Calumet City, Illinois
Location within Illinois
Location within the United States
|Incorporated (Village)||February 13, 1893|
(as West Hammond)
(as Calumet City)
|• Mayor||Thaddeus Jones|
|• Total||7.32 sq mi (18.96 km2)|
|• Land||7.20 sq mi (18.64 km2)|
|• Water||0.12 sq mi (0.32 km2) 1.64%|
|• Density||5,005.97/sq mi (1,932.85/km2)|
|Standard of living (2009-11)|
|• Per capita income||$20,390|
|• Median home value||$121,900|
Calumet City (// KAL-yuu-MET) is a city in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 36,033 at the 2020 census, a decline of 2.7% from 37,042 in 2010. The ZIP code is 60409.
The word Calumet is the Miꞌkmaq and French word for a ceremonial peace pipe as used by Native Amerindians.
Calumet City (commonly referred to locally as "Cal City") was founded in 1893 when the villages of Schrumville and Sobieski Park merged under the name of West Hammond, since it lies on the west side of the Illinois-Indiana line from Hammond, Indiana. In 1924, West Hammond officially became Calumet City after its citizens voted to change the name in 1923.
According to the 2021 census gazetteer files, Calumet City has a total area of 7.32 square miles (18.96 km2), of which 7.20 square miles (18.65 km2) (or 98.31%) is land and 0.12 square miles (0.31 km2) (or 1.69%) is water.
In addition to being bordered to the east by Hammond, it is also bordered by Burnham and Chicago to the north, Lansing to the south, and South Holland and Dolton to the west.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the 2020 census there were 36,033 people, 14,166 households, and 8,607 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,921.20 inhabitants per square mile (1,900.09/km2). There were 16,196 housing units at an average density of 2,211.96 per square mile (854.04/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 72.64% African American, 9.74% White, 0.65% Native American, 0.19% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 10.44% from other races, and 6.30% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17.97% of the population.
There were 14,166 households, out of which 49.14% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 26.65% were married couples living together, 26.42% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.24% were non-families. 36.79% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.38 and the average family size was 2.56.
The city's age distribution consisted of 23.5% under the age of 18, 11.0% from 18 to 24, 26.1% from 25 to 44, 26% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36.9 years. For every 100 females, there were 81.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $50,640, and the median income for a family was $55,612. Males had a median income of $34,474 versus $32,079 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,688. About 15.9% of families and 18.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.6% of those under age 18 and 10.9% of those age 65 or over.
|Race / Ethnicity||Pop 2010||Pop 2020||% 2010||% 2020|
|White alone (NH)||4,928||2,676||13.30%||7.43%|
|Black or African American alone (NH)||25,888||25,959||69.89%||72.04%|
|Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH)||58||51||0.16%||0.14%|
|Asian alone (NH)||108||50||0.29%||0.14%|
|Pacific Islander alone (NH)||7||4||0.02%||0.01%|
|Some Other Race alone (NH)||31||116||0.08%||0.32%|
|Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH)||448||701||1.21%||1.95%|
|Hispanic or Latino (any race)||5,574||6,476||15.05%||17.97%|
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 can be of any race.
A landmark and point of pride among Cal City residents is the pair of large water towers painted like the popular "Have a Nice Day" smiley faces which are located on Ring Road near River Oaks Mall, the other State Street near Interstate 94.
Calumet City has a Mayor-Council type government.
The City has 7 Wards.
Calumet City is in Illinois' 2nd congressional district.
The mayor of Calumet City is currently Thaddeus Jones. He has served as Mayor since being elected to the office in 2021.
Calumet City is served by several elementary school districts:
The city is served by two high school districts:
Calumet City is featured or mentioned in a number of major movies. John Belushi's "Joliet Jake" and Dan Aykroyd's "Elwood" characters from The Blues Brothers were born in Calumet City, and so is the orphanage they grew up in, which they save "on a mission from God" by paying $5,000 in property taxes from a $10,000 record deal at their concert, as well as "Ray's Music Exchange" that holds the famed Ray Charles "Shake Your Tail-Feather" scene of the movie. In the book and film The Silence of the Lambs, Buffalo Bill is thought to be hiding in Calumet City, when he is actually in Belvedere, Ohio. The Calumet City scenes in the film were filmed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, however. Lily Tomlin's prim but assertive housewife/spokesperson "Mrs. Judith Beasley" is said to be a resident of Calumet City. She said, "Hi. I am not an actress, but a real person like yourself."
Calumet City is also referenced by a number of popular music acts. The Black Crowes included a video of the Smiley Towers in their 1990 video for "Hard to Handle". A photograph of the "Dolton" smiley water tower is featured on the back of the Dead Kennedys album Plastic Surgery Disasters. Rapper Twista has referenced Calumet City. Kanye West's reference to Calumet in his 2005 song "Drive Slow" does not refer to Calumet City, but rather to Calumet High School, which was located in the South Side of Chicago and not in Calumet City.
The Smiley Tower is also featured in the movie Natural Born Killers; it is seen out the window of Mallory's family home (part of that movie was filmed in Hammond, Indiana). In the Nine Inch Nails music video on the director's cut of the same film, the Smiley Tower and Dolton Avenue/State Street is featured.
The founders of the Calumet Baking Powder Company adopted its brand name from the original Native American word for the land that became Calumet City. They later named one of thoroughbred horse racing's most famed and successful enterprises, Calumet Farm, after the company.
In 2004, Alan Keyes purchased a raised ranch house in Calumet City to establish residency in Illinois so he could run for the U.S. Senate in place of Jack Ryan against Barack Obama, although instead of residing in the house, he officially moved into an apartment elsewhere in town, on Garfield Avenue.
In 2010, pop music group Hanson remade the "Shake Your Tailfeather" scene from The Blues Brothers for the music video for their hit "Thinkin' 'Bout Somethin'" in Tulsa, Oklahoma, paying homage to Calumet City's Ray's Music Exchange, John Belushi, and Ray Charles.
Jean Shepherd (writer and narrator of the classic movie A Christmas Story) in radio broadcasts from WOR radio, New York in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s and in his PBS specials of the 1970s and 1980s, and his many books, often refers to it as Cal City or just Calumet. He grew up next door in Hammond, Indiana.
High School: Thornton Fractional North High School (Calumet City, Illinois)
High School: Thornton Fractional North (Calumet City, IL)
Jurkovic, who played with the Green Bay Packers and Jacksonville Jaguars before retiring in 1999, was voted the NFL's funniest player in a Sport Magazine poll in 1998. He is a Calumet City native and a graduate of Thornton Fractional North High School.
They had accepted Tomczak, the rookie, and occasionally he was allowed to play among them. "It was a miracle ride for me," the T.F. North grad and former Ohio State star said.
Both Jo Ann and Ron Tomczak, who coached Mike at Thornton Fractional North, dashed the theory that their son had a case of the jitters Sunday.