Introduction to Evanston, Illinois

Evanston is situated near Lake Michigan and located in Cook County. Evanston is recognized as a suburb of Chicago and was established in 1836.


Before Evanston was settled by Europeans, the area was inhabited by the Potawatomis. They were relocated to Iowa in the 1830s. The Evanston area was created from the Grosse Point Territory during the 1830s. In the 1840s the region was inhabited primarily by farmers. In 1850 it was renamed "Ridgeville." Evanston was selected as the location for Northwestern University and was incorporated in 1863. It was named Evanston as a tribute to the founder of Northwestern University, John Evans.

Evanston had a thriving economy and a significant population increase shortly after the end of the Civil War. It has been estimated that the population quadrupled between 1860 and 1870. During this era, alcohol was not allowed to be sold within four miles of Northwestern University. The city became recognized for attractive architecture and beautiful houses along Lake Michigan. Evanston experienced a huge growth in the number of apartments in the area in the early stages of the twentieth century due to the availability of rapid transit which was provided by the "Chicago Loop." The population grew by an estimated 70 percent between 1920 and 1930.


The city is served by the CTA's Purple Line which belongs to the Chicago El system. Metros's Union Pacific North Line has stations in Evanston. The city of Evanston is served by O'Hare International Airport and by the Chicago Midway International Airport.

Higher Education

The prestigious Northwestern University has a campus in Evanston. The campus offers undergraduate programs and is the location of the business school. The campus is home to the Henry Crown Sports Pavilion as well as the Technological Institute.


The lakefront area and the beaches are popular with residents and tourists. The beach areas include Lighthouse Beach, Demspter/Greenwood St. Beach, South Boulevard Beach, Clark Street Beach, and Lee Street Beach. Boating opportunities are available. Other attractions in the Evanston area include:

  • Evanston History Center
  • Frances Willard House
  • Grosse Point Lighthouse and Maritime Museum
  • Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art


The city of Evanston is host to the annual Evanston Lakeshore Arts Festival. The festival features classical and jazz music and family entertainment. Other events in Evanston include:

  • Custer Street Fair
  • Fountain Square Arts Festival
  • Starlight Concerts
  • Evanston Ethnic Arts Festival


Total Population 75,603
Male Share of the Population 47.4%
Female Share of the Population 52.6%
Senior Citizens 12.7%
Employed Population 16+ 35,867
Age of the Population 35


% of people married 41.8%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 66.4%
Median Earnings25+ $47,973
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $20,607
Median Earnings With High School Degree $30,979


Median Family Income $104,904
% Above Poverty Level 86.6%
% Below Poverty Level 13.4%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 30 minutes
% Working from Home 8.2%
% Walking and Biking to Work 15.2%
% Using Public Transportation 22.1%


People Living Alone 37%
Median Gross Rent $1,200
Median House Value $348,600


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 36.8%
US/American 0.1%
English 8.1%
Irish 12.9%

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

Evanston Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 12 miles N of Chicago, Illinois
County Cook
Standard Zip Codes 60201, 60202, 60203
P.O. Box Zip Codes 60204
Company Zip Codes 60208, 60209
Phone Area Codes 847
Time Zone Central (-6 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 42.041
Longitude -87.69

Evanston Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


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

Distance 8 miles
Jan Temp 14 to 30 F
Apr Temp 37 to 56 F
Jul Temp 63 to 83 F
Oct Temp 42 to 63 F
Annual Precip 36.8 inches
Distance 23.6 miles
Jan Temp 12 to 29 F
Apr Temp 36 to 55 F
Jul Temp 61 to 82 F
Oct Temp 41 to 62 F
Annual Precip 34 inches
Station WHEATON 3 SE
Distance 24.8 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

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income

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

Evanston Public Libraries

Evanston P.l.
Evanston, Illinois
(847) 866-0300
Library Web Site

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More Information for Librarians

Evanston Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Other)
(847) 432-8000
Emergency Service: Yes

(Voluntary non-profit - Church)
(847) 316-4000
Emergency Service: Yes

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Melrose Park
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Evanston High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 3,118 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 12.4

A Special Education School
Serves 70 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 6.9

Additional Details
Evanston Colleges
Evanston colleges and trade schools.
Evanston Graduate Schools
Evanston Graduate and Business Schools
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Additional Resources
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