Robbins, Illinois
Village of Robbins, Illinois
Official seal of Robbins, Illinois
Location of Robbins in Cook County, Illinois.
Location of Robbins in Cook County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Coordinates: 41°38′35″N 87°42′29″W / 41.64306°N 87.70806°W / 41.64306; -87.70806
CountryUnited States
TownshipsBremen, Worth
 • MayorDarren Bryant
 • Total1.45 sq mi (3.75 km2)
 • Land1.45 sq mi (3.75 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)  0%
 • Total4,629
 • Density3,194.62/sq mi (1,233.52/km2)
Standard of living (2007-11)
 • Per capita income$13,089
 • Median home value$77,600
ZIP code(s)
Area code(s)708/464
FIPS code17-64616

Robbins is a village southwest of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 4,629 at the 2020 census.[2] Darren E. Bryant is the current mayor of Robbins. It is the second oldest African-American incorporated town in the north following Brooklyn, Illinois and was home to the country’s first black-owned airport.


Robbins was incorporated on December 14, 1917[3][4] and named for Eugene S. Robbins, a real estate developer who laid out the village's early subdivisions.[5] The village's founder and first mayor was Thomas J. Kellar, who noted in an early interview "Our people in Robbins are mostly people who got tired of the white fights and the crowded city. They come out here to raise chickens, make gardens, and be a little more free".[6] Robbins was the only municipality in the north that was entirely governed by African-Americans.[7] Kellar, who was a clerk for the Cook County Board of Assessors, was tasked with investigating the procedures of incorporation. Thomas J. Kellar School in Robbins was named in his honor and first opened for the 1954 school year.[8]
After incorporation the community became a popular recreation spot for black Chicagoans, who crowded its picnic grounds and nightclubs on summer weekends.[9][10]


According to the 2010 census, Robbins has a total area of 1.45 square miles (3.76 km2), all land.[11]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[12]
2010[13] 2020[14]

As of the 2020 census[15] there were 4,629 people, 1,551 households, and 951 families residing in the village. The population density was 3,194.62 inhabitants per square mile (1,233.45/km2). There were 1,887 housing units at an average density of 1,302.28 per square mile (502.81/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 84.77% African American, 5.92% White, 0.32% Native American, 0.22% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 5.21% from other races, and 3.54% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.47% of the population.

There were 1,551 households, out of which 29.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 26.05% were married couples living together, 29.08% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.68% were non-families. 34.82% of all households were made up of individuals, and 17.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.96 and the average family size was 2.97.

The village's age distribution consisted of 20.9% under the age of 18, 11.0% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 25% from 45 to 64, and 15.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.0 years. For every 100 females, there were 79.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.9 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $35,815, and the median income for a family was $59,538. Males had a median income of $27,092 versus $26,667 for females. The per capita income for the village was $16,108. About 20.3% of families and 33.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 36.9% of those under age 18 and 21.4% of those age 65 or over.

Robbins 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 2000[16] Pop 2010[13] Pop 2020[14] % 2000 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 156 117 240 2.35% 2.19% 5.18%
Black or African American alone (NH) 6,288 4,990 3,908 94.77% 93.50% 84.42%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 8 11 2 0.12% 0.21% 0.04%
Asian alone (NH) 4 6 10 0.06% 0.11% 0.22%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 0 0 0 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 11 1 20 0.17% 0.02% 0.43%
Mixed Race or Multi-Racial (NH) 39 37 103 0.59% 0.69% 2.23%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 129 175 346 1.94% 3.28% 7.47%
Total 6,635 5,337 4,629 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%


Robbins is in Illinois's 1st congressional district.

In April 2021, Darren E. Bryant was elected mayor of Robbins. At age 29, he is the youngest African-American mayor ever elected in Illinois.[17]


Robbins is served by a station on Metra's Rock Island District commuter rail line. Robbins is served by two Pace bus routes, 359 Robbins/South Kedzie Avenue and 385 87th/111th/127th.[18]

Interstate 294 runs through Robbins, but it has no exits within the village limits. Access to Interstates 57 and 294 are within a five- to eight-minute drive.

Midway International Airport is within 25-30 minute drive. The village is home to MDW's southern approach radar tower. O'Hare International Airport is within a 30-45 minute drive via Interstate 294 using the IL-50/ 83 Cicero Exit.

