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Is Skokie Chicago's most diverse northern suburb?

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Joe Zekas

20 years on the North Shore without going native.

Old Orchard shopping center, Skokie, Illinois

Evanstonians like to brag (some would say bray) about their town's diversity, but Evanston is not Chicago's most ethnically and racially diverse northern suburb. That honor probably belongs to Skokie. That's right, Skokie.

City-data provides the following breakdown for Skokie:

• White alone - 40,127 (58.7%)
• Asian alone - 16,579 (24.3%)
• Black alone - 5,903 (8.6%)
• Hispanic - 4,083 (6.0%)
• Two or more races - 1,478 (2.2%)
• American alone - 79 (0.1%)
• Other race alone - 55 (0.08%)

Skokie is served by a number of public elementary and high school districts. The school-age population is more diverse than the general population, due to Skokie's relatively large number of older whites. The median age in Skokie is 41.9 while the statewide median is 34.7.

Skokie is economically as well as racially and ethnically diverse. The median household income is estimated at $79,596 and the median price of a residential unit at $225,000. Twenty-six percent of the housing stock of Skokie is renter-occupied. School district statistics reflect a substantial low-income population.

A large influx of immigrants over the past 20 years has resulted in greater religious diversity in Skokie, which was known decades ago for its large Jewish population.

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