Cities in Illinois
Illinois does not allow municipal charter adoption for cities and counties, but does permit the adoption of Home rule status by cities. There are 102 total counties in Illinois. All 102 counties are General law.
There are 1,298 total municipalities in Illinois. Of those 1,298, 1,089 of them are general law municipalities while the remaining 209 are home rule cities. The home rule cities do not have charters.
Types of local government
Local government in Illinois consists of:
- 1,298 city governments.
- 1,431 township governments.
- 102 county governments.
- In addition, there are 3,232 special districts and 905 independent school districts.
Initiative process availability
Illinois law provides for an advisory (non-binding, no legal effect) initiative process on questions of public policy. A binding referendum is required on limited matters, such as tax levies and bonds (Chap 10 Election Code, Art. 28). Residents of home-rule counties and cities may change their form of government or revert to general law governance by initiative. While mostly formal, this process can have some effects on policy. For example, under the general law, city governments face greater restrictions on raising taxes. Thus, switching from home-rule to general law can help limit tax increases.
There is no broad ordinance initiative process in any of Illinois' cities.
10 most populated cities
|List of Most Populated Cities in Illinois|
|City||Population||City Type||Next election|
|Chicago||2,707,120||Home rule||No I&R|
|Aurora||199,672||Home rule||No I&R|
|Rockford||152,222||General law||No I&R|
|Joliet||148,402||Home rule||No I&R|
|Naperville||142,773||Home rule||No I&R|
|Springfield||117,076||Home rule||No I&R|
|Peoria||115,234||Home rule||No I&R|
|Elgin||109,104||Home rule||No I&R|
|Waukegan||89,426||Home rule||No I&R|
|Cicero||84,261||Home rule||No I&R|
Full list of cities
- See also: List of Illinois cities
|A guide to local ballot initiatives|
- Local Government Types and Numbers Research Spreadsheet
- Illinois Municipal League, Home Rule Municipalities
- The U.S. Census Bureau's 2012 study of local governments
- Illinois Constitution, Article VII, Section 6, accessed October 19, 2012
- Mount Vernon Register-News, "Chamber supports keeping Home Rule," October 19, 2012
- Ballotpedia: Types and #'s of local government by state
- US Census Bureau "City and Town Totals: Vintage 2011 (Population figures as of 2011 Census estimates)