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Peoria: Economy

Peoria: Economy

Major Industries and Commercial Activity

Located at the center of a fertile agricultural region, with corn and soybeans as principal crops, Peoria is an important livestock and grain exporting market. Farm production and livestock sales in the three-county area are among the highest in the nation. Peoria is surrounded by rich bituminous coal fields that hold reserves estimated to last for 150 years and slated for worldwide distribution.

Manufacturing is a major industry; more than 200 diversified firms make nearly 1,000 different products. Peoria is the headquarters of two of the largest U.S. earth-moving equipment makers, which record an average of $2 billion in shipments annually. Local companies produce more than 14 percent of the country's internal-combustion engines and about 8 percent of all construction machinery in North America. The city is also the base for several distilleries and breweries.

The National Center for Agriculture Research is operated in Peoria by the United States Department of Agriculture; there, soil testing and chemical development are important areas of research. Peoria has formed the Biotechnical Research and Development Consortium to allow private development and marketing of the products developed at the center's Agricultural Research Lab and to expand the use of patents into the private sector.

Peoria is a main test market for several national consumer research firms such as Nielsen Data Markets, Inc., which has established one of its six facilities in the city. Health care, education, insurance, finance, and government are the other primary non-manufacturing sectors.

Items and goods produced: tractors, beverages, alcohol and solvents, brick, tile, caskets, castings, cordage, cotton goods, fencing and wire products, nails, animal feeds, food and dairy products, pharmaceuticals, steel, paper, household products, storage batteries, electric motor rails and bases, air-conditioning equipment, furnaces, oil burners, road machinery, heavy graders, strawboard, tools, dies, labels, grease and hides, millworking

Incentive ProgramsNew and Existing Companies

Local programs

Business is encouraged in Peoria through a variety of local programs. Among economic incentives are sales and property tax credits and exemptions, and industrial revenue bonds. Six Urban Enterprise Zones have been established in the Peoria metropolitan area; benefits include state tax exemptions and credits, building permit waivers, and property tax abatement. The Economic Development Council for Central Illinois (EDC) assists Peoria-area businesses in start-up, growth, or expansion.

State programs

In 1977 the Illinois legislature adopted the Tax Increment Allocation Redevelopment Act to provide municipalities with a unique tool to finance and stimulate urban redevelopment. Through the use of Tax Increment Financing (TIF), cities can stimulate private investment by offering incentives to attract and retain businesses, improve their community areas, and maintain a well-educated and highly trained labor force.

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has implemented the Opportunity Returns regional economic development plan throughout the state of Illinois. The state has been divided into ten regions that have common economic strengths and needs; specific economic development plans are created for each region. Opportunity Returns is considered the most aggressive and comprehensive plan for job creation in Illinois history.

Job training programs

Job training is available through state agencies and educational institutions. The Workforce Network is a partnership between local and state workforce organizations that enables them to coordinate their services and offer them through a one-stop system. Their Career Resource Center offers job search, education, and career-training information in a user-friendly environment.

Development Projects

In 2005 Governor Blagojevich announced the Turner Center for Entrepreneurship at Bradley University would receive $250,000 in funding from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to further expand its programs. Such programs will include a financial award program of up to $5,000 designed to help small business owners and entrepreneurs obtain professional services for business plan assistance, evaluation of startup and expansion plans, and other approved support services.

Work began in 2002 on a $400 million interstate project that will result in the reconstruction of Interstate 74, which intersects Peoria. When completed the expanded roadwayone of the heaviest traveled sections of I-74will provide easier access and have improved lighting and landscaping.

Economic Development Information: The Economic Development Council for Central Illinois, 124 SW Adams Street, Suite 300, Peoria, IL 61602-1388; telephone (309)676-7500; Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, 100 West Randolph Street, Suite 3-400, Chicago, IL 60601; telephone (312)814-7179

Commercial Shipping

With access to three interstate and four federal highways, metropolitan Peoria is linked to markets nationwide by 137 motor freight carriers, 99 of which maintain local terminals, and 13 railroads. Air cargo transfer facilities are available at Greater Peoria Regional Airport and two private airfields. Four barge lines transport more than 48 million tons during a year-round navigation season through the Peoria Lock and Dam, a major link from the Gulf of Mexico to the St. Lawrence Seaway. Peoria is a Foreign Trade Zone.

