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Chicago's Community Areas and Neighborhoods

A guide to Chicago's neighborhoods and 77 officially designated community areas

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What You'll Find in This Guide

Did you know that Back of the Yards is officially New City? That Pilsen is the Lower West Side? Chicago is a city of communities, each with its own history and character, but oftentimes with different names depending on who you ask or where you look. 

Officially Chicago is made up of 77 community areas designated by the city, however it is also home to more than a hundred neighborhoods with boundaries and names that are ever shifting. A single community area might contain multiple neighborhoods, while a single neighborhood might span the borders of two community areas. Logan Square is both the name of a community area and the name of one of the three neighborhoods within it. All of this can pose a challenge to researchers trying to find information on a specific part of the city.

This subject guide provides resources examining the history of how Chicago's communities formed, as well as examples of some of the types of resources available for information on the neighborhoods and community areas that make the city so unique.


Community areas and wards

Brubaker, C. William, 1980, University of Illinois at Chicago,

Online Sources