West Chicago is a diverse, family-oriented community with a rich cultural mix and a proud heritage. It is the first Illinois community established by the railroads and continues to be a convenient transportation hub served by three major rail lines, one of Illinois’ busiest airport and three state highways.
The City of West Chicago is 32 miles from downtown Chicago, and has easy access to major Illinois highways and roads. Stretching east to west is IL Route 38 and IL Route 64 which both converge on I-355 and I-294; stretching north and south is IL Route 59 which runs directly into I-88, and further south into I-55 and I-80.
According to Niche.com, the City carries an overall grade of B+ with high marks in the areas of nightlife, diversity, outdoor activities, public schools, good for families, jobs, cost of living, health and fitness, and overall commute.
The City’s median home value is approximately $249,500, which is above the national average of $217,500, and the median rent in the City is approximately $1,083 which is slightly above the national average of $1,062. In comparison, 68% of the City’s residents own their residences as opposed to 32% who rent.
The Median household income in West Chicago is $78,116, which is above the national average of $62,843.
The City is ranked #34 of 363 communities with regards to suburban diversity; is #53 of 637 communities within the realm of most diverse places to live in Illinois; and ranks #125 of 363 suburbs for young professionals in Illinois.
52% of the City’s residents are 34 years and under; 27% are between the ages of 35 and 54; and 21% is over the age of 55.
10% of the City’s residents have a Master’s degree or higher; 18% have a Bachelor’s degree; 22% have some college, or an Associate’s degree; and 26% have a high school diploma or equivalent.
U.S Census Data
For full demographics information, please visit the U.S. Census Bureau website to see a West Chicago Data Dashboard.
Commuter rail transportation is available through West Chicago’s Metra station, located at 580 W. Main Street.
The Metra-Union Pacific West Line serves more than 50 freight trains and 60 Metra trains carrying nearly 30,000 passengers each day. The station is conveniently located in the pedestrian-friendly downtown area.
DuPage Airport (DPA) and Flight Center, is located within West Chicago. It is only 1 hour from the heart of Chicago and within minutes of western Chicago’s major commercial centers, and is one of North America’s premier business aviation facilities and the destination for corporate and private aviation.
An important consideration for businesses locating in a community is market rate housing for its employees. A city which is able to offer appropriate housing stock for a wide-range of workforce needs is critical to businesses that understand housing as part of the quality of life equation.
Successful business owners know that in order to recruit or retain qualified and loyal workers, availability of a wide range of qualified housing is as important as other key details of a compensation package.
West Chicago is an eclectic city, offering affordable apartments and quaint bungalows to beautiful old Victorians and stately custom-built manor homes. The diversity in housing stock has been noted as one of the tremendous benefits of doing business here.
Pockets of subdivisions with newer construction augment smaller starter homes as well as those historically preserved. Rental units, including apartment complexes, may be found throughout the community.
West Chicago works collaboratively with area educational institutions, government agencies, economic development organizations, and private staffing agencies to meet the labor needs of the West Chicago business community. Most recently, the Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce—located in Downtown West Chicago, was selected through a competitive process by the DuPage County Local Workforce Innovation Board (LWIB) to serve as the One-Stop-Operator (OSO) for WorkNet DuPage. WorkNet DuPage houses nine partner agencies that serve to meet the workforce needs of DuPage County and region. WorkNet DuPage operates under federal and state guidelines from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA.)
In DuPage County, these partner agencies work together to offer information and assistance to all residents of the county as well as businesses.
Employment Data – DuPage County 2016
|Number of Jobs||741,609|
|Number of Employees||645,661|
|Median Household Income||$79,658|
|Number of Businesses||39,502|
|Source: EMSI, March 2016 & 2016 Choose DuPage Annual Report|
Top Three Largest Employers in West Chicago
The Jel Sert Company - 1,000 Employees
Aspen Marketing Services LLC - 425 Employees
Ball Horticultural Company - 425 Employees
Within a 10-mile radius of West Chicago there are a number of colleges and universities for prospective students and professionals to choose from. These include the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn or Elgin Community College in Elgin. Additional choices nearby include Aurora University, Benedictine University, DeVry University campuses in Addison and Naperville, North Central College, and Wheaton College. West Chicago’s proximity to Chicago also affords students with a wealth of additional post-secondary educational choices. Programs at these institutions vary widely; select area employee training programs are described as follows:
The College of DuPage (COD) offers a number of programs to help employees advance in the workforce. In addition to traditional degree programs and certificates, COD also offers Business Training & Resources and Continuing Education and Professional Development coursework in the areas of business, computer skills, project management, safety training, social media, among numerous other programs.
Benedictine University’s School of Graduate, Adult and Professional Education provides students with the knowledge, skills and creative problem-solving ability demanded by today’s workplace. Their program offers blended delivery formats that promotes communication and teamwork, and faculty, experts in their fields, are focused on helping students achieve their career goals. Employer partnerships offer on-site delivery of adult undergraduate and graduate programs at an organization or workplace.
Benedictine offers professional development and certificates in business communication, financial planning certificates, and Sigma Six; Adult Accelerated Undergraduate Degrees and Certificates in a variety of areas; and graduate degrees and certificates in a variety of areas.
Educational Attainment Figures – DuPage County
|Population 25+ Years|
|H.S. Graduate or Higher||91%|
|Bachelor’s Degree or Higher||47.2%|
|Source: 2016 Choose DuPage Annual Report|
Quality of Life
The center of community life, downtowns offer something in short supply in today's fast paced, mass produced world ~ local flavor, unique history, and authentic experiences. Simply put, downtown West Chicago offers a glimpse of the past, the present and the future.
The City Museum serves as a dynamic history and art center that inspires and involves the community through research, programs, education and exhibits. Family-owned, ethnically diverse restaurants; small, independent retailers and service businesses that know their customers by name; and, an art gallery supported by the City of West Chicago, have served to nourish and strengthen downtown as a cultural center.
The arts are alive and well in Downtown West Chicago, Illinois! A ten person Cultural Arts Commission was established by the City of West Chicago in January 1993 with the mission of enriching the lives of all West Chicago residents through the active support of cultural arts activities in the City. The Commission sponsors public art programs, workshops, art exhibits, community art projects, and other special events.
It also supports an increasingly popular downtown art destination ~ Gallery 200. This public-private art initiative has enabled an underutilized storefront to be transformed into an art cooperative which fills a creative niche in the community and has reinforced West Chicago’s reputation as an art destination.
Public art installations enhance the historic architecture, and self-guided tours of each are provided throughout the year.
Like the intricately painted fountain gifted to the City of West Chicago from the local chapter of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) in 1897 which still functions as a historic downtown centerpiece, Downtown West Chicago is brimming with possibilities, whether you’re a serious bargain hunter or just out to browse - you’ll feel a special satisfaction knowing that you support local small business. Ample parking and great restaurants nearby make downtown West Chicago a perfect days outing.
Downtown West Chicago offers a glimpse of the past, the present and the future. Spend some time discovering its rich heritage, current distinction and exciting prospect.