Labor Force and Employment Outlook

Peoria workers are recognized for their high productivity, which exceeds the state and national averages. More than half the work force is engaged in white-collar occupations in retail trade, professional services, and government; manufacturing accounts for a large portion of the work force. Nearly 70 percent of workers have at least a high school degree. Manufacturers and agribusinesses are said to have been successful in retraining and modernizing the work force through the strong training networks between the private and education sectors.

Chemical distillation of grain and corn, paper products and printed material, coal production, and automotive parts are gaining rapidly as major manufacturing areas. Peoria's has always been a strong retail market; further retail development in the downtown area and more strip malls are expected.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Peoria metropolitan area labor force, 2004 annual average.

Size of non-agricultural labor force: 174,700

Number of workers employed in . . .

construction and mining: 8,400

manufacturing: 28,200

trade, transportation and utilities: 33,100

information: 3,000

financial activities: 8,500

professional and business services: 17,200

educational and health services: 30,400

leisure and hospitality: 17,500

other services: 7,400

government: 21,000

Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $17.88

Unemployment rate: 6.2% (February 2005)

Largest employers Number of employees
Caterpillar, Inc. 17,847
St. Francis Medical Center 4,250
School District 150 2,847
Methodist Medical Center 2,600
Keystone Steel and Wire Company 1,675
AES Great Plains-CILCO 1,600
Bradley University 1,200
Komatsu America International 1,100

Cost of Living

The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors in the Peoria area.

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $280,500

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 98.2 (U.S. average = 100.0)

State income tax rate: 3.0%

State sales tax rate: 6.25% (1% on food and drugs)

Local income tax rate: None

Local sales tax rate: 1.5% (2005)

Property tax rate: 7.9419% per $100 assessed valuation (2002)

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Peoria: History

Peoria: History

French Explore Peoria Tribe Territory

Native Americans lived in the area surrounding present-day Peoria for 12,000 years before the coming of Europeans. They took fish from the fresh waters of Peoria Lake and hunted for game in the surrounding valley. They called the river valley Pimiteoui (pronounced Pee-Mee-Twee), meaning "land of great abundance" or "fat lake." The valley was known far and wide among Native Americans as a great winter hunting ground.

Peoria was the first European settlement in Illinois and one of the earliest in the middle of America. French explorers Louis Joliet and Pere Marquette canoed into the river valley in 1673 during their exploration of the Mississippi River. Six years later another French explorer, Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle, ventured down the Illinois River with a party of 30 men to establish forts and trading posts in order to strengthen France's hold on the middle of America. Because it was winter and the weather inclement, the party was forced to land; LaSalle built a small fort on the east bluff of the Peoria river valley and called it Fort Crevecoeur ("broken heart"). The fort was the first European building to be built in the middle of America. It was mysteriously abandoned after four months and these words were found burned into the side of an unfinished boat found on the site: "Nous sommes tous sauvages" (We are all savages).

With the help of the tribes of the Illini nation, in 1691 the French military, under the charge of Henri de Tonti, built a massive fortification, called Fort Pimiteoui, on Peoria's shores, near the site of present-day Detweiller Marina on the popular Pimiteoui Trail that winds along the riverfront. Outside the walls of the fort, a French settlement grew among the Illini villages, becoming the first European settlement in the state of Illinois.

By 1763 the British flag was being flown over Illinois, but the French Peorians persevered and enjoyed life much as they would have done in the rural countryside of France. One of the villagers, Jean Baptiste Maillet, moved the core of the French village to the site of present-day Downtown Riverfront Park in 1778. Another villager, Jean-Baptiste Du Sable, left in 1784 and became the founder of Chicago.

