Palos Township
Official seal of Palos Township
Location in Cook County
Location in Cook County
Cook County's location in Illinois
Cook County's location in Illinois
Coordinates: 41°41′05″N 87°51′11″W / 41.68472°N 87.85306°W / 41.68472; -87.85306
CountryUnited States
 • Total35.39 sq mi (91.7 km2)
 • Land33.74 sq mi (87.4 km2)
 • Water1.65 sq mi (4.3 km2)  4.66%
Elevation591 ft (180 m)
 • Total56,836
 • Density1,600/sq mi (620/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
60457, 60462, 60463, 60464, 60465, 60480, 60482
FIPS code17-031-57355

Palos Township is one of 29 townships in Cook County, Illinois. As of the 2020 census, its population was 56,836,[2] with its most populous municipality being Palos Hills (pop. 17,484). The vast majority of the township's population resides in its eastern half; the half west of La Grange Road consists of the Palos Forest Preserves, a section of the Cook County Forest Preserves. In 1850 the small town of Trenton, Illinois changed its name to Palos; this recommendation was made by M.S. Powell, the local postmaster, whose ancestor supposedly sailed with Christopher Columbus from Palos de la Frontera. When it incorporated as a village in 1914, Palos officially became Palos Park. Nearby communities incorporated later: Hickory Hills, in 1951, and Palos Hills, in 1958. All three municipalities lie completely or substantially within Palos Township. Palos Heights, partially in Worth Township, incorporated in 1959.

Township offices are located at 10802 S. Roberts Road in Palos Hills. The municipalities of Worth and Bridgeview also lie partially in the township. Palos Township's approximate borders are Harlem Avenue (Illinois Route 43) on the east, 135th Street on the south, Will-Cook Road extended to the DuPage County line on the west, and 87th Street on the north; in the northwest, the township border follows the Des Plaines River from 87th Street to DuPage County's southeast corner. The Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, designated a National Historic District in 2011, passes through the township just south of the river, and the Cal-Sag Channel roughly bisects the township from east to west.

Township services

According to Illinois law, townships are responsible for the maintenance of township roadways, the governance of the General Assistance program and the assessment of real property. In Cook County, townships are not responsible for assessing real property as the Cook County Assessor performs that function.

Some townships have adopted other duties, including the provision of health services. Palos Township runs a health service providing low- or no-cost physical examinations, sick visits, cholesterol tests and screenings, pregnancy tests, blood pressure screening, immunizations, podiatry services for senior citizens and other services.

Other services provided by Palos Township include free tax preparation for senior citizens, temporary handicapped placards, voter services, speaker's bureau, and much more.


According to the 2021 census gazetteer files, Palos Township has a total area of 35.39 square miles (91.66 km2), of which 33.74 square miles (87.39 km2) (or 95.34%) is land and 1.65 square miles (4.27 km2) (or 4.66%) is water.[3]


Palos Township is bordered on the north by Lyons Township, on the east by Worth Township, on the south by Orland Township, and on the west by Lemont Township. The northwest border with Lyons Township follows the Des Plaines River, directly adjacent to the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal (managed by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago) which connects Lake Michigan with the Mississippi River.

Other bordering township include Homer Township (Will County) on the southwest corner; Bremen Township (Cook County) on the southeast corner; Stickney Township (Cook County) on the northeast corner and Downers Grove Township (DuPage County) on the northwest corner.

Cities, towns, villages

Unincorporated Towns

Adjacent townships


The township contains three cemeteries: Fairmount-Willow Hills, Oak Hill and Sacred Heart Catholic.

Major highways

Airports and landing strips



These Cook County Forest Preserves woods:


As of the 2020 census[4] there were 56,836 people, 21,168 households, and 13,852 families residing in the township. The population density was 1,605.85 inhabitants per square mile (620.02/km2). There were 23,107 housing units at an average density of 652.87 per square mile (252.07/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 81.74% White, 3.49% African American, 0.26% Native American, 2.97% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 4.18% from other races, and 7.34% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.27% of the population.

There were 21,168 households, out of which 26.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.04% were married couples living together, 8.71% had a female householder with no spouse present, and 34.56% were non-families. 29.50% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.17.

The township's age distribution consisted of 20.9% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 23.6% from 25 to 44, 26.8% from 45 to 64, and 21.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44.1 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.2 males.

The median income for a household in the township was $72,067, and the median income for a family was $90,042. Males had a median income of $56,924 versus $38,459 for females. The per capita income for the township was $38,372. About 7.0% of families and 9.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.8% of those under age 18 and 8.5% of those age 65 or over.

Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[5]


Palos Township is governed by a township board of trustees sometimes called the township board or town board. The town board consists of five voting members and includes the elected township supervisor and four elected township trustees.

The town board is responsible for providing a budget and taxes sufficient to run the operations of the township government each year. The supervisor is a voting member of the town board but is also the chief executive officer and the chief financial officer of the township.

The township clerk, assessor and highway commissioner are elected officials; however, they do not have a vote on the town board.

Duties and powers of the supervisor

The township supervisor is the chief executive officer of the township and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the township along with the following other duties:

Current township elected officials
Name Elected position Party affiliation & village
Colleen Grant-Schumann Supervisor Republican - Palos Heights
Jane Nolan Clerk Democratic - Palos Hills
Robert E. Maloney Assessor Democratic - Palos Hills
Gene Adams Highway Commissioner Republican - Palos Park
Brent Woods Trustee and Supervisor Pro-Tem Republican - Worth
Richard C. Riley Trustee Republican - Palos Hills
Tasneem Abuzir Trustee Independent - Bridgeview
Pam Jeanes Trustee Republican - Palos Park


Political districts

Voting History

Palos Township has been a generally Republican jurisdiction in presidential elections, having voted for nine of the last ten Republican presidential candidates.

Palos township vote
by party in presidential elections
Year Democratic Republican Third Parties
2020[6] 46.95% 12,577 51.44% 13,779 1.61% 432
2016[6] 45.46% 11,021 48.68% 11,802 5.86% 1,422
2012[6] 46.47% 10,476 51.88% 11,697 1.65% 372
2008[7] 50.30% 12,004 48.44% 11,560 1.27% 302
2004[6] 47.06% 11,251 52.28% 12,500 0.66% 158
2000[6] 44.15% 9,701 52.52% 11,540 3.32% 730
1996[6] 42.15% 8,862 48.45% 10,187 9.40% 1,975
1992[6] 32.51% 8,083 46.04% 11,448 21.45% 5,335
1988[8] 32.02% 7,189 67.98% 15,266 0.00% 0
1984[9] 25.88% 5,301 74.12% 15,179 0.00% 0


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Palos Township, Cook County, Illinois
  2. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Palos township, Cook County, Illinois". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 10, 2020. Retrieved March 21, 2013.
  3. ^ Bureau, US Census. "Gazetteer Files". Retrieved January 22, 2023.
  4. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved January 22, 2023.
  5. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections".
  7. ^[bare URL]
  8. ^ "Cook County, IL election results, 1988". Chicago Tribune. November 10, 1988. p. 23.
  9. ^ "Cook County, IL presidential election results, 1984". Chicago Tribune. November 8, 1984. p. 23.