Cities in Illinois

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This page contains a list of cities in Illinois, and other information about local governments.

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.[1]

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.[1][2]

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.[3]

Initiative process availability

See also: Laws governing local ballot measures in Illinois

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.[4][5]

There is no broad ordinance initiative process in any of Illinois' cities.[6]

10 most populated cities

List of Most Populated Cities in Illinois
City[7] 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 Ballot Initiatives cover.jpg

As of the 2010 Census, there were 1,298 incorporated cities and towns in Illinois. A full list of cities in Illinois is available here.

See also