Following the American Revolution, a number of Peorians received land grants from the U.S. Congress in gratitude for their support during the war. In October 1812, the area felt the pressure of thousands of American settlers heading west; Native American Potawatomi villages in the region were destroyed by troops under the command of the Illinois Territory Governor Ninian Edwards. A month later, American soldiers overran the French village and deported its inhabitants to a wilderness around Alton, Illinois. After 120 years, French Peoria was gone forever.

American soldiers built Fort Clark in 1813; today the fort is commemorated in the riverfront Liberty Park Pavilion. The first American settlers began farming there in 1819. Soon the small village experienced a great economic and population boom.

Economic Growth Paired with Historic Events

With its abundance of natural resources, Peoria industries grew up. They included meat-packing, casting foundries, pottery makers, wholesale warehousing, distilleries, and earthmoving and farm machinery manufacturers. Ancient Indian trails were turned into solid roads, and steamboats and ferries replaced canoes. The city became a massive railroad hub. The area's fresh, clear water, abundance of corn, and ease of transportation contributed to make the city the "Whiskey Capital of the World" by 1900. Distilleries and their related industries brought tremendous wealth, and Peoria became one of the largest tax-paying districts in the country. Prosperity enabled city leaders to strive to develop a model city.

State-of-the-art municipal buildings were erected, such as the red sandstone City Hall (1889). Models of Peoria's innovative schools like the Grail School (1892) were exhibited across the nation. Massive churches such as St. Mary's Cathedral (1889) were built. Beautiful parks such as Glen Oak Park (1896) and Laura Bradley Park (1897) were laid out. Present-day historic districts such as High Street-Moss Avenue, Roanoke-Randolph Street, and Glen Oak Avenue evoke an era that Peoria endeavors to preserve.

The city of Peoria has been the site of historic events and the home of famous Americans. In 1854 Abraham Lincoln, rebutting a speech by Stephen Douglas, for the first time publicly denounced slavery as incompatible with American institutions; this clash predated the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates by four years. The original mold strain for penicillin was discovered by scientists in Peoria. The first African American person to vote in the United States did so in Peoria on April 4, 1870. Peorian Herb Jamison was a medalist in the first modern Olympics in Greece in 1896. A short list of native Peorians include the late Senator Everett Dirksen; Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique ; and comedian and actor Richard Pryor.

In the second half of the twentieth century Peoria was awarded an All-America City designation three times; it exists today as the quintessential Midwestern American city. In 2004 Forbes ranked Peoria the " #1 most affordable U.S. metropolitan area in which to live." A vaudeville-era phrase "to play in Peoria" is still used to characterize the thoughts and habits of a "typical" American.

Historical Information: Peoria Historical Society, 611 SW Washington Street, Peoria, IL 61602; telephone (309)674-1921

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Peoria: Recreation

Peoria: Recreation

Sightseeing

Visitors can get the best experience of the city during the months of May through October, when CityLink provides a two-hour historic trolley tour with narration provided by the Peoria Historical Society.

Glen Oak Park is a 100-acre park with a zoo, conservatory, and gardens; zoo animals range from large cats and marsupials to reptiles and amphibians. The Wildlife Prairie State Park is a 2,000 acre zoological park that provides a habitat for animals native to Illinois, including bison, elk, wolves, cougars, bears, waterfowl, and American bald eagles. The park also contains a country store, pioneer farmstead, walking trails, and a miniature railroad that runs through the grounds. Parks along the riverfront host concerts, festivals, and outdoor sports activities.

Aspects of Peoria's agricultural heritage are the focus of tours of the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Linden Hills Farms, Tanners Orchard, Caterpillar Inc., McGlothlin Farm Park, and Wildlife Prairie Park.

Arts and Culture

The Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences houses permanent collections of Illinois folk art and African art, a planetarium, and a children's Discovery Center. The African American Hall of Fame is devoted to the collection, study, and exhibition of African American life and culture.

