About Brookfield: 2020 Master Plan: Section 2: Community Overview

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The Village of Brookfield is located 13 miles west of downtown Chicago in Cook County, Illinois. Brookfield is an established inner-ring suburb of Chicago, a "bedroom community", of 3.1 square miles.

The Village of Brookfield is well positioned for convenient access to and from the City of Chicago and the Chicago Region. Ogden Avenue (U.S. Route 34) passes through the Village, and Interstate 290 and Interstate 55 are located within close proximity. There are three Metra stations within Brookfield along the Burlington Northern/Santa Fe railway, providing service to the City of Chicago to the east, and Aurora to the west.



The findings and recommendations set forth in this report are based on a combination of several data resources and research methods. Listed below are the tasks completed for the demographic overview and market analysis of Brookfield.

  1. Conducted interviews with Village staff and representatives of the real estate industry regarding Brookfield and the market conditions in the community for the 2020 Master Plan. A list of persons interviewed for this project is provided in Appendix B – Community Outreach.
  2. Surveyed residential units, both attached and detached, recently completed residential developments, and projects currently under construction to help assess the future residential potentials in Brookfield.
  3. Surveyed the existing retail development areas in Brookfield to determine current market conditions and potential future competition.
  4. Analyzed secondary data describing demographics, employment, and real estate trends at the trade level, municipal, and regional levels. Sources include the United States Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Claritas, Inc., the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission (NIPC), and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) of Greater Chicago.
  5. Collected supplementary information from the Village of Brookfield’s website.


General Overview

In order to understand market conditions and potentials within the area, the Consultant analyzed demographic trends at the Village and metropolitan levels. Demographic characteristics of the population play an important role in the development and redevelopment of Brookfield. Population, age, income, race, employment, and education variables influence which retailers will consider locating in Brookfield, as well as indicate the potential buyer profile for residential units.

This section provides an evaluation of historic trends in population and housing change within Brookfield, as well as a current snapshot of key demographics in Cook County and the greater Chicago region. In addition, comparisons to the nearby communities of Westchester, Riverside, LaGrange, and Countryside are included in this report as a way to understand the competitive advantages Brookfield offers. An understanding of the growth and composition of the local population provides an important foundation for the Brookfield 2020 Master Plan. Estimates for 2003 and forecasts for 2008 and 2020 are included in the overview.

The analysis highlights the key findings and conclusions reached by the Consultant. The demographic overview includes an assessment of (1) population and household characteristics; (2) racial and ethnic identification; (3) housing unit characteristics; and (4) income and employment statistics. In order to analyze trends, 1980, 1990 and 2000 data have been included.

In order to make the figures more meaningful, it is useful to compare a community within a larger context. The Village of Brookfield, Cook County, Illinois falls within the Chicago-Gary-Kenosha Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). Data from that MSA and Cook County are utilized in this analysis.

Village of Brookfield: Summary of Trends

Brookfield is a well-known community, particularly because it is home to the world-famous Brookfield Zoo. Brookfield is an established inner-ring suburb of Chicago, a "bedroom community", of 3.1 square miles. Brookfield is a stable middle-class community experiencing little to no population growth. The population is very family-oriented. The housing stock is older, but solid and well maintained. Most of the residents of Brookfield are long-term residents. While population, social, and housing characteristics have remained fairly stable over the last 20 years, there are still some changes occurring in Brookfield that have implications for long-range planning.

The following highlights the major trends that describe the Village of Brookfield:

Demographic Issues and Concerns

Based on the following demographic section, some issues and concerns related to population and housing have been identified and should be considered as the Village continues to plan for the future:

Specific numbers and percentages are presented in detail in the following section.

Population and Households

Age Distribution

Racial/Ethnic Identification


Income and Employment

Comparisons to Nearby Communities

Key demographics of the nearby communities of Westchester, Riverside, LaGrange, and Countryside are highlighted below as a way to understand the competitive advantages Brookfield offers. All communities are established, "inner ring" western suburban municipalities, but they do differ in various aspects.

Brookfield, Illinois: Demographic Comparisons, 2000

  Brookfield Westchester Riverside LaGrange Countryside
Total population 19,085 16,824 8,895 15,608 5,991
Median age 38 44.9 40.5 37.8 41.2
Over 18 76.1% 81.4% 76.1% 71.5% 80.1%
65 and older 15.2% 25.4% 15.4% 13.5% 15.7%
Racial Identification
White 93.5% 86.2% 95.4% 91.0% 92.3%
Black or African American 0.9% 7.2% 0.3% 6.0% 2.2%
American Indian 0.1% 0.1% 0.1% 0.1% 0.1%
Asian 1.2% 3.4% 1.6% 1.0% 1.6%
Hispanic/Latino 8.1% 5.7% 5.5% 3.7% 6.8%
Other 4.2% 3.1% 2.7% 1.9% 3.9%
Education (population age 25+)
High school graduate or higher 87.8% 89.0% 93.6% 92.7% 84.3%
Bachelor's degree or higher 10.1% 30.8% 51.1% 55.0% 23.0%
Total households 7,536 7,015 3,552 5,624 2,661
Family households 66.8% 70.2% 68.6% 72.0% 60.3%
Married-couple family 52.5% 58.3% 57.4% 60.3% 46.0%
Non-family 33.2% 29.8% 31.4% 28.0% 39.7%
Average family size 3.1 2.9 3.1 3.2 2.9
Average household size 2.5 2.4 2.5 2.7 2.3
Total housing units 7,753 7,123 3,668 5,781 2,818
Vacant housing units 2.8% 1.5% 3.2% 2.7% 5.6%
Owner-occupied 74.7% 98.5% 78.9% 81.6% 71.6%
Renter-occupied 25.3% 6.4% 21.1% 18.4% 28.4%
Median value of owner-occupied units $ 151,600 $ 168,900 $ 264,200 $ 271,800 $ 201,600
Median household $ 52,636 $ 59,928 $ 64,931 $ 80,342 $ 45,469
Per capita $ 24,307 $ 29,634 $ 34,712 $ 34,887 $ 25,449
Individuals below poverty level 4.3% 2.5% 3.0% 4.0% 3.7%
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