Joliet, IL Demographics And Economic Details
Joliet, IL is a city located right outside of Chicago. It is the county seat of Will County and is the fourth largest city in Illinois. The city has a population of almost 148,000. The city’s original name was Juliet and it began as a small cabin along the Des Plaines River. It is believed that the city was named after Louis Jolliet who was a French Canadien explorer who explored the area and placed a large mound in the southwest corner of the city. Juliet incorporated as a city in 1837 and in 1845 the city’s name was changed to Joliet.
The city of Joliet consists of almost 63 square miles, most of which is on land. There is a portion of the city that also lies on the Des Plaines River. The city’s shape is irregular and extends into nine townships. These townships are Plainfield, Joliet, New Lenox, Troy, Channahon, Jackson, and Lockport, all located in Will County, along with Seward and Na-Au-Say in Kendall County.
The downtown area of Joliet is located in the Des Plaines River valley. There are gorgeous views looking west along the river. This river runs through the city, dividing it down the center. The city is geographically divided into east and west, designations which indicate the east side and west side and refer to the areas east and west of the Des Plaines River.
In the later 20th century, the west side of the city expanded from the downtown area outward. Many stores that were in the downtown area relocated from the downtown area to the west side and into strip malls and shopping centers which offered easier access and more parking. This westward expansion resulted in a downgrading of the inner city and this situation still exists today.
Joliet’s business area is concentrated primarily around the Des Plaine’s River, but the city actually crosses the Des Plaines and the DuPage River. There are also several other waterways that cross city limits, including Spring Creek, Hickory Creek, Jackson Creek, the Illinois and Michigan Canal, and Aux Sable Creek. There are also a few small bodies of water which include Lake Juco, Chase Lake, the Brandon Road Quarry, Michigan Beach, and Leisure Lake.
Joliet enjoys the designation as the 169th most populated city in the U.S. There are almost 153,000 people and 6,182 households. Of these households, almost 40 percent had children under 18 years of age within the household. Almost 52 percent of these households consisted of married couples while 24 percent had a female head of household. There are 26,000 families within these households. The racial makeup of the city is almost 68 percent white and 16 percent African-American, with the remaining population a mix of different races, including Asian and Native American. Thirty percent of the residents are under 18, ten percent are age 18 to 24, 33 percent are age 25 to 44, 17 percent are age 45 to 64, and 11 percent are age 65 and older. The median age in the population is 31 years and the split between males and females is split almost evenly.
The household median income is $48,000 and the median family income is $56,000. There was a discrepancy between male and female income, with males earning an average of $42,000 while females earned $30,000. Almost 11 percent of the Joliet population lives below the poverty line. Joliet is one of the fastest growing cities in the Midwest.
There are several major employers located in Joliet, including Presence Medical Center, Hollywood Casino Joliet, and Will County government. The city’s location right outside Chicago makes it attractive as a commuter community and helps create a robust economy.