Peoria performing arts organizations include the Peoria Symphony, Peoria Ballet Company, Opera Illinois, Peoria Area Civic Chorale, and a chapter of the Sweet Adelines. Theater in Peoria is represented by such organizations as Corn Stock Theatre, Peoria Players, Eastlight Theatre, One World Theatre Company, and Zellmer's Dinner Theater.

Festivals and Holidays

Peoria's largest annual event is the Heart of Illinois Fair, which attracts nearly 250,000 people. The celebration of Independence Day is capped by the Fourth of July fireworks display on the riverfront. Oktoberfest, held in September, is a festival that celebrates German culture and food. The century-old Santa Claus Parade, the country's longest running event of its kind, takes place each year on Thanksgiving Day.

Sports for the Spectator

The Peoria Chiefs, a Class A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, are league leaders each year in home game attendance. David Lamb, author of Stolen Season, numbers the Chiefs' stadium among his ten favorite places to watch a ball game. The Peoria Rivermen compete in the East Coast Hockey League and play their home games in the modern indoor facility, the Peoria Civic Center. Both Bradley University and Illinois Central College field competitive basketball teams. The annual Steamboat Classic attracts world-class, international middle-distance runners. Racing fans enjoy the Grand National TT Motorcycle Race in August.

Sports for the Participant

The Peoria Pleasure Driveway and Park District consists of nearly 9,000 acres providing facilities for outdoor and indoor sports. Included are 7 golf courses, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and 39 public tennis courts. Also available are two artificial ice-skating rinks, an archery range, a BMX bicycle racing course, horseshoe pits, shuffleboard courts, and a shooting range. Peoria Lake offers fishing and boating. The Par-A-Dice Riverboat Casino, docked in East Peoria, offers high-stakes gambling on the scenic Illinois River.

Shopping and Dining

Peoria shoppers choose from 60 shopping centers and malls located throughout the greater metropolitan area. The Shops at Grand Prairie is an open air mall with retail tenants such as Bergner's, Banana Republic, Borders, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Old Navy. Shops at The Metro Centre include C.R. Cook's Furs and Fashions, Naturally Yours Grocery, and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Northwoods Mall is anchored by department stores Famous Barr, JC Penney, and Sears. Unique, one-of-a-kind shops can be found along the Peoria RiverFront. Peoria is also home to the Illinois Antique Center, with more than 100 both spaces.

The dining choices in Peoria feature ethnic food as well as gourmet cuisine and a variety of well known fast food chains and family-style restaurants. Sushi Popo, the only sushi bar in the Peoria area, serves fine-dining Chinese and Japanese cuisine. Irish Fare can be had at Kelleher's Irish Pub and Eatery. Italian choices include Old Chicago Restaurant, Ponte Vecchio, and Rizzi's Italian Ristorante. German American food and European beers are enjoyed at the Peoria Hofbrau. Regional specialties include barbecued ribs and pork tenderloin sandwiches.

Visitor Information: Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, 456 Fulton Street, Suite 300, Peoria, IL 61602; telephone (800)747-0302

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Peoria: Education and Research

Peoria: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

The Peoria Public Schools District #150 is the fifth-largest public elementary and secondary school system in the state of Illinois. A seven-member, nonpartisan board of education appoints a superintendent by majority vote.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Peoria public schools as of the 20032004 school year.

Total enrollment: 15,001

Number of facilities

elementary schools: 14

middle schools: 14

senior high schools: 5

Student/teacher ratio: elementary, 18.7:1; middle and secondary, 20.3:1

Teacher salaries

average: $52,741.00

Funding per pupil (2002-2003): $5,379.00

Offering private educations are the Peoria Catholic Diocese, Concordia Lutheran, the Hebrew Day School, Peoria Academy, and Peoria Christian.

