Edgewater Census Data

Statistics compiled every decade by the U.S. Census Bureau provides useful information for any community. Each census represents a snapshot of certain data when it was compiled. When census data is compared census by census, it can show trends or lack of trends that would otherwise not be apparent.

Number of persons per dwelling unit

For Edgewater, one trend has been the number of persons per dwelling unit: it has almost consistently gone down – from a high of 3.29 in 1930 to a new low of 1.82 in 2010. The few times it went up, the percentage was negligible. In Edgewater the reasons are varied. One is the national trends of married couples having fewer children and having them later, proportionally greater numbers of the marriage age population remaining single, and people living longer and alone. In Edgewater the construction of buildings with studio and one bedroom apartments beginning primarily in the 1920s and then again beginning in the 1960s added to the trend, as these dwelling units were designed for singles and persons without children.

Total Population

More complicated is total population: It did not consistently go up. In fact, there were two dramatic percentage changes from 1930 to 2010. From 1960 to 1970 it increased just over 19 percent; and then from 2000 to 2010, it dropped about 9 percent. The increase can be explained in large part to the construction of high rises along Sheridan Road and 4+1 buildings along Kenmore, Winthrop and Sheridan. The decrease is more difficult to explain as there was no reduction in the number of dwelling units during the decade. Probably the main reasons are the drop in the number of families with children, a drop in the number of children per family, an increase in the number of single persons, and a drop in the number of foreign-born families, who tend to have more children than their U.S.-born counterparts.

Percentage of foreign-born


The percentage of foreign-born ranged from a low of 15 percent in 1950 to a high of 36 percent in 2000. The lower percentages in the earlier decades can perhaps be best explained by the lower number of immigrants nationally beginning in the 1920s. The increased percentages beginning in 1980 can also be explained by the national increase in immigration both legally and illegally and the tendency for immigrants to initially settle in larger cities, but at least part of the explanation is that Edgewater, like its sister community of Uptown to the south, became an entry point for immigrants escaping turmoil and persecution and the threat of persecution in their own countries.

Click here for a breakdown by country of origin as of the 2010 census.

Percentage of single persons to the general population

The percentage of single persons to the total population (age 15 years or older) has also shifted dramatically, from a low of 25 percent in 1960 to a high of 53 percent in 2010. Part of the explanation is the national trend of an increase in the number of persons who never marry and the trend of those who do marry to marry later in life. [Note: marital-status data is not available from the 1940 census]

Age Distribution of the Population

The proportional relationship among age groups represented in the Edgewater population has shifted over time in response to national birth rate trends and the increasing longevity resulting from improved workplace safety and advances in medical care. In 2010 the number of persons over 55 years is almost 60 percent higher than in 1930. By contrast, the number of persons under 25 years has dropped by just over 20 percent, in spite of the expansion of enrollment at Loyola University. Working age population in the 25 to 54 groups has always been the community’s dominant population cluster, actually gaining in number by 5 percent between 1930 and 2010 and representing the same 53 percent of total population in both 1930 and 2010.

Housing Unit Growth

Growth in overall housing units shows a far more dynamic pattern than growth in total population. As average household sizes have shrunk, redevelopment of lower density housing with high-rise and mid-rise structures has greatly expanded the number of available dwelling units. Between 1930 and 2010, just over 17,000 units were added – an increase of more than 17,000 or 107 percent. With this very active level of housing production has come periodically higher vacancy rates, which decline as the new housing is absorbed.

Percentage of owner occupied units to total dwelling units

Most of Edgewater’s multi-unit buildings were built to house child-raising renters, who often lived in the same apartment for decades. From 1930 to 1970, the percentage of owner-occupied units to the total was relatively constant, from a low of 13 percent in 1940 (the impact of the Great Depression caused to fall from 16 percent in 1930) to about 15 percent in 1970. This was a time when detached single family houses made up about 17 percent of total unit count. Beginning in the 1980s, with the construction of high-rise condominiums followed in the 1990s by the conversion to condominiums of older mid-rise apartment buildings, home ownership expanded greatly, reaching a level of 45 percent in 2010, while the number of detached single family houses declined to 8 percent of total dwelling units. While Edgewater never became the wooded suburban enclave resembling John Lewis Cochran’s original models – Philadelphia’s Chestnut Hill and Main Line commuter towns – it has evolved as an urban residential community with many suburban features.



Geographical Distribution (2010 Census)


Edgewater can conveniently be divided into three basic sections: 

East Edgewater (Broadway east to the Lake, census tracts 301, 306 & 307); 

Central Edgewater (between Broadway and Clark, census tracts 302, 305, & 308; and 

West Edgewater (west of Clark, cenus tracts 303, 304, 309). 

Central Edgewater is the largest in area, but only second in population and residential units. As expected East Edgewater, is first in both population and residential units—and by a wide margin.










Central & East

























Residential Units



















Census Tracts

Prior to the 1930 census, enumeration districts changed from census to census and there were no defined community areas within the City of Chicago so that it was difficult to compare data from census to census. There are still enumeration districts, and they can change from census to census, but data is recorded by census tracts which do not change boundaries. Edgewater has nine census tracts. Some census tracts include more than one neighborhood association area, but only three neighborhood association areas are within two census tracts.

The following side-by-side maps show the relationship between census tracts and neighborhood association areas more clearly:

Also, see the tables at the end of this article. The first shows the census tracts and the neighborhood association areas within each; the second is an alphabetical list of neighborhood association areas with the corresponding census tract or tracts.

EHS Board Member Marsha Holland compiled data from the 1930 to 2010 censuses. They are arranged in two ways: (1) by census tract with data by census year, as well as for Edgewater as a whole; and (2) by census year showing all census tracts and Edgewater as a whole.

Click here for an interactive map by Census Tract (to find census data for a particular tract, just click on that section on the map). Below the map is an index of Census Data summary pages by tract, by year and for Edgewater as a whole.

Prior to 1930 census tracts were not used, and the enumeration districts changed with each census.  For the 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 census, Edgewater was included within larger geographical units, first in 1840 Gross Point voting district (which also included Evanston), and then in 1850 Ridgeview Township which also included Evanston and finally beginning in 1860 Lake View Township (which extended west to Western and south to Fullerton and north to Devon.)  Marsha Holland developed tables showing residents within these larger units using the census data available.  These tables will be posted at a later time.

Click here for a 2005 Scrapbook article by Robert Remer on the foreign-born population in Edgewater.


Table 1

Tract Neighborhood Associations / Block Clubs
301 NEBA
303 NEW
304 WEAR
307 EBNA
309 WANT

Table 2

Abbr Neighborhood Assn / Block Club Tract
BARGE Broadway-Ardmore-Ridge-Glenwood-Early 305
EARC East Andersonville Residents Council 308
EBNA Edgewater Beach Neighborhood Assn 307,306
EGA Edgewater Glen Assn 302
ENN Edgewater Neighbors North 302
EPIC Every Person Is Concerned 305,302
ETNA Edgewater Triangle Neighborhood Assn 305
LBRC Lakewood Balmoral Residents Council 308
NEBA North Edgewater Beach Assn 301
NEON North East Organization of Neighbors 302
NET Neighbors on Elmdale-Thorndale 305,302
NEW Neighbors of Edgewater West 303
TAHBS Thorndale-Ardmore-Hollywood-Broadway-Sheridan 306
WANT West Andersonville Neighbors Together 309
WEAR West Edgewater Area Residents 304