About the County
Peoria County Government
Peoria County Government has 825 employees serving under 8 Elected Officials and 13 senior managers, the latter reporting directly to the County Administrator. 18 County Board Members set policy for the organization and determine the County's annual work plan.
Through a collaborative strategic planning process between staff, elected officials, and county board members, Peoria County Government has identified six strategic goals to focus the organization’s energy and resources on through 2020: Financial Stability, Infrastructure Stewardship, Effective Service Delivery, Healthy Vibrant Communities, Workforce Development, and Collaboration.
Known as the Heart of Illinois, Peoria County is at the center of a multiple county region along the Illinois River midway between Chicago and St. Louis. Peoria County, Illinois (population 182,495) combines big city assets with a small town lifestyle and is an attractive location for new businesses. The region's central location and moderate population encourage local economic growth and support a variety of recreational and cultural opportunities.
Naturally, residents and visitors alike equate Peoria with Caterpillar Inc., but the region also boasts the USDA's National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research Lab, a renowned and booming regional medical community, and many innovative high-tech firms. The region spends more than $100 million annually on research and development, and is experiencing over $1 billion in new construction. The region's transition from a manufacturing economy to an innovation economy is rooted in the Peoria Next Innovation Center, a technology business incubator.
Peoria County offers affordable housing, quality education, and unique cultural experiences. Housing in the area includes riverfront property, comfortable homes in cozy neighborhoods, and secluded country living with the average sale price in the region a reasonable $116,000 in 2017. The County's 18 public school districts have a current enrollment of more than 29,000 and boasts a graduation rate of 90.3%, 7% higher than the national average. A number of private schools are also located in the County. The region is home to Bradley University, Illinois Central College, Robert Morris University, Midstate College and the University of Illinois College of Medicine. Cultural enthusiasts can watch quality performing arts, visit fine art galleries and experience local and regional museums.
Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the Illinois River, which carries in excess of 39 million tons of freight through the County each year and offers boating, fishing, and water sports.
Jubilee College State Park is 3500 acres filled with horse, bike, and walking trails, a fishing pond, and camping. Animal lovers will enjoy Peoria Zoo, with its newly expanded Africa! exhibit, as well as Wildlife Prairie Park, a 2000 acre zoological park with wolves, bison, cougar, and elk. Plus, the award-winning Peoria Park District stewards more than 9000 acres of land that includes public golf courses, recreational centers, and the Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum.
Peoria is also home to professional hockey and baseball teams and the Louisville Slugger Sports Complex, which hosts many youth sporting events and tournaments. The Illinois High School Association boys basketball state championships “play in Peoria” each year, drawing in visitors from all over the state.
Location & 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 bring the primary crop. roughly 25,000 acres in the county is woodland. Most of the woodland is along the 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.
- West Peoria