Winnebago County
City Hall in Rockford, Illinois.
City Hall in Rockford, Illinois.
Official seal of Winnebago County
Map of Illinois highlighting Winnebago County
Location within the U.S. state of Illinois
Map of the United States highlighting Illinois
Illinois's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 42°20′N 89°10′W / 42.33°N 89.16°W / 42.33; -89.16
Country United States
State Illinois
FoundedJanuary 16, 1836
Named forWinnebago Tribe
SeatRockford
Largest cityRockford
Area
 • Total519 sq mi (1,340 km2)
 • Land513 sq mi (1,330 km2)
 • Water5.9 sq mi (15 km2)  1.1%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total285,350 Decrease
 • Density550/sq mi (210/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional districts16th, 17th
Websitewww.wincoil.us

Winnebago County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2020 census, it had a population of 285,350 making it the seventh most populous county in Illinois behind Cook County and its five surrounding collar counties. Its county seat is Rockford.[1] Winnebago County is the central county of the Rockford Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History

Winnebago County was formed on January 16, 1836, out of Jo Daviess and LaSalle counties. It was named for the Winnebago Tribe of American Indians. At the time the county was founded its inhabitants consisted almost entirely of New Englanders and New England transplants from upstate New York.[2] These were "Yankee" settlers, meaning they were descended from the English Puritans who settled New England during the early 1600s. They made up virtually all of Winnebago County's inhabitants during the first several decades of its history. In this regard the county was similar to most of the northern portion of the state of Illinois, and almost all of the neighboring state of Wisconsin. After the conclusion of the Black Hawk War there was an additional surge of immigration from New England. As a result of this heritage the inhabitants of Winnebago County considered themselves, and functioned as, a cultural expansion of early New England culture.[3] In the Presidential election of 1860, Abraham Lincoln won 3,985 votes in Winnebago County, whereas Stephen A. Douglas only won 817 votes.[4]

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 519 square miles (1,340 km2), of which 513 square miles (1,330 km2) is land and 5.9 square miles (15 km2) (1.1%) is water.[5]

Climate and weather

Rockford, Illinois
Climate chart (explanation)
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M
J
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1.4
 
 
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Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: The Weather Channel[6]

In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Rockford have ranged from a low of 11 °F (−12 °C) in January to a high of 83 °F (28 °C) in July, although a record low of −27 °F (−33 °C) was recorded in January 1982 and a record high of 112 °F (44 °C) was recorded in July 1936. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 1.34 inches (34 mm) in February to 4.80 inches (122 mm) in June.[6]

Major highways

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
18404,609
185011,773155.4%
186024,491108.0%
187029,30119.6%
188030,5054.1%
189039,93830.9%
190047,84519.8%
191063,15332.0%
192090,92944.0%
1930117,37329.1%
1940121,1783.2%
1950152,38525.8%
1960209,76537.7%
1970246,62317.6%
1980250,8841.7%
1990252,9130.8%
2000278,41810.1%
2010295,2666.1%
2019 (est.)282,572[7]−4.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790-1960[9] 1900-1990[10]
1990-2000[11] 2010-2019[12]

As of the 2010 census, there were 295,266 people, 115,501 households, and 76,854 families residing in the county.[13] The population density was 575.2 inhabitants per square mile (222.1/km2). There were 125,965 housing units at an average density of 245.4 per square mile (94.7/km2).[5] The racial makeup of the county was 77.4% white, 12.2% black or African American, 2.3% Asian, 0.3% American Indian, 4.9% from other races, and 2.8% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 10.9% of the population.[13] In terms of ancestry, 25.6% were German, 13.5% were Irish, 9.4% were American, 8.7% were Swedish, 8.3% were English, and 7.4% were Italian.[14]

Of the 115,501 households, 33.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.3% were married couples living together, 14.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 33.5% were non-families, and 27.7% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.07. The median age was 38.3 years.[13]

The median income for a household in the county was $47,198 and the median income for a family was $59,814. Males had a median income of $48,358 versus $32,103 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,008. About 11.5% of families and 15.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.0% of those under age 18 and 7.5% of those age 65 or over.[15]

Communities

Cities

Villages

Census-designated place

Unincorporated communities

Townships

Winnebago County is divided into these townships:

Former Settlement[edit]

Politics

Prior to 1992, Winnebago County was a Republican Party stronghold in presidential elections, only backing the Democratic Party candidates in the national landslides of 1936 & 1964. Since then, it has become a swing county, backing the national winner in every presidential election from 1980 to 2012. In 2016, Hillary Clinton won the county by only 89 votes over Donald Trump, affected by the relatively large third-party vote that year.

United States presidential election results for Winnebago County, Illinois[16]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 60,861 47.66% 64,056 50.16% 2,792 2.19%
2016 55,624 46.33% 55,713 46.41% 8,718 7.26%
2012 55,138 46.18% 61,732 51.70% 2,527 2.12%
2008 53,886 42.53% 70,034 55.27% 2,784 2.20%
2004 60,782 50.06% 59,740 49.20% 903 0.74%
2000 53,816 49.24% 51,981 47.56% 3,500 3.20%
1996 44,479 44.52% 46,264 46.31% 9,167 9.18%
1992 42,221 37.63% 48,298 43.04% 21,696 19.33%
1988 55,699 54.85% 45,280 44.59% 571 0.56%
1984 64,203 58.66% 44,629 40.78% 619 0.57%
1980 48,825 46.46% 32,384 30.82% 23,880 22.72%
1976 52,736 54.15% 42,399 43.54% 2,252 2.31%
1972 57,682 61.46% 35,937 38.29% 231 0.25%
1968 47,646 52.51% 36,702 40.45% 6,391 7.04%
1964 39,920 44.98% 48,834 55.02% 0 0.00%
1960 49,541 55.20% 40,090 44.67% 110 0.12%
1956 48,332 62.38% 29,063 37.51% 89 0.11%
1952 43,468 57.95% 31,409 41.88% 127 0.17%
1948 29,537 51.54% 27,145 47.36% 631 1.10%
1944 30,837 52.31% 27,831 47.22% 277 0.47%
1940 30,683 51.89% 28,061 47.46% 383 0.65%
1936 24,997 46.30% 27,200 50.38% 1,792 3.32%
1932 26,632 57.12% 17,707 37.98% 2,286 4.90%
1928 33,258 80.39% 7,684 18.57% 430 1.04%
1924 21,978 71.32% 2,228 7.23% 6,608 21.44%
1920 19,913 79.23% 3,355 13.35% 1,866 7.42%
1916 14,893 65.04% 6,198 27.07% 1,806 7.89%
1912 2,537 21.32% 2,276 19.12% 7,089 59.56%
1908 8,919 71.54% 2,163 17.35% 1,385 11.11%
1904 8,143 74.80% 1,177 10.81% 1,567 14.39%
1900 8,103 72.69% 2,498 22.41% 546 4.90%
1896 8,242 75.10% 2,447 22.30% 286 2.61%
1892 5,854 62.50% 2,634 28.12% 878 9.37%


See also

References

Specific
  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  2. ^ History of Rockford and Winnebago County, Illinois: From the First Settlement in 1834 to the Civil War pg. 253
  3. ^ The Expansion of New England: The Spread of New England Settlement and Institutions to the Mississippi River, 1620-1865 by Lois imball Mathews pg. 210-212
  4. ^ History of Rockford and Winnebago County, Illinois: From the First Settlement in 1834 to the Civil War, pg. 379
  5. ^ a b "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Rockford, Illinois". The Weather Channel. Retrieved January 27, 2011.
  7. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved March 26, 2020.
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  10. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  12. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  13. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  14. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  15. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  16. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
General

Further reading

Coordinates: 42°20′11″N 89°09′39″W / 42.33639°N 89.16083°W / 42.33639; -89.16083