Demographics About Peoria, IL

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Peoria is a city located in central Illinois along the Illinois River. With a population of around 114,000, it is the largest city in the Peoria Metropolitan Statistical Area and the third largest city in Illinois after Chicago and Rockford. Peoria has a diverse economy centered around healthcare, manufacturing, education, and tourism.

The city has a rich history and culture and is known for being the home of Caterpillar Inc. Let’s take a deeper look at the demographics and statistics that define Peoria.


  • As of the 2020 census, the population of Peoria was 114,189. This is a decrease from the 2010 census when the population was 115,007.
  • Peoria is the 7th most populous city in Illinois. The largest city is Chicago with a population of 2.7 million.
  • The Peoria Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Peoria and surrounding communities, has a population of about 406,883.

Age Distribution

  • Median Age: 34.3 years old
  • Under 18 years old: 22.4% of population
  • 18 to 64 years old: 61.3% of population
  • 65 years and older: 16.3% of population

Peoria has an aging population, with a median age slightly higher than the national median. However, over 22% of residents are under 18 showing that Peoria still maintains a significant younger demographic.

Gender Distribution

  • Male: 48.1%
  • Female: 51.9%

The gender breakdown of Peoria is almost exactly even between males and females.

Race and Ethnicity

Peoria is predominantly White, with other main racial and ethnic groups including Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino.

  • White: 66.7%
  • Black or African American: 24.3%
  • Hispanic or Latino (of any race): 6.8%
  • Asian: 2.6%
  • Two or more races: 3.0%
  • American Indian and Alaska Native: 0.5%
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 0.1%

While Peoria remains majority White, the city has been growing more racially and ethnically diverse over the past couple decades. The Hispanic/Latino population has nearly doubled since 2000. The Black/African American population has remained relatively steady at around 25% of the total population.

Household Data

  • Total Households: 45,550
  • Average Household Size: 2.42 people
  • Family Households: 59.6% of total households
  • Non-Family Households: 40.4% of total households

Households in Peoria tend to be on the smaller side, with an average size slightly below the national average. Over 59% of households are family households, while 40% are single person or non-family households.

Household Income

  • Median Household Income: $41,824
  • Per Capita Income: $25,113

Peoria’s median household and per capita incomes are below the national average. Over 22% of the population lives below the poverty line.


Peoria is home to Bradley University, a private university with an enrollment of around 5,500 students. Other colleges and universities in the area include Illinois Central College, a large community college, and campuses of Midstate College, Methodist College, and OSF College of Health Sciences.

  • High School Graduate or Higher: 88.5%
  • Bachelor’s Degree or Higher: 26.6%

Peoria matches up with national averages for educational attainment – almost 89% of residents have at least a high school diploma and over 26% have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Peoria Public Schools

The Peoria Public Schools district serves most of the city. It has:

  • 22 Elementary Schools
  • 3 Middle Schools
  • 5 High Schools

In total, the district has around 13,000 students enrolled. The high schools are Richwoods High School, Manual Academy, Peoria High School, Woodruff Career and Technical Center, and Charter Oak Primary and Middle School.


  • Unemployment Rate: 6.1% (Dec 2021)
  • Top Employment Sectors:
    • Healthcare and Social Assistance
    • Manufacturing
    • Retail Trade
    • Accommodation and Food Services
    • Educational Services

Peoria has a diversified employment base. The healthcare industry is the top employer, with major hospitals and healthcare systems headquartered in Peoria. Manufacturing is another major employer – Caterpillar Inc. is the largest employer in the region with over 12,000 employees in the area. Retail, food service, and education round out some of the other top industries.

Economic Characteristics

As a major metropolitan area in central Illinois, Peoria has a robust and diversified economy. Some key economic characteristics include:

  • Caterpillar Inc., the heavy machinery and engine manufacturer, is headquartered in Peoria and is the region’s largest employer.
  • Major healthcare systems including OSF Healthcare, UnityPoint Health, and UPH Peoria employ thousands in the city.
  • The retail industry has a strong presence in Peoria, with stores at the Shoppes at Grand Prairie, The Landings, and Metro Centre.
  • Tourism centered around the Peoria Riverfront and Caterpillar Visitors Center also contributes to the local economy.
  • Warehousing and distribution hubs take advantage of Peoria’s prime location along Interstate 74. Amazon and Walmart have distribution centers nearby.

While economic growth has been modest to stagnant in recent decades, Peoria still maintains economic strengths in manufacturing, healthcare, and warehousing/distribution. The city does face challenges with unemployment and poverty rates higher than national averages.


In summary, Peoria is mid-sized, midwestern city with a diverse demographic profile. While predominantly White, the city has growing Black, Latino, and Asian populations contributing to a rich culture. An aging population presents certain challenges, but Peoria still maintains a significant youth demographic.

Economic strengths like Caterpillar and healthcare are balanced with high poverty rates. Peoria’s riverfront location, strong education system, and diverse employers will continue shaping the city’s trajectory in the years to come.

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  • Head east on E Orchard Ave toward S Powerline Rd. The destination will be on your right just past S Elder St. Look for the green house with white trim. If you reach the intersection with S Fern St, you’ve gone too far. The total drive is approximately 0.2 miles from S Powerline Rd.
  • From downtown Nampa, take 3rd St S heading south. Turn right onto E Roosevelt Ave and continue for 1.8 miles. Turn left onto S Elder St and drive 0.1 miles until you reach E Orchard Ave. Take a right onto E Orchard Ave. The green house with white trim will be on your right just after turning.
  • Take I-84 W towards Nampa. Take exit 38 for Franklin Blvd toward Nampa/Caldwell. Turn right onto Franklin Blvd and drive 3.2 miles. Turn left onto E Orchard Ave and continue for 0.9 miles. The destination is the green house with white trim on the right just past S Elder St. The total drive from I-84 is approximately 4.5 miles.