Public Schools Information: Peoria Public Schools, 3202 N. Wisconsin Avenue, Peoria, IL 61603

Colleges and Universities

Bradley University, founded in 1897, enrolls more than 6,000 undergraduates and offers 90 undergraduate and 32 graduate programs in such fields as business and accounting, all major engineering specialties, music, nursing, and teacher education. Eureka College, located in Eureka, is a four-year liberal arts college and is the alma mater of former President Ronald Reagan. The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, the Bradley University School of Nursing, and nursing schools at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center and Methodist Medical Center grant degrees in medical sciences and provide continuing education for health care professionals throughout the Midwest.

Illinois Central College is a two-year institution that schedules courses for more than 12,000 students in university transfer curricula and vocational and continuing education programs. Degrees are offered in 105 fields of study; certificates are offered in more than 60 subjects. Among colleges and universities within commuting distance of Peoria are Illinois State University in Normal, Western Illinois University in Macomb, and Carl Sandburg College and Knox College in Galesburg.

Libraries and Research Centers

The Peoria Public Library maintains a central facility with more than 800,000 volumes and more than 1,300 periodical titles as well as music recordings, videos, and DVDs; subject interests include business, census materials, early government documents, genealogy, and local history. The library's comprehensive Internet website allows patrons to access the card catalog and research databases. In addition to the main library facility, the library operates five branches. The city's other major library is the Cullom-Davis Library on the Bradley University campus. Holdings total more than 536,000 volumes, and special collections include federal and state documents as well as material pertaining to industrial arts history, Abraham Lincoln, and oral history; the library also houses the Harry L. Spooner Library of the Peoria Historical Society. Among the more than 60 libraries in Peoria are those associated with colleges, hospitals, churches, corporations, and government agencies.

Bradley University supports the Institute for Urban Affairs and Business Research plus research centers in computers and technology. Work done at Peoria's National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, one of four USDA Agricultural Research Service Labs made possible the mass production of penicillin and the early and economical production of dextran as a blood-volume expander.

Public Library Information: Peoria Public Library, 107 NE Monroe Street, Peoria, IL 61602-1070; (309)497-2000

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Peoria: Population Profile

Peoria: Population Profile

Metropolitan Area Residents

1980: 366,000

1990: 339,172

2000: 347,387

Percent change, 19902000: 2.4%

U.S. rank in 1980: 90th

U.S. rank in 1990: Not reported

U.S. rank in 2000: 116th

City Residents

1980: 124,600

1990: 113,508

2000: 112,936

2003 estimate: 112,907

Percent change, 19902000: -0.5%

U.S. rank in 1980: 126th

U.S. rank in 1990: 157th

U.S. rank in 2000: 223rd

Density: 2,543.4 people per square mile (2000)

Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)

White: 78,254

Black or African American: 27,992

American Indian and Alaska Native: 229

Asian: 2,629

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 42

Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 2,839

Other: 1,355

Percent of residents born in state: 72.3% (2000)

Age characteristics (2000)

Population under 5 years old: 8,366

Population 5 to 9 years old: 8,408

Population 10 to 14 years old: 7,777

Population 15 to 19 years old: 8,573

Population 20 to 24 years old: 9,481

Population 25 to 34 years old: 15,578

Population 35 to 44 years old: 15,184

Population 45 to 54 years old: 14,362

Population 55 to 59 years old: 5,090

Population 60 to 64 years old: 4,084

Population 65 to 74 years old: 7,688

Population 75 to 84 years old: 6,052

Population 85 years and over: 2,293

Median age: 33.8 years

Births (2003, Peoria County) Total number: 2,602

Deaths (2002) Total number: 1,801 (of which, 21 were infants under the age of 1 year)

Money income (1999)

Per capita income: $20,512

Median household income: $36,397

Total households: 45,094

Number of households with income of . . .

less than $10,000: 5,804

$10,000 to $14,999: 3,565

$15,000 to $24,999: 6,567

$25,000 to $34,999: 5,814

$35,000 to $49,999: 6,947

$50,000 to $74,999: 8,038

$75,000 to $99,999: 3,937

$100,000 to $149,999: 2,855

$150,000 to $199,999: 677

$200,000 or more: 890

Percent of families below poverty level: 14.1% (62.8% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: Not reported

