Home to 115,990 people, the community of Peoria is the seventh largest in the state. The city provides excellent living opportunities for people who prefer exploring the great outdoors, and those who enjoy dining, shopping, and entertainment options. Located on the west of the Upper Peoria Lake (along the Illinois River), residents can enjoy access to beautiful parks, golf courses, and historical sites. Winters are snowy, and summers are hot, so residents will get to enjoy a full range of seasonal activities throughout the year.
The city has received the All-America City Award four times (the latest in 2013) and was ranked as one of the best places for businesses and careers by Forbes. National Geographic even recognized the city as of their “50 Next Great Adventure Towns,” for their biking trails and live entertainment options.
Peoria, IL Demographics
Most residents in Peoria (85.12 percent) have a white-collar job in sectors like healthcare and retail.
The community has a higher education than average, with 33.91 percent of adults having a bachelor’s degree or higher (an additional 7.7 percent are college students) and 88.8 percent of adults graduated from high school. Peoria is home to both higher income and lower income households. The median household income is $46,547, which is just under the national average of $55,322.
The diverse community is Caucasian (57.5 percent). African Americans make up 26.2 percent of the city.
Peoria, IL Real Estate
The average home value in Peoria is $118,718. More than 1/3 of homes are valued between $95, 961 and $191,871. Since 2000, home values have appreciated 8.84 percent (an average of .47 percent per year). More than 50 percent of Peoria residents own their home. Only 11 percent of houses in Peoria were built after 2000, while nearly 40 percent were built between 1940 and 1969, and 63 percent of households are single family homes.
Current Real Estate Market for Peoria
As of 01/13/2019, there are currently 734 homes on the market in Peoria. The average asking price is $150,875 and the median asking price is $119,500. The average days on the market for active listings is 131 days and the median is 98 days. Over the past six months, 916 homes have sold with the average sold price of $117,722 and a median sale price of $102,225. The average days on the market for these sold homes was 80 days and the median days on the market was 49 days.
Average Asking Price$150,875
Median Asking Price$119,500
Average Sold Price$117,722
Median Sold Price$102,225
Peoria's Newest Homes For Sale
The earliest settlers arrived in Peoria in 1680. The French explorers then built Fort Crevecoeur, which later burnt to the ground. In 1813, the settlers constructed Fort Clark, and in 1825 Fort Clark was renamed Peoria to align with the creation of the County of Peoria. The name Peoria is a reference to the Peoria tribe. The village was incorporated as a city on April 21, 1845. The city was host to several significant historical events including a speech by President Abraham Lincoln in 1854 and Michael Jordan’s first appearance as a member of the Chicago Bulls in October 1984. Peoria was also a location for Charles Lindbergh’s first air mail route.
Attractions and Traditions
There is no shortage of events and sites to see in Peoria. Art lovers will enjoy the annual Fine Art Fair hosted by the Peoria Art Guild. The nationally-recognized art fair attracts thousands of visitors. More than 100 local, national and international artists show off their work at the three-day event. Running lovers may want to take part in the annual Steamboat Classic. Racers from all over the world show up to take part in the 4-mile or 15k races. Residents and visitors can also enjoy fair food, rides, shows, and competitions at the Heart of Illinois Fair, hosted in Peoria every summer.
Some popular attractions include:
Caterpillar World Visitors Center: The high-tech center will take some time to get through, but it will be time well spent. The facility features eight galleries and four theaters crammed with videos, photographs, and interactive exhibits. Exhibits include antique machinery, a design-your-own machine simulator, and an immersive visualization center.
Peoria Zoo: See animals from all over the world include Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Tropics at the Peoria Zoo. Get a close-up look at lions, giraffes, zebras, takins, birds, fish and reptiles all year long.
Wildlife Prairie Park: Located just outside of Peoria, The Wildlife Prairie Park is an 1,800 acre that houses more than 150 animals. Guests can stay on site and enjoy activities like the butterfly habitat, Adventure Trek, animal trails, mountain biking, hiking, and fishing. The park is open all year, though hours vary based on season.
Peoria Riverfront Museum: This popular attraction features a rotating schedule of attractions including, The Golden Age of Disney, Medical Inventions that Changed the World and Mythical Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns and Mermaids. The museum also includes a large theater and a planetarium.
Peoria Civic Center: The hub for most of the city’s biggest shows, the Peoria Civic Center dates back to 1978. The Civic Center hosts events like The St. Jude Telethon, art exhibitions, theater shows, and concerts. The Peoria Civic Center is also home to the Bradley Braves basketball team and the Peoria Rivermen professional hockey team.
Louisville Slugger Sports Complex: The Louisville Slugger Sports Complex features 10 outdoor fields (synthetic turf), 2 championship fields, and 125,000 square foot pressurized dome. The facility hosts tournaments, clinics and other special events like car shows.
