Steger, Illinois
Official seal of Steger, Illinois
Location of Steger in Cook County, Illinois.
Location of Steger in Cook County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Coordinates: 41°28′20″N 87°37′04″W / 41.47222°N 87.61778°W / 41.47222; -87.61778
CountryUnited States
CountiesWill, Cook
TownshipsBloom (Cook), Crete (Will)
 • Village presidentKenneth A. Peterson, Jr.
 • Total3.40 sq mi (8.82 km2)
 • Land3.40 sq mi (8.82 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
702 ft (214 m)
 • Total9,584
 • Density2,815.51/sq mi (1,087.08/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code(s)
Area code708
FIPS code17-72520
Wikimedia CommonsSteger, Illinois

Steger is a village in Cook County and Will County, Illinois, United States.[2] It is 35 miles (56 km) south of Chicago and had a population of 9,584 at the 2020 census.[3]


The settlement was founded in 1891 by Chicago real estate interests[4] and initially named Columbia Heights in honor of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition which the City of Chicago had been preparing to host since 1889.[5]

John Valentine Steger built a piano factory there on a parcel of land south of Chicago Heights that was sited immediately west of the Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad tracks and bordered by the tracks, Vincennes Avenue (now Chicago Road) and 33rd and 34th Streets.[6] By 1904, the factory covered 23 acres (9.3 ha) and had a capacity of sixteen thousand pianos per year.[7]

Steger was incorporated in 1896 with 324 residents, at which time John Steger agreed to pay $400 toward incorporation costs with the understanding that the town would change its name to Steger, and he subsequently served two terms as the village's board president. He avoided the issues that had plagued George Pullman in his "model town" by encouraging private home ownership and commerce.[8] By 1920, Steger was called the "piano capital of the world",[9] producing more than a hundred pianos a day. After demand diminished for pianos, the plant closed in 1928.[10]


According to the 2010 census, Steger has a total area of 3.45 square miles (8.94 km2), all land.[11]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[12]
2010[13] 2020[14]
Steger village, Illinois - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)[a]
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[13] Pop 2020[14] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 6,103 4,536 63.77% 47.33%
Black or African American alone (NH) 1,818 2,481 19.00% 25.89%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 8 12 0.08% 0.13%
Asian alone (NH) 96 74 1.00% 0.77%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 0 2 0.00% 0.02%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 7 56 0.07% 0.58%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 181 388 1.89% 4.05%
Hispanic or Latino 1,357 2,035 14.18% 21.23%
Total 9,570 9,584 100.00% 100.00%
Steger depot, 1965

As of the 2020 census[15] there were 9,584 people, 4,014 households, and 2,351 families residing in the village. The population density was 2,815.51 inhabitants per square mile (1,087.07/km2). There were 4,293 housing units at an average density of 1,261.16 per square mile (486.94/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 51.93% White, 26.46% African American, 0.53% Native American, 0.81% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 9.46% from other races, and 10.77% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21.23% of the population.

There were 4,014 households, out of which 29.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.21% were married couples living together, 13.23% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.43% were non-families. 34.98% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.75% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.07 and the average family size was 2.31.

The village's age distribution consisted of 22.1% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 24% from 25 to 44, 26.3% from 45 to 64, and 17.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.5 years. For every 100 females, there were 117.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 112.1 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $49,492, and the median income for a family was $67,639. Males had a median income of $48,100 versus $29,272 for females. The per capita income for the village was $26,564. About 8.4% of families and 12.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.0% of those under age 18 and 5.0% of those age 65 or over.

Parks and recreation

Steger Fire Department, circa 1920

Steger has two main parks: Harold Hecht (Fireman's) Park and Veteran's Park.[16]


Steger is divided between two congressional districts. The area in Cook County is in Illinois's 2nd congressional district, while the area in Will County is in the 11th district.


Pace provides bus service on Route 358 connecting Steger to downtown Chicago Heights and other destinations.[17]

Notable people


  1. ^ 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.


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  2. ^ McClellan, Larry A. (2004). The Encyclopedia of Chicago. Chicago: The Chicago Historical Society. p. 783. ISBN 0226310159.
  3. ^ "Steger village, Illinois". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  4. ^ "Classified advertisement FOR SALE - AT COLUMBIA HEIGHTS". The Chicago Daily Tribune: 19. October 15, 1891.
  5. ^ Appelbaum, Stanley (1980). The Chicago World's Fair of 1893: A Photographic Record. New York: Dover Publications, Inc. pp. 1. ISBN 048623990X.
  6. ^ "Among Architects and Builders - The Usual Quantity of Projects for Apartments and Flats". The Chicago Daily Tribune: 28. December 6, 1891.
  7. ^ "PIANO MAGNATE'S GUESTS AT AN ALL-NIGHT FEAST - Chicago Heights Club Entertains in Honor of John V. Steger's Fiftieth Birthday". The (Chicago) Inter Ocean: 1. March 25, 1904.
  8. ^ Stevenson, William Wallace (1907). Past and Present of Will County. Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Company. p. 236.
  9. ^ Grossman, James R., Ann Durkin Keating and Janice L. Reiff (2004). The Encyclopedia of Chicago. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. p. 783. ISBN 0226310159.((cite book)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  10. ^ "Steger Residents Will Seek New Source of Steam Supply". The Chicago Heights Star: 1. August 10, 1928.
  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) - Steger 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) - Steger village, Illinois". United States Census Bureau.
  15. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved June 28, 2022.
  16. ^ Storey, Edward H (1961). A Park and Recreation Plan for the Village of Steger, Illinois. Urbana: Recreation and Parks Field Service - The University of Illinois. pp. 21–2.
  17. ^ "RTA System Map" (PDF). Retrieved January 28, 2024.