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Des Plaines

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About Des Plaines

Des Plaines is a major suburb of Chicago, sharing its name with the Des Plaines River that flows just east of its downtown district. The city acts as a major distribution center for raw materials and finished products, with many different industries providing steady jobs. Theater and arts guilds and an extensive park district provide ample recreation, making this a desirable city on the outskirts of Chicago.

The History of Des Plaines

The Illinois farmland that would eventually become Des Plaines was settled largely by German immigrants seeking political and economic freedom in the 1840s and 50s. The Illinois and Wisconsin Land Co. purchased large amounts of land along a planned railroad line, constructing a steam-powered mill next to the river. The mill served to make railroad ties from the area's many trees. When Socrates Rate purchased the mill, it was converted into a grist mill. This shift caught the attention of farmers, who relocated to the area to take advantage of the opportunity.

The city took its name from the Chicago, St. Paul and Fond du lac Railroad train station placed in the area, which was dubbed Des Plaines. The village of Des Plaines was incorporated in 1869 with a population of 800. It became a city in 1925 and experienced a population boom that took it from 9,000 residents to over 50,000 just after World War II.

Jobs in Des Plaines

The unemployment rate in Des Plaines is significantly lower than the state and national averages, which means you're likely to find plenty of options if you're searching for a job. Because the city has a diversified economy, its able to provide jobs in a range of industries, greatly benefiting the local job market. Education, entertainment and health care are among the city's largest industries.

The largest employers in Des Plaines span many different sectors, with companies that include chemical engineering plant Honeywell UOP, Rivers Casino, Holy Family Medical Center and the local school districts and community college.

Des Plaines Schools

Several different school districts serve Des Plaines, including Elementary Districts #62, #59 and #26 as well as the Maine Township High School District #207 and Elk Grove Township High School District #214. There are several private schools that provide additional educational options.

Oakton Community College is Des Plaines' local public community college.

Resources for Moving to Des Plaines

As you get ready for your move to Des Plaines, the following information will be helpful:

  • Utilities: The city utilities department oversees the distribution and billing of residential water services. Commonwealth Edison supplies the city with electricity, and Northern Illinois Gas is the major natural gas provider.
  • Garbage and Recycling: Republic Services facilitates the city's trash and recycling collection program.
  • Transportation: The Metra train line provides a direct route to downtown Chicago from Des Plaines. You can also utilize the Pace Bus system to get around Des Plaines and the surrounding cities.

Des Plaines Housing

The Des Plaines housing market has a fairly high average price, surpassing both national and Chicago metro area averages. It's far more common to buy rather than rent in Des Plaines, but there are still plenty of options to consider on the rental market.