Rockford is a city located in Winnebago County Illinois. Rockford has a 2023 population of 145,716. It is also the county seat of Winnebago County.Rockford is currently declining at a rate of -0.68% annually and its population has decreased by -2.02% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 148,719 in 2020.
The average household income in Rockford is $64,532 with a poverty rate of 21.96%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to - per month, and the median house value is -. The median age in Rockford is 37.6 years, 36.3 years for males, and 38.9 years for females.
It is located in both Winnebago County, where it serves as the county seat, and a small portion of the city is also located in Ogle County. By population, Rockford is the third largest city in Illinois, and it is the largest city outside of the Chicago metro area.
Religious residents in Rockford report that the population is predominantly Catholic. However, other religions are practiced amongst the city’s residents, including Buddhism, Muslim, and Jewish practices. Approximately 14% of Rockford’s population lives below the federal poverty line.
The city was once one of the leading manufacturers in the United States of furniture, machinery, and heavy tools. However, when the manufacturing industry declined, the city turned to other sectors to stimulate the economy, including healthcare, tourism, and aerospace. Currently, the city’s population is down over 3% from the last official census data recorded in 2010. However, the city is making efforts to bring residents back into the city, including a revitalization of the downtown area. Whether these efforts will be successful remains unknown, and only time will tell if Rockford’s population will once again be on the rise.
The city of Rockford was initially established by a group of four men that had come from the nearby town of Galena. Initially, the settlement claimed the name of 'Midway' due to its unique location at a midpoint between the settlements of Chicago and Galena. However, a ford that was placed perfectly on the Rock River lead to a new name for the developing city - Rockford.
The city of Rockford was officially incorporated in 1839 and was granted city status in 1852. The city became known for the craftsmanship of furniture. The industry didn't survive the struggles that the Great Depression and the following Second World War would place on the city. After the wars, Rockford industry became based in machinery, automotive, packaging, and innovation of exciting products. Some of the popular innovations attributed to the area include the airbrush and the dollar bill changer among many other tools.
The 1992 move, A League of Their Own, featured the Rockford Peaches - which was an all-girls baseball team.
According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Rockford was:
Black or African American
Two or more races
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
Average Family Size
Average Household Size
Rate of Home Ownership
Less Than 9th Grade
9th to 12th Grade
High School Graduate
High School Graduation Rate
The highest rate of high school graduation is among islander people with a rate of 100%.
The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among islander people with a rate of 50.57%.
Other Indo-European Languages
Asian and Pacific Island Languages
78.44% of Rockford residents speak only English, while 21.56% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 14.47% of the population.
Overall Poverty Rate
Male Poverty Rate
Female Poverty Rate
The race most likely to be in poverty in Rockford is Black, with 38.15% below the poverty level.
The race least likely to be in poverty in Rockford is Native, with 5.47% below the poverty level.
The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 5.54%. Among those working part-time, it was 24.69%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 26.06%.
Overall Marriage Rate
Male Marriage Rate
Female Marriage Rate
The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over 65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 35-44.
Second Gulf War
First Gulf War
World War II
Less Than 9th Grade
High School Graduate
Bachelors or Greater
Veteran Poverty Rate
Veteran Disability Rate
Labor Force Participation
Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.
Born in Rockford
89.31% of Rockford residents were born in the United States, with 68.27% having been born in Illinois. 7.6% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.