Weaverridge Golf Club: This sprawling championship golf course features an array of bent-grass tees, fairways, and elevation changes. Golfers can also practice their swing at the on-site practice putting green. There’s also a restaurant on site so players can snag a bite to eat after their game. Other golf courses in Peoria include: Kellogg, Madison and Newman.
Parks and outdoor fun
If you love the outdoors, you’ll enjoy the array of parks trails you can access in Peoria. Some of the most popular options include:
Golf Learning Center: Both experienced golfers and beginners alike can agree that the Golf Learning Center is a very useful, unique aspect of the Peoria Park District’s golf portfolio. The Golf Learning Center offers lessons for all age ranges and skill sets, as well as indoor putting and hitting stations, an all-season driving range, and par 3 pitch-and-putt course. Be sure to also check out the pro shop for your golf equipment and accessory needs!
Luthy Botanical Gardens: Open 7-days per week, visitors can explore five acres of themed gardens including a children’s garden, herb garden, rose garden, wildlife garden and woodland garden. The garden also features a tropical conservatory, floral shows, and classes.
Peoria section of the Rock Island trail: Peoria Park District is home to the Rock Island Greenway, which features a 13-mile trail running from West Alta Road all the way to the Peoria Riverfront in East Peoria. The trail is open to pedestrians on foot, cyclists, skaters, and pets.
Detweiller Park: At 760 acres, there’s plenty of fun to be had at Detweiler Park. After taking some time to admire the Oak Trees which line Detweiller Drive, you can enjoy several playgrounds, covered shelters, a sled hill, soccer fields, and hiking trails.
Bradley Park: This sprawling park spans 140 acres and includes amenities like an outdoor theater, disc golf course, dog parks, baseball fields, covered picnic areas, a horseshoe pit, playgrounds, tennis courts, the perfect hill for sledding, and sand volleyball courts.
Forest Park Nature Center: Do you enjoy bird watching or hiking? Forest Park Nature Center is for you! Forest Park Nature Center offers seven miles of trails for hiking and nature enjoyment and is home to a retail shop that features fair trade, environmentally-friendly items. Interested in learning more about nature and all that it entails? Forest Park Nature Center has classes for adults and children alike, covering topics from bats to bugs and everything in between. Guided hiking tours are also available.
Grandview Drive & Park: Spanning 180 acres, Grand View is well-known as the “world’s more beautiful drive.” The leisurely drive includes views of the Illinois River and historic homes. You’ll also find picnic tables, baseball fields, covered parking and hiking trails here.
Dining Shopping and Entertainment
If you love music, shopping, and dining, there are plenty of choices in Peoria, Illinois.
Corn Stock Theatre: Theater lovers will enjoy the offerings at this outdoor arena. Each summer the company puts on plays like Newsies and Camelot under a big-top tent. The shows don’t stop in the winter. Guests can take in adult contemporary shows from October through March.
Classic Music: Take in classical music performances from the Peoria Symphony Orchestra who feature both traditional and modern performances like Handel’s Messiah and Harry Potter. Prefer something a little different? Check out the Peoria Municipal Band at one of their performances throughout the year.
Peoria Ballet: Take in a few stunning dance performances with the Peoria Ballet. They feature several shows per year including programs like The Nutcracker and a Spring Showcase.
Peoria is home to dozens of great restaurants. There are plenty of options to please anyone’s palate. Check out some of the dining options on the Peoria’s Chamber of Commerce website.
The main school district servicing Peoria is Peoria School District 150. There are 29 schools in the district. Three other school districts take some students from Peoria as well. You can find a list of all the elementary and middle schools in the Peoria School District on their website.
Limestone Community High School: Located at 4201 Airport Road, the school has 1015 students, comprising grades nine through twelve. Don't forget to check out the Illinois report card for Limestone Community High School. Many areas off West of Sterling Ave are in Limestone High School District.
Illinois Valley Central High School: Located at 1300 West Sycamore Street, the school has 637 students comprising grades nine through twelve. Don't forget to check out the Illinois report card for Illinois Valley Central High School. Some students in far north Peoria are in IVC school District but most of the students that attend IVC live in Chillicothe.
Colleges and Universities
Illinois Central College: Illinois Central College is a two-year college that offers students a chance to earn an associate of art, associates of science, associates of applied science, or an occupational certificate in various programs. There are 9,266 students enrolled on the campus. The main campus is in East Peoria. There is also a campus in Pekin.
Bradley University: This top-ranked private university hosts 5,400 students. The small campus offers 185 undergraduate programs and several graduate programs. The small campus provides the same educational opportunities as a larger university, in a smaller environment.
A substantial number of residents in Peoria work in the healthcare industry (20.4 percent). Other industries that provide lots of job opportunities include manufacturing (15.7 percent), retail (10.8 percent) and education (10.2 percent). Top employers in Peoria include Caterpillar, St. Francis Medical Center and Unity Point Health. Peoria is also home to the world headquarters of Maui Jim sunglasses and the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research. Residents in Peoria have one of the shortest average commutes in the country at just 19.15 one-way, thanks to the substantial business and industry market.