Joliet (/ˈdʒoʊliɛt, dʒoʊliˈɛt/) is a city in Will and Kendall counties in the U.S. state of Illinois, 30 miles (48 km) southwest of Chicago. It is the county seat of Will County and a major part of the southwest Chicago metropolitan area. At the 2010 census, the city was the fourth largest in Illinois, with a population of 147,433. A population estimate in 2018 put Joliet’s population at 150,495, which would make it the 3rd largest city in Illinois if accurate.
Joliet is located at 41°31′14″N 88°09′02″W / 41.52056°N 88.15056°W / 41.52056; -88.15056 (41.5204200, -88.1505261).
According to the 2010 census, Joliet has a total area of 62.768 square miles (162.57 km), of which 62.11 square miles (160.86 km) (or 98.95%) is land and 0.658 square miles (1.70 km) (or 1.05%) is water. It has a sprawling, irregular shape that extends into nine different townships, more than any other Illinois city. They are: Joliet, Plainfield, Troy, New Lenox, Jackson, Channahon, and Lockport in Will County, and Na-Au-Say and Seward in Kendall County. Joliet is a Des Plaines River town, with the downtown located in the river valley. This is especially evident on Interstate 80 if one is coming from the east or the west where it has been flat for many miles and suddenly the land drops as one approaches the river. This offers a great view looking north to see downtown Joliet. For most of its existence Joliet geographically has had its “west side” and “east side”, referring to areas to the west or the east of the Des Plaines River, which runs through the city. Both sides were roughly proportionate throughout most of its history until the 2nd half of the 20th century when westward expansion began.
Many businesses moved from the downtown area to the expanding areas west of the river. Many stores relocated to the west side in new strip malls and shopping centers with more parking and easier access. This began the decline of the downtown shopping district which is still felt today. Today Joliet has a “west side” and a “far west side” (which includes all city limits in Kendall County). This has given rise to a newly referenced “Central Joliet” portion of the city which essentially is all land west of the Des Plaines River and east of Interstate 55. This new reference may soon change the current meaning of “west side” to west of Interstate 55.
As of July 2014, Joliet was the 169th most populous city in the United States.
As of the census of 2010, there were 147,433 people, 48,019 households, and 34,900 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,288.3 people per square mile (883.5/km²). There were 51,285 housing units at an average density of 796 per square mile (307.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 67.48% white, 15.98% African American, 0.32% Native American, 1.93% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 11.32% from other races, and 2.95% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 27.84% of the population.
There were 48,019 households out of which 30.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.1% were married couples living together, 14% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.3% were non-families. 22.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.01 and the average family size was 3.56.
In the city, the population was spread out with 30.8% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 31.6% from 25 to 44, 20.1% from 45 to 64, and 8.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31.7 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.8 males.
For 2015, the median income for a household in the city was $60,976, and the median income for a family was $69,386. Full-time, year-round working males had a median income of $51,082 versus $39,235 for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,374. About 10.4% of families and 12.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.2% of those under age 18 and 8.4% of those age 65 or over.
From April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2011, Joliet was the fastest-growing city in the Midwestern United States and the 18th fastest-growing city in the United States among incorporated places with more than 100,000 people.