Introduction to Elgin, Illinois

Elgin, Illinois, in Kane county, is 34 miles W of Chicago, Illinois. The people of the city are in the Chicago metropolitan area.

Elgin History

The present day city of Elgin was originally inhabited by the Native American tribes. The area was settled in by the whites after the Black Hawk Indian War of 1832. James T. Gifford and Hezekiah Gifford, two brothers from New York, established the city in April 1835. It was named after the 'song of Elgin', the Scottish hymn. The Galena & Chicago Union Railroad entered the city in 1849. The city is the home of the Elgin Watch Company, the leading producer of watches in Unites States.

Elgin and nearby Attractions

  • Historical Radio Museum
  • Fox River Trolley Museum
  • Santa's Village - Illinois
  • Racing Rapids
  • Elgin Area Historical Society & Museum
  • Ferson Creek Fen Nature Preserve

Things To Do In Elgin

There are several parks and playgrounds in Elgin including the Wing Park, Zayres Park, Channing Park, and Wright Avenue Park. Leisure time can be spent at the Elgin Shores County Forest Preserve and Poplar Creek County Forest Preserve. The Elgin Fire Barn No. 5 Museum, Elgin Public Museum, and Elgin Area Historical Society Museums are worth visiting. While staying in the city, you can enjoy shopping at the Wing Park Manor Shopping Center, Summit Square Shopping Center, Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center, Clock Tower Plaza Shopping Center, Tyler Creek Plaza Shopping Center, and Fox River Plaza Shopping Center.

Elgin Transportation

International flights are available from Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

Elgin Higher Education

Elgin Community College and Judson College are the local colleges.


Total Population 112,105
Male Share of the Population 50%
Female Share of the Population 50%
Senior Citizens 9.9%
Employed Population 16+ 52,977
Age of the Population 33


% of people married 50.3%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 24.3%
Median Earnings25+ $32,805
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $21,653
Median Earnings With High School Degree $26,381


Median Family Income $68,551
% Above Poverty Level 86.4%
% Below Poverty Level 13.6%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 29 minutes
% Working from Home 2.9%
% Walking and Biking to Work 1.5%
% Using Public Transportation 2.3%


People Living Alone 22.7%
Median Gross Rent $981
Median House Value $165,800


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 56.1%
US/American 0%
English 3.9%
Irish 7.5%

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

Elgin Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 34 miles W of Chicago, Illinois
County Kane
Standard Zip Codes 60120, 60123
P.O. Box Zip Codes 60121
Phone Area Codes 847
Time Zone Central (-6 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 42.037
Longitude -88.281

Elgin Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


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

Station ELGIN
Distance 2 miles
Jan Temp 11 to 28 F
Apr Temp 36 to 58 F
Jul Temp 62 to 83 F
Oct Temp 40 to 62 F
Annual Precip 37.2 inches
Station AURORA
Distance 18.8 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 18.8 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

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

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

Hoffman Est (60120, 60192)

Plato Center (60124)

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

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Bartlett 41,552 $106,292
East Dundee 3,074 $73,098

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

Elgin Public Libraries

Gail Borden P.l.d.
Elgin, Illinois
(847) 742-2411
Library Web Site

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Elgin Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Other)
(847) 742-9800
Emergency Service: Yes

(Voluntary non-profit - Church)
(708) 695-3200
Emergency Service: Yes

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Elgin High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 2,550 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 20.5

A Magnet School.
Serves 2,311 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 20.8

A Special Education School
Serves 139 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 13

A Special Education School
Serves 107 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 5.4

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Elgin Colleges
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Elgin Graduate Schools
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