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Peoria

Peoria (pēôr´ēə). 1 City (1990 pop. 50,618), Maricopa co., central Ariz., a suburb of Phoenix; settled 1897, inc. 1954. With the completion of the Arizona Canal in 1885, the area was settled by families from Peoria, Ill., and became an agricultural trading center. Peoria is now one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States; its population more than doubled between 1990 and 2000. It produces sheet metal, textile products, and machinery parts. The training camps of the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres baseball teams are in the city.

2 City (1990 pop. 113,504), seat of Peoria co., central Ill., on Lake Peoria and the Illinois River; inc. as a city 1845. A busy port of entry, it is one of the state's oldest settlements and a regional trade and transportation point; grain, livestock, and coal from the area are marketed, processed, and shipped in Peoria. It has commercial printing and factories that produce metal products, machinery, iron and steel, transportation and medical equipment, construction materials, and chemicals. Although it is an industrial city, Peoria is known for its scenic beauty and its many recreational activities associated with Lakeview Park, which also contains a planetarium, community theater, and arts and sciences center. La Salle established Fort Creve Coeur in the region in 1680, and the spot later became a French trading post. The area was known as Fort Clark after 1813; the first permanent American settlement was established in 1819. The Univ. of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, Bradley Univ., and a U.S. Dept. of Agriculture research laboratory are in the city. Nearby are a state park and Metamora courthouse (1845; now a state memorial).

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Peoria: Communications

Peoria: Communications

Newspapers and Magazines

The major newspaper in Peoria is the Journal Star, which is published every morning. Content and archives of past stories are available on the paper's website. Other neighborhood and suburban newspapers circulate weekly, including the Morton Times News and the Peoria Times Observer. Central Illinois Business publishers, based in Peoria, publish the monthly community-interest magazines InterBusiness Issues, The Peoria Woman, ArtsAlive, and Peoria Progress.

A number of special-interest magazines are published in Peoria on such subjects as religion, crafts, cats, guns, helicopters, sewing, and graphic arts.

Television and Radio

Six television stations are based in Peoria; cable service is available. Eight radio stations furnish diversified programming.

Media Information: Peoria Journal Star, 1 News Plaza, Peoria, IL 61643; telephone (309)686-3000

Peoria Online

City of Peoria home page. Available www.ci.peoria.il.us

Economic Development Council for Central Illinois. Available www.edc.centralillinois.org

Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs. Available www.commerce.state.il.us

Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce. Available www.peoriachamber.org

Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau home page. Available www.peoria.org/

Peoria Historical Society. Available www.peoriahistoricalsociety.org

Peoria Journal Star. Available www.pjstar.com

Peoria Park District. Available www.peoriaparks.org

Peoria Public Library. Available www.peoria.lib.il.us

Selected Bibliography

Farmer, Philip Jose. Nothing Burns in Hell. (New York: Forge, 1998)

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Peoria

Peoria

Peoria: Introduction
Peoria: Geography and Climate
Peoria: History
Peoria: Population Profile
Peoria: Municipal Government
Peoria: Economy
Peoria: Education and Research
Peoria: Health Care
Peoria: Recreation
Peoria: Convention Facilities
Peoria: Transportation
Peoria: Communications

The City in Brief

Founded: 1819 (incorporated, 1835)

Head Official: Mayor David P. Ransburg (since 2001)

City Population

1980: 124,600

1990: 113,508

2000: 112,936

2003 estimate: 112,907

Percent change, 19902000: -0.5%

U.S. rank in 1980: 126th

U.S. rank in 1990: 157th (State rank: 3rd)

U.S. rank in 2000: 223rd

Metropolitan Area Population

1980: 366,000

1990: 339,172

2000: 347,387

Percent change, 19902000: 2.4%

U.S. rank in 1980: 90th

U.S. rank in 1990: Not reported

U.S. rank in 2000: 116th

Area: 40.9 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 652 feet above sea level

