East Chicago is a city in Lake County, Indiana, United States. The population was 29,698 at the 2010 census. It is the home of Marktown, Clayton Mark's planned worker community.
The land that became East Chicago was originally swampland unsuitable for farming. The state of Indiana began selling off plots of land to railroads and speculators after 1851 to fund the local school system. Settlement of the area was very slow at first, and as late as the 1890s, the city had no proper streets or public utilities. East Chicago was incorporated as a city in 1893. The city was named from its location east of Chicago, Illinois.
The 1900 Census gives a total population of just 3,411, but the arrival of the Inland Steel Corporation in 1903 transformed the city into an industrial powerhouse. The city's population skyrocketed to over 24,000 by 1910, powered by immigration from all over Europe and the United States, and quickly became the most industrialized city in the United States, with over 80% of the city's land zoned for heavy industry. The Inland Steel corporation would dominate the city's economy through the 1990s, and expanded its massive integrated mill at Indiana Harbor multiple times through the 1980s. From 60,000 tons of steel capacity in 1903, it expanded to 600,000 tons by 1914 and reached 1 million in 1917, and eventually peaked at 8.6 million tons in 1978.