Bellwood, Illinois
Flag of Bellwood, Illinois
Official seal of Bellwood, Illinois
"Your Family Is Our Future"[1]
Location of Bellwood in Cook County, Illinois.
Location of Bellwood in Cook County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Coordinates: 41°52′59″N 87°52′35″W / 41.882924°N 87.876428°W / 41.882924; -87.876428
CountryUnited States
 • MayorAndre F. Harvey
 • Total2.40 sq mi (6.21 km2)
 • Land2.40 sq mi (6.21 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
 • Total18,789
 • Density7,835.28/sq mi (3,025.05/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code(s)
Area codes708/464
FIPS code17-04975

Bellwood is a village in Proviso Township, Cook County, Illinois, United States. Located 13 miles (21 km) west of Chicago's downtown Loop, the Village of Bellwood is bounded by the Eisenhower Expressway (south), the Proviso yards of the former Chicago & Northwestern, now Union Pacific Railroad (north), and the suburbs of Maywood (east) and Hillside and Berkeley (west). The population was 18,789 at the 2020 census.[3]


Bellwood was incorporated on May 21, 1900. The municipality took its name from one of the village's early subdivisions, "Bellewood". However, in later years, the final "e" was dropped. The region, which was mostly flat grassland, was initially mostly farmland. A few businesses, including a few taverns, were drawn to the initial subdivision. In reaction to dry Maywood's effort to annex the area, businesses that served alcohol petitioned for incorporation. Between 1900 and 1930, Bellwood's population numbers increased steadily. By 1920, the village's population of 943 had more than quadrupled, with many German and Russian immigrants. The increase to 4,991 persons in 1930 is due to the annexation of territory west of Mannheim Road in 1926, as well as ongoing migration.

The Chicago, Aurora and Elgin Railway and the Chicago & North Western Railway provided rail passenger service, which promoted residential growth in neighboring portions of Bellwood. The 1970s saw racial upheaval and inclusion in a Supreme Court case in the United States. Bellwood sued a local real estate company in 1975, alleging racial discrimination. Four years later, the Supreme Court issued a historic decision allowing governments to utilize testers and sue when discrimination occurs. The black population of Bellwood jumped from 1.1 percent in 1970 to 35 percent in 1980 and 70 percent in 1990.

A few major firms exist in Bellwood today, but the collapse of many other large sectors has resulted in a decrease in employment and tax revenue. Despite these contributions, the community saw some new development as a result of various minor industrial and commercial organizations.


According to the 2021 census gazetteer files, Bellwood has a total area of 2.40 square miles (6.22 km2), all land.[4]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[5]

As of the 2020 census[7] there were 18,789 people, 6,059 households, and 4,310 families residing in the village. The population density was 7,835.28 inhabitants per square mile (3,025.22/km2). There were 6,757 housing units at an average density of 2,817.76 per square mile (1,087.94/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 68.35% African American, 6.67% White, 0.96% Native American, 0.72% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 15.83% from other races, and 7.45% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 26.79% of the population.

There were 6,059 households, out of which 36.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.54% were married couples living together, 26.18% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.87% were non-families. 27.03% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.44% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.79 and the average family size was 3.09.

The village's age distribution consisted of 23.7% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 27.8% from 25 to 44, 25.5% from 45 to 64, and 14.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36.1 years. For every 100 females, there were 84.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.3 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $63,006, and the median income for a family was $69,730. Males had a median income of $38,361 versus $32,466 for females. The per capita income for the village was $27,244. About 8.3% of families and 11.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.1% of those under age 18 and 12.3% of those age 65 or over.

Bellwood village, Illinois – Racial and ethnic composition
Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos may be of any race.
Race / Ethnicity (NH = Non-Hispanic) Pop 2010[8] Pop 2020[6] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 907 545 4.76% 2.90%
Black or African American alone (NH) 14,240 12,705 74.67% 67.62%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 16 19 0.08% 0.10%
Asian alone (NH) 116 119 0.61% 0.63%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 1 2 0.01% 0.01%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 26 65 0.14% 0.35%
Mixed Race or Multi-Racial (NH) 169 300 0.89% 1.60%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 3,596 5,034 18.86% 26.79%
Total 19,071 18,789 100.00% 100.00%


Andre F. Harvey is the current and Bellwood's first African-American mayor.[9]


The Bellwood School District 88 comprises seven schools: Grant Primary School, Grant Elementary School, Lincoln Primary–Early Childhood Center, Lincoln Elementary School, McKinley Elementary School, Thurgood Marshall Elementary School and Roosevelt Middle School. Some portions are zoned to Berkeley School District 87.[10]

MECA Christian Academy is a private school.[10]


Bellwood station


The village is serviced by a Metra railroad station with commuter service to Chicago. Trains from Bellwood station travel east to Ogilvie Transportation Center in Chicago, and west to Elburn station. Bus service in the village is provided by Pace.[11]

In November 2011, Union Pacific Railroad announced plans to renovate and upgrade Bellwood's Metra station and add a third rail line. The project, estimated at $4 million, was expected to be completed by the fall of 2012 at no cost to residents.[12] Bellwood formerly had a station on the Chicago Great Western Railway main line before it was abandoned in 1968 by the Chicago & Northwestern Railway. The Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad runs through Bellwood, but does not host any commuter rail traffic.

Notable people


  1. ^ "Village of Bellwood, Illinois". Village of Bellwood, Illinois. Archived from the original on September 5, 2012. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  2. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  3. ^ "Bellwood village, Illinois". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  4. ^ Bureau, US Census. "Gazetteer Files". Retrieved June 29, 2022.
  5. ^ "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decades". US Census Bureau.
  6. ^ a b "P2 Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Bellwood village, Illinois". United States Census Bureau.
  7. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved June 28, 2022.
  8. ^ "P2 Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Bellwood village, Illinois". United States Census Bureau.
  9. ^ "Bellwood gets first Black mayor in 117 years". April 14, 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Schools." Village of Bellwood. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  11. ^ "RTA System Map" (PDF). Retrieved January 30, 2024.
  12. ^ "Update Newsletter, December 2011" (PDF). Village of Bellwood. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 25, 2012. Retrieved December 2, 2011.
  13. ^ "Astronaut Bio: Lee Joseph Archambault". National Aeronautics and Space Administration. February 11, 2015. Retrieved January 19, 2016.