Communities

Map of DuPage County, Illinois

Dupage County Overview

DuPage County, located 15 miles west of downtown Chicago, is the second largest county in Illinois (after Cook county) with a 2010 population of 917,000.  The most populous municipality in DuPage County is Naperville with 141,850 residents followed by Wheaton (population 52,900) and Downers Grove (population 47,800).  DuPage County has experienced positive growth in population every year since its inception.

Formed in 1839 out of Cook County, the county took its name from the DuPage River which, in turn, was named after a French fur trapper.  Over time, DuPage County was transformed from a primarily agricultural economy to a diversified economy with strong manufacturing and service sectors.  DuPage County is one of the wealthiest counties in the country and has nineteen municipalities with household incomes exceeding $100,000.

The median income for a household in the county was $77,441 and the median income for a family was $93,086. The mean or average income for a family in DuPage County is $121,009, according to the 2005 census. The per capita income for the county was $38,458. About 2.40% of families and 3.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.90% of those under age 18 and 4.30% of those age 65 or over.

The estimated DuPage County median home value in 2009 was $309,100 up from $187,600 in 2000.  (The median home value on the State of Illinois in 2009 was $202,200.)  The average or mean value for a detached home in 2009 was $398,500 compared to $252,200 for the state.  Owner-occupants account for 76% of DuPage County residents while renters are 24%.

As of January, 2011, the cost of living index was 105.2 which is above the U.S. average of 100.0.

Economy

DuPage County is the heart of the Illinois Tecnology and Research Corridor which is centered along I-88 in west suburban Chicago.  It is home to numerous large employers including these: 

Largest Employers in DuPage County, Illinois

Approximately 90% of Dupage County’s workforce is employed in the private sector while 10% is employed in the public sector.

Shopping

Shopping malls in DuPage County include Oakbrook Center (the largest open-air mall in the nation), Westfield Fox Valley, Yorktown Center, Town Square Wheaton and Stratford Square Mall.  In addition, many DuPage County communities have quaint and prosperous downtown areas for shopping, most notably Naperville, Glen Ellyn, Wheaton, Downers Grove and Hinsdale.  These downtowns are typically a blend of boutiques, upscale chain stores and restaurants.

Aerial photo of FermiLab in Batavia, IL

Research

Fermilab, which has the world’s second-highest-energy particle accelerator in the world, is located in Batavia and overlaps the border between DuPage and Kane counties.  Argonne National Laboratory, one of the United States government’s oldest and largest science and engineering research laboratories, is in unincorporated, southern DuPage County.  Both laboratories conduct tours of their facilities.

Recreation

A large portion (around 40 square miles) of DuPage County consists of parks and forest preserves.  The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County manages over 60 forest preserves itself and another 15 in conjunction with local municipalities.  Our area is fortunate to have a number of very large forest preserves that include Blackwell (1,350 ac.), Danada (800 acres), Herrick Lake (890 acres), Mallard Lake (950 acres), Pratt’s Wayne Woods (3,400 acres), and St. James Farms (600 acres).

Cantigny in Winfield, IL

Other outdoor attractions in western DuPage County include Lisle’s Morton Arboretum (1,700 acres), Winfield’s Cantigney Woods and Gardens (also a WWI memorial and museum – with real tanks!), Naperville’s Centennial Beach and Naper Settlement, Glen Ellyn’s Sunset Pool and Water Park and Wheaton’s Rice Lake Pool and Water Park.

The Illinois Prairie Path, a 116-mile, rail-to-trail multi-use path, runs through the center of DuPage County. It intersects with the Great Western Trail at several points, as well as the Fox River Trail at a few points.  You can bike all the way out to Geneva and St. Charles for lunch on the Fox River.

DuPage golf courses include: Wheaton’s Chicago Golf Club and Cantigny Golf Courses; the Medinah Country Club; Glen Ellyn’s Village Links and Glen Oak Country Club; Addison’s Oak Meadows; Oak Brook’s Oak Brook Golf Club, Butler National Golf Club, and Butterfield Country Club; Wood Dale’s Maple Meadows; Westmont’s Green Meadows; Wheaton’s Arrowhead Golf Club; Lisle’s River Bend (9 Holes); West Chicago’s St. Andrews Golf & Country Club and Winfield’s Klein Creek Golf Club.

Aerial photo of Blanchard Hall at Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL

Higher Education

The College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn is one of the largest community colleges in the United States.  Wheaton College is one of the most well-known and respected evangelical Christian colleges in the country.  Benedictine University (Lisle), Elmhurst College and North Central College (Naperville) are all attractive local options for both college students and adults seeking continuing education.

Other prominent colleges and universities include: Midwestern University in Downers Grove; National University of Health Sciences and Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard; the Addison, Naperville and Oak Brook campuses of DeVry University; the Aurora campus of Robert Morris University; the Lisle campus of National–Louis University; the Naperville campuses of DePaul University and Northern Illinois University; the Wheaton campus of Illinois Institute of Technology; and the DuPage campus of Westwood College in Woodridge.

Health Care

DuPage County hospitals include Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, Edward Hospital  in Naperville, Elmhurst Memorial Hospital in Elmhurst, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital in Hinsdale, Advocate Good Samaritan in Downers Grove and Adventist GlenOaks Hospital in Glendale Heights.

Religion

DuPage County has approximately 400 religious congregations of various types and nearly 60% of DuPage County residents are affiliated with these congregations.  Among that sector of the population that reports a religious affiliation, around 66% are Catholic, 25% are Protestant and 9% are of other faiths.  This data is from the year 2002.

DuPage County has approximately 350 Christian churches.  Community Christian Church of  Naperville was named the 13th most influential church in the nation by “The Church Report” and College Church of Wheaton was ranked 37th.  Other well-known churches include the Wheaton Bible Church and Christ Church of Oak Brook.

As mentoned above, DuPage County has a very large Catholic population comprised of 50 churches with 380,000 members.  These churches are part of the Diocese of Joliet and the Archdiocese of Chicago.  Some of the more well-known Catholic churches in this area include St. Petronille in Glen Ellyn, St. Michael in Wheaton, Sacred Heart in Lombard, and  St. Thomas in Naperville which also has several other large Catholic churches.

Popular synagogues in DuPage County include Congregation Beth Shalom and the Chabad Jewish Center, both in Naperville, and Congregation Etz Chaim in Lombard.

Climate

In recent years, average temperatures in central DuPage County have ranged from a low of 14 °F (−10 °C) in January to a high of 87 °F (31 °C) in July, although a record low of −26 °F (−32 °C) was recorded in January 1985 and a record high of 105 °F (41 °C) was recorded in July 1995.  Average monthly precipitation ranged from 1.56 inches (40 mm) in February to 4.60 inches (117 mm) in August.

Photos of Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois