Introduction to Aurora, Illinois

The Illinois city of Aurora is located about 42 miles west of Chicago along the Illinois East/West Tollway Corridor. Although traditionally considered as belonging to Kane County, the city limits of Aurora actually span portions of four counties (the others being DuPage, Kendall, and Will Counties). Nearby communities include Geneva (to the north), De Kalb (to the west), Oswega (to the south), and Woodridge (to the east). Illinois State Highway 31 bisects the city, which is also serviced by State Highway 56 and U.S. Routes 30 and 34.

Founded in 1837 by New York natives Joseph and Samuel McCarty, Aurora was originally named McCarty Mills. When it merged with neighboring West Aurora, the two communities incorporated as one in 1857. Known as the "City of Lights," Aurora in 1881 became the first city in the United States to use electric lights for lighting all of the city's streets. For part of the early 1900s, Aurora was home to six different automobile companies, all of which eventually folded. Manufacturing, however, remained a strong part of the city's economy throughout both World Wars and during the Depression years. It wasn't until the 1970s and 1980s that many factories started to close and the city began turning to alternate sources of revenue. A riverboat casino was welcomed into the city's downtown area and development ensued both around the casino and in nearby residential communities. Subsequently, many business parks sprang up on the outer edges of the city and Aurora experienced a large population surge during the last decade of the 20th century. The trend is ongoing as businesses today continue to expand and people continue to move into the area.

Things to do in Aurora

Aurora is replete with attractions, including several museums and theaters, a casino, water parks, and trails for many types of outdoor recreation. The Hollywood Casino, which features over 53,000 square feet of gaming space and includes two restaurants and a robust collection of movie memorabilia, is located in downtown Aurora. Also in the city's downtown area is the Paramount Arts Centre, a large live performance theater built in 1931 in a unique hybrid of Art Deco and French Renaissance. Other year-round theater venues in the city include the First Street Playhouse and the Riverfront Playhouse. Other notable places of interest in the city include the following:

  • Aurora Regional Fire Museum: Features displays of vintage firefighting equipment and memorabilia related to the 1871 Chicago Fire
  • SciTech Interactive Science Museum: Offers hands-on exhibits demonstrating the principles of electricity, weather, astronomy and nuclear energy
  • African-American Heritage Museum & Black Veterans Archives: Mixed-media exhibits chronicle significant events in African-American history
  • David L. Pierce Art & History Center: Rotating art exhibits and a large collection of photographs, maps, books, and other memorabilia
  • The Grand Army of the Republic Hall: Originally built in 1878 as a monument to Aurora's Civil War Veterans
  • Phillips Park Zoo: Established in 1915
  • Sunken Garden: A spectacular display of 15,000 flowers and a three-tiered fountain
  • Walter Payton’s Roundhouse Complex: America's first railroad roundhouse originally constructed in 1856 is also home to the Walter Payton Museum
  • Blackberry Farm’s Pioneer Village: A combination amusement park and museum
  • Aurora Historical Museum: Located in the historic William Tanner House, built in 1856
  • Schingoethe Center for Native American Cultures

Minor league baseball in the Aurora area can be found in the neighboring city of Geneva, home of the Kane County Cougars, a Class A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. The Cougars, who play their home games at Philip B. Elfstrom Stadium, belong to the Midwest League. Major league action is not too far away, as the city of Chicago is within an hour's drive. Included among Chicago's teams are the following:

  • Major League Baseball (American League): White Sox
  • Major League Baseball (National League): Cubs
  • National Football League: Bears
  • National Basketball Association: Bulls
  • National Hockey League: Blackhawks
  • WNBA women's basketball: Sky
  • Major League Soccer: Fire
  • Major League Lacrosse: Machine
  • ABA basketball: Rockstars
  • AFL Arena Football: Rush


Total Population 200,614
Male Share of the Population 49.4%
Female Share of the Population 50.6%
Senior Citizens 7.3%
Employed Population 16+ 93,918
Age of the Population 32


% of people married 51.2%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 31.1%
Median Earnings25+ $36,079
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $22,048
Median Earnings With High School Degree $27,677


Median Family Income $71,174
% Above Poverty Level 85.2%
% Below Poverty Level 14.8%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 29 minutes
% Working from Home 4.1%
% Walking and Biking to Work 1.5%
% Using Public Transportation 4.4%


People Living Alone 19.8%
Median Gross Rent $1,071
Median House Value $168,900


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 58.3%
US/American 0%
English 3.9%
Irish 7.3%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Aurora Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 33 miles W of Chicago, Illinois
County Du Page
Standard Zip Codes 60504, 60505, 60506, 60599
P.O. Box Zip Codes 60507, 60598
Company Zip Codes 60568, 60572
Phone Area Codes 630
Time Zone Central (-6 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 41.76
Longitude -88.29

Aurora Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station AURORA
Distance 1.5 miles
Jan Temp 11 to 29 F
Apr Temp 36 to 59 F
Jul Temp 61 to 84 F
Oct Temp 38 to 63 F
Annual Precip 38.3 inches
Station WHEATON 3 SE
Distance 12.2 miles
Jan Temp 14 to 32 F
Apr Temp 38 to 63 F
Jul Temp 63 to 87 F
Oct Temp 42 to 67 F
Annual Precip 37.9 inches
Station DE KALB
Distance 28.1 miles
Jan Temp 10 to 27 F
Apr Temp 37 to 58 F
Jul Temp 63 to 84 F
Oct Temp 40 to 63 F
Annual Precip 37.3 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Aurora, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Fox Valley (60599)

Fox Valley Facility (60599)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Batavia 26,105 $113,976

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Aurora Public Libraries

Aurora P.l.
Aurora, Illinois
(630) 264-4106
Library Web Site

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More Information for Librarians

Aurora Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Private)
(630) 978-6200
Emergency Service: Yes

(Voluntary non-profit - Church)
(630) 859-2222
Emergency Service: Yes

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Aurora High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

2590 ROUTE 34
Serves 3,156 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15.4

Serves 3,144 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 19.2

A Title I School.
Serves 2,539 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 20.5

A Non-traditional School
Serves 639 students.

A Special Education School
Serves 148 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 7.1

1322 N EOLA RD
A Special Education School
Serves 78 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 6.5

Aurora Colleges

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Additional Details
Aurora Colleges
Aurora colleges and trade schools.
Aurora Graduate Schools
Aurora Graduate and Business Schools
Study Online in Aurora
Historic Aurora


Scene on the Chicago & North Western Ry.. between 1880 and 1899
Additional Resources
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