Rockford is a city located in Winnebago County Illinois. It is also the county seat of Winnebago County. With a 2020 population of 144,213, it is the 5th largest city in Illinois (after Chicago, , , and ) and the 186th largest city in the United States . Rockford is currently declining at a rate of -0.48% annually and its population has decreased by -5.66% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 152,871 in 2010. Spanning over 65 miles, Rockford has a population density of 2,240 people per square mile.
The average household income in Rockford is $61,396 with a poverty rate of 22.28%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $772 per month, and the median house value is $91,600. The median age in Rockford is 37.2 years, 35.5 years for males, and 39 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.
Rockford, IL Religion Statistics
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.
Rockford Population Changes
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.