About the County

Known as the Heart of Illinois, Peoria County is at the center of a multi-county region along the Illinois River. It has a population of 181,830.

The Greater Peoria region has a diverse and vibrant business base and is home to a variety of firms that focus on innovation, research, and development. While agriculture and the manufacturing giants of Caterpillar and Komatsu still have a firm presence, the region’s industries over the last 10 years have noticeably expanded and grown to encompass healthcare, education, banking, and craft distilling, among others. 

The thriving economic base is anchored by our booming medical community. OSF HealthCare and UnityPoint Health are both major employers in the region. Specialty care centers and providers abound. The University of Illinois College of Medicine and Jump Simulation Center are both located in Peoria as well as multiple colleges of nursing. 

Multiple organizations, including Peoria Innovation Alliance, Distillery Labs, and Startup Greater Peoria, are investing in innovation and entrepreneurship in our region to continue to grow diversification efforts. Firms such as Natural Fiber Welding, which blends high fashion with plant-based manufacturing, and Bump Boxes, which curate and ships pregnancy-friendly products nationwide, are choosing Peoria County as their home. 

Peoria County boasts an impressive array of urban amenities that are typically found in larger metropolitan cities. The vibrant arts scene ranges from a symphony orchestra and ballet company to local workshops and galleries. The Peoria Riverfront Museum continually features world-renown traveling exhibits as well as permanent displays from famed local artists. Large and small concert and theatre venues are active and flourishing, and cultural festivals are summer mainstays throughout the County. 

The city of Peoria, which is the County’s population and commercial center, offers a range of leisure time amenities that any metropolitan area of similar size would envy, including a minor league baseball team affiliated with the St. Louis Cardinals, NCAA Division One athletics at Bradley University, and the Rivermen hockey team. Youth sports are plentiful, from recreational play to travel and competitive leagues both within and outside of the local school districts. Peoria is also home to the Louisville Slugger Sports Complex, which hosts many regional and national youth sporting events and tournaments.

The average sale price in the region is a reasonable $114,000. Whether you're looking for a home with a view, urban walkability, close to work or school, or forested seclusion, you'll be able to find what you're looking for.

The County encompasses 18 public school districts, with higher-than-average national graduation rates. In addition, many private schools are located in the County, both secular and with religious affiliations. 

The region is also characterized as one with small-town friendliness and charm. Multiple communities are nestled along the majestic Illinois River, which flows along the entire eastern border of the County. These tight-knit communities are great places to put down roots as well as their small shops and restaurants make for fun regional day-trips.

The river itself is a great economic driver in the County. It carries in excess of 39 million tons of freight each year. The local Illinois Valley Yacht Club and Detweiller Marina allow boating enthusiasts easy access to the water.

The river bluffs slowly transition into prairie-like terrain that supports rich farm ground and agricultural operations in the central and western portions of the County. Roughly 250,000 acres are devoted primarily to corn, soybeans, cattle, hogs, vegetables. We are also home to the USDA's National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research Lab, blending our roots in agriculture with our innovative future.

The landscape lends itself to a plethora of outdoor activities. Abundant golf courses, substantial regional trail systems, fishing and hunting opportunities, a lively running scene, and mountain biking can all be found in the County. 

Family-friendly adventures thrive at the Peoria Playhouse Children’s Museum, Peoria Zoo, Wildlife Prairie Park, rock climbing at First Ascent, and more. Plus, the award-winning Peoria Park District stewards more than 9000 acres of land and recreational centers throughout our county.

Combine all these features with a low cost of living, affordable housing, and hardly any traffic, Peoria County is an ideal place to call home. 

Peoria County Government

Peoria County is governed by an 18-member Board elected by districts to staggered four-year terms.  The Board conducts the bulk of its business through eight (8) standing committees.  The Board hires a professional administrator to manage the day-to-day operations of the organization including supervision of many County departments.  The current Administrator has spent his entire 27-year professional career serving in various capacities within the County including the last 6 ½ years as the County Administrator.  The County has 587 full-time employees and an annual operating budget of $118 million.   

 Geography

Peoria County encompasses 629 square miles running 32 miles north/south and 28 miles east/west. It is a mix of urban and rural. Approximately 200,000 acres in the county are used for farming, with corn and soybeans being the primary crop. Roughly 25,000 acres in the county is woodland. Most of the woodland is along major drainage ways, and some has been pastured to livestock.

While the Illinois River runs along the right side of the county, there are no natural lakes in Peoria County. Man-made lakes and the Illinois River make up more than 9000 acres of surface water.

Cities

Cities in Peoria County

Townships

Townships are separate units of government located within Peoria County. 
  • Akron
  • Brimfield
  • Chillicothe
  • Elmwood
  • Hallock
  • Hollis
  • Jubilee
  • Kickapoo
  • Limestone
  • Logan
  • Medina
  • Millbrook
  • Princeville
  • Radnor
  • Richwoods
  • Rosefield
  • Timber
  • Trivoli
  • West Peoria
  • Peoria
County Map

Villages

Villages in Peoria County.
  • Bartonville
  • Bellevue
  • Brimfield
  • Dunlap
  • Hanna City
  • Kingston
  • Mapleton
  • Mines
  • Norwood
  • Peoria Heights
  • Princeville

Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

Like what you see? For more information about the Peoria County area, please visit the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.