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Berkeley is a village located in Cook County, Illinois, United States. Incorporated in 1924, the population at the 2010 census was 5,209.
The town has a commuter railroad station on Metra's Union Pacific/West Line with service to downtown Chicago.
Berkeley is on Cook County's western border, 14 miles west of the Chicago Loop. With Interstates 290 and 294 forming its western and part of its southern boundary, and the Union Pacific Railroad (formerly the Chicago & North Western) and the large Proviso Railyard (a classification yard) to the north, Berkeley has ready access to the metropolitan region. Yet the transportation corridors that make Berkeley accessible to distant places also serve to separate the village from its nearest neighbors, creating a small-town atmosphere.
Berkeley is located at 41°53′12″N 87°54′38″W (41.886794, -87.910528).
According to the 2010 census, Berkeley has a total area of 1.4 square miles (3.63 km2), all land.
Beginning in 1835 the area that was to become Berkeley was home to farmers, most of German and Dutch ancestry. Settling on farms that ranged from 40 to 160 acres, the Dutch tended to be truck farmers, while the Germans did general farming. This small group of farm families established a one-room school called Sunnyside in 1848. Now housed in a larger and newer building, Sunnyside Elementary School still operates today. A short distance west on St. Charles Road (which was completed in 1836), farmland was donated for what is now known as Old Settler's Cemetery.
The 1902 completion of the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin Railroad (interurban) gave the area its first passenger rail service at a stop called Berkeley. Subdivision in 1908 and again in 1914–1915 brought residential construction and new residents, many of whom were English, to the area. At the initiative of these newcomers, the village of Berkeley incorporated in 1924.
The population growth of the early 1900s paled by comparison to the population boom Berkeley experienced after World War II when the village population tripled from 1,882 in 1950 to 5,792 in 1960. At the same time, Berkeley lost a number of houses when the construction of the Interstate 290 extension in the late 1950s cut a north-south swath through the western section of the village. With traffic diverted to the new expressway system, the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin terminated its passenger service in 1957, but its route is still marked through the village by the Prairie Path for bicycling.
Berkeley's land purchase from the railroad in the 1960s extended its northern boundary, allowing for the addition of a small industrial park. In 2000, the facility's 12 light industries included electrical contractors, printing companies, warehouses, wholesalers, the World Dryer Corporation, one of the world's largest manufacturers of hand dryers and Honey-Can-Do International, one of the largest providers of storage and organization products in the United States.
Berkeley has remained predominantly a residential community, however. Many of the people who bought homes in the 1950s stayed in the village through the 1990s. At the opening of the twenty-first century the village expected significant residential turnover as these long-term homeowners sold their properties.
As of the census of 2010, there were 5,209 people, 1,801 households, and 1,304 families residing in the village. The racial makeup of the village was 47.7% White, 31.3% African American, 0.6% Native American, 3.9% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 13.5% from other races, and 3.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 30.7% of the population.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,877 households out of which 33.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.0% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.1% were non-families. 22.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.79 and the average family size was 3.27.
In the village, the population was spread out with 25.6% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.5 males.
The median income for a household in the village was $58,984, and the median income for a family was $67,478. Males had a median income of $40,568 versus $31,370 for females. The per capita income for the village was $24,334. About 4.7% of families and 6.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.6% of those under age 18 and 5.2% of those age 65 or over.
Most children in Berkeley attend schools in Berkeley School District 87 which are Sunnyside Elementary School and MacArthur Middle School. Others attend Hillside School in Hillside School District 93.
Proviso Township High Schools District 209 operates public high schools. The community is served by Proviso West High School in Hillside.
Private school education is available in the Berkeley area with Immanuel Lutheran grade schools in Hillside, and Immaculate Conception, and Visitation grade schools in neighboring Elmhurst. High school age students have several schools to choose from in the Berkeley area including St. Joseph High School in neighboring Westchester, Immaculate Conception High School in Elmhurst, and Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park. Timothy Christian school in Elmhurst is also an option and has students from K through 12.
The village has a sister city in England, Berkeley, Gloucestershire.
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