Robbins Airport, the first to be owned and operated by African-Americans in the United States, was located here from 1930 to 1933. It had the only flight school at the time where African-Americans could be trained as pilots, and served as a model for the Tuskegee Airmen Program during World War II. Many great African-American pilots flew into this forgotten airport. The surrounding white communities, such as Blue Island and Midlothian, did not approve of this activity, and their police sometimes arrested black pilots after they had landed in Robbins. The one-runway airport and hangar were destroyed by a tornado in 1933. School and operations were relocated by the invitation of white owners of the Harlem Airport in Chicago (it was located south of present-day Midway International Airport). From there, many of the flight school instructors entered the Tuskegee Airmen Program. One notable instructor and the man considered to be the founder of the Robbins airport was John C. Robinson,[19] who was Supreme Commander of the Ethiopian Air Force when Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1935.[20] The activities of these men and women have been recognized by the Smithsonian Institution's Air and Space Museum.[21]

Law enforcement

In 2024, the Robbins police department had under its employment 46 police officers who had been fired from other police departments, a number higher than any other police department in Illinois.[22]


Posen-Robbins School District 143½ serves Robbins.[23]

Notable people


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  2. ^ "Robbins village, Illinois". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  3. ^ "ROBBINS, ILL SAYS:-"Give Us Housing And Transportation And We'll Work Out Our Own Destiny"". The Pittsburgh Courier. XXIV (42): 24. October 15, 1938.
  4. ^ "Negro Colony in East Makes Good - Thos. J. Kellar, Founder Highly Honored". The Denver Star. December 11, 1917.
  5. ^ "Illinois Negros Have Model Municipality - Contains All Modern Conveniences And Is Free From Idleness And Loafing". The Dallas Express. December 6, 1919. p. 1.
  6. ^ "Chicago Boasts All Negro Town - Robbins, ILL has Negro Mayor and Board of Trustees - Town's Population is 2500 with 11 Churches". The Pittsburgh Courier. September 22, 1938. p. 3.
  7. ^ "The Saga of Chicago's Only Negro Town". The Pittsburgh Courier. October 15, 1938. ...according to state historians, acquired the unique distinction of being the only municipality of its kind in the so-called far north, being entirely governed by coloured officials.
  8. ^ "1800 Students for District 143 1/2 District Schools Sept. 1". The Blue Island Sun-Standard: 2. August 26, 1954.
  9. ^ Weise, Andrew, Ann Durkin Keating and Janice L. Reiff (2004). The Encyclopedia of Chicago. Chicago: The University of Chicago Illinois. p. 713. ISBN 0226310159.((cite book)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  10. ^ "- NYPL Digital Collections".
  11. ^ "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved December 25, 2015.
  12. ^ "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decades". US Census Bureau.
  13. ^ a b "P2 Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Robbins village, Illinois". United States Census Bureau.
  14. ^ a b "P2 Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Robbins village, Illinois". United States Census Bureau.
  15. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved June 28, 2022.
  16. ^ "P004: Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2000: DEC Summary File 1 – Robbins village, Illinois". United States Census Bureau.
  17. ^ Rhinehart, Charlene (May 9, 2021). "Darren E. Bryant Makes History as Youngest Black Mayor in Illinois". Retrieved August 4, 2021.
  18. ^ "Pace Bus - Search Results". Archived from the original on December 6, 2003.
  19. ^ Tucker, Phillip Thomas (2012). Father of the Tuskegee Airmen, John C. Robinson. Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books. p. 46. ISBN 978-1597974875.
  20. ^ "Potomac Books - Father of the Tuskegee Airmen, John C. Robinson". Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  21. ^ Lambertson, Giles. 'The Other Harlem', Air & Space Smithsonian, 2010, vol. 24, no.7, pp. 54-59.
  22. ^ Duarte, Lourdes (May 6, 2024). "Officers fired for cause still finding jobs as police, investigation shows". Retrieved June 2, 2024.
  23. ^ "WELCOME TO POSEN-ROBBINS SCHOOL DISTRICT 143.5 Archived 2013-05-24 at the Wayback Machine." Posen-Robbins School District 143½. Retrieved on February 24, 2013.
  24. ^ "Black Aviators | Riots to Renaissance | DuSable to Obama: Chicago's Black Metropolis". WTTW. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  25. ^ Sherrod, Pamela (June 9, 1987). "S.B. FULLER: THE DEAN OF BLACK ENTREPRENEURS". The Chicago Tribune: Business 1.