Average Annual Temperature: 50.7° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 36.25 inches of rain, 25.10 inches of snow

Major Economic Sectors: Agriculture, manufacturing, information technologies

Unemployment Rate: 6.2% (February 2005)

Per Capita Income: $20,512 (1999)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: Not reported

Major Colleges and Universities: Bradley University; Eureka College; Illinois Central College

Daily Newspaper: Journal Star

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Peoria: Health Care

Peoria: Health Care

The Peoria metropolitan area is served by seven hospitals supplying nearly 2,600 beds. Among health care professionals affiliated with hospitals, clinics, and other facilities are 836 physicians, 190 dentists, and more than 2,000 nurses. Major hospitals and medical centers include OSF Saint Francis Medical Center (home to the only Level I trauma center in Central Illinois), Methodist Medical Center of Illinois, and Proctor Community Hospital. A full range of services are available at Peoria's hospitals, including cardiovascular services, cancer care, maternity care, bariatric medicine, and children's services. Specialized treatment is available at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the Midwest affiliate of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Tennessee; the Institute for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation; and the Allied Agencies Center, which provides research, therapy, and education and training for handicapped patients. Also located in the city are the American Red Cross Peoria Regional Blood Center and Marvin Hult Health Education Center.

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Peoria: Geography and Climate

Peoria: Geography and Climate

Peoria is set in a level tableland surrounded by gently rolling terrain on the Illinois River. The continental climate produces changeable weather and a wide range of temperature extremes. June and September are generally the most pleasant months; an extended period of warm, dry weather occurs during Indian Summer in late October and early November. Precipitation is heaviest during the growing season and lowest in midwinter.

Area: 40.9 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 652 feet above sea level

Average Temperatures: January, 22° F; July, 76° F; annual average, 50.7° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 36.25 inches of rain, 25.10 inches of snow

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Peoria: Convention Facilities

Peoria: Convention Facilities

Peoria's principal meeting site is the Peoria Civic Center, located in the revitalized downtown district. It features a 12,145-seat arena, 63,668 square feet of exhibit space, and a theater with seating for 2,244 people. Concerts, sporting events, rodeos, ice shows, and operas are among the events held at the Civic Center. Peoria area hotels and motels offer more than 3,000 lodging rooms and also have convention and meeting room facilities.

Convention Information: Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, 465 Fulton Street, Suite 300, Peoria, IL 61602; telephone (800)747-0302

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Peoria: Introduction

Peoria: Introduction

Peoria is the seat of Peoria County and the center of an urban complex consisting of Peoria Heights, West Peoria, Bartonville, Bellevue, East Peoria, Creve Coeur, and Pekin. The city is considered the oldest continuously inhabited American community west of the Allegheny Mountains. Another of Peoria's distinctions is its typicality: in terms of such demographic characteristics as median age and purchasing patterns, the city's general makeup is almost identical to that of the United States as a whole, thus making it an ideal test market for consumer researchers.

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Peoria: Transportation

Peoria: Transportation

Approaching the City

The Greater Peoria Regional Airport schedules 30 daily flights on 6 airlines to 5 major hubs throughout the country. All parking at the airport is free. Passenger rail transportation into Peoria is available through Amtrak.

Interstate highways 74, 474, 80, and 55 afford easy access into Greater Peoria; the area is also served by four federal highways.

Traveling in the City

Peoria is compact but not crowded. The average commute is 10 minutes. CityLink offers mass public transportation.

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Peoria: Municipal Government

Peoria: Municipal Government

The city of Peoria operates under a council-manager form of government. One council member is elected from each of five districts and five members are elected at large. The mayor is the official head of the city; he heads the council and is elected by the total electorate.

Head Official: Mayor David P. Ransburg (since 2001)

Total Number of City Employees: 860 (2005)

City Information: City of Peoria, 419 Fulton, Peoria, IL 61602; telephone (309)494-8524

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