total population of the county. Other racial groups were African-Americans at 26.4%, Latinos at 22.2% and Asians at 5.5%.[5]

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 made up of individuals and 9.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.38.

In the county the population was spread out with 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.

According to Census Bureau estimates, the county's population was down to 5,303,683 in 2005 [2].

Townships

Suburban townships by population

Chicago townships

The city of Chicago had a population of 2,896,016 as of the 2000 Census. Its eight former townships and annexed parts of others no longer have any formal structure or responsibility since their annexation, but their names and boundaries are still used by Cook County for tax assessment purposes.

Communities

Cities

Towns

Villages

Pop culture references

  • In the 1980 film, The Blues Brothers, the title characters are racing to the offices of the Assessor of Cook County to pay the back taxes owed by the orphanage in which they grew up. In reality, however, back taxes are paid in the Office of the Cook County Treasurer, and church-owned property is tax exempt anyway. Murphy Dunne, who played the pianist in the movie, is the son of then Cook County Board President George Dunne.[6]
  • In the film The Fugitive, jail visitation is placed not in the jail but in the County Building, again for better visual effect. This film also places the lead character in the old Cook County Hospital for some key scenes.
  • In “Otis”, an episode of the television series Prison Break, LJ Burrows is sent to a court hearing at the Cook County Courthouse, while his father, Lincoln Burrows, and his uncle, Michael Scofield, attempt to take him out of custody by extracting him while he is in the elevator.
  • In the film Chicago, Roxie is sent to the Cook County Jail.

References

  1. ^ Chicago's Largest Employers. ChicagoBusiness. Crain Communications, Inc. (2007). Retrieved on 2007-08-08.
  2. ^ Cleveland, Charles (September 1977). "Carving another county out of Cook". Illinois Issues. 
  3. ^ Blue Island mayor wants to create "Lincoln County". WLS-TV News (abc7chicago.com) (2004-6-25).
  4. ^ Forstall, Richard L. (editor) (1996). Population of states and counties of the United States: 1790 to 1990 : from the twenty-one decennial censuses. United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Population Division. ISBN 0-934213-48-8. 
  5. ^ http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/17/17031.html
  6. ^ Resolution of the Cook County Board. Cook County Clerk (2006-11-14). Biography of Murphy Dunne. Internet Movie Database, IMDb.com.

7. Source: http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/3716.html

External links


CoordinatesImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif: 41°48′N, 87°43′WLatitude: 41°47′60″N
Longitude: 87°43′0″W

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Cook County, Illinois. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
Facts about Cook County, IllinoisRDF feed
Coord 41°47′60″N, 87°43′0″W  +info.pngGoogle Earth
Coord possibly 41°48′N; 87°43′W  +
County names Cook County, Illinois  +
County of country United States  +
County of subdivision1 Illinois  +
Short name Cook County  +

This article uses material from the "Cook County, Illinois" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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