Ford Heights (formerly East Chicago Heights) is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 2,763 at the 2010 census. It is located approximately 25 miles (40 km) south of downtown Chicago. The village suffers from high levels of crime and poverty and was once known as the poorest suburb in America.
Ford Heights is located at 41°30′33″N 87°35′17″W.
According to the 2010 census, Ford Heights has a total area of 1.95 square miles (5.05 km2), all land. The village lies on the edge of the Tinley Moraine.
The area that would eventually become Ford Heights was first settled in the late 1840s. It served as a stopping point on the Underground Railroad for runaway slaves fleeing to freedom. By the early 20th century, the area had developed into an agricultural community of farms operated mostly by Poles, Lithuanians, and Italians. After World War I, African Americans from the Southern U.S. migrated to the area and worked on the farms.
A new subdivision known as the "Park Addition" was created on a farm road from Chicago Heights to Indiana, and it attracted residents to the area during the early 1920s.