North Lawndale Today

In the 1950s, Lawndale became a main port of entry for African-Americans migrating from the south. By 1960, the population had reached an all-time high of 125,000, 91% of which was African-American. The riots of the late 1960s, coupled with the loss of 80% of the area's manufacturing jobs in the 1970s fueled the loss of businesses and residents.

Heath Care
According to the 2000 Census, the most recent year for which data available, there were a total of 937 live births in North Lawndale. 12% (109) were born to mothers under the age of 18. 17% (160) were considered very low birth weight. Women who did not receive pre-natal care were 69% more likely to give birth to babies with very low birth weight and had an infant mortality rate 64% higher than those who had access to pre-natal care.

North Lawndale has 16,693 housing units, according to the 2010 Census. After years of decline in the community's housing stock, the most recent data reveals a 14.2% increase in housing units since the 2000 Census. The majority of the housing stock is greystone and brick buildings.

  • 76.1% of housing units are occupied (12,701)
  • 74.1% of occupied units are rented (9,414)
  • 25.9% are owner-occupied (3,287)
  • 73.1% of owner-occupied units have a loan or mortgage (2,404) while 26.9% are owned free and clear (883)

Crime and the Criminal Justice System
Across Chicago, 10,577 adult males were in correctional facilities at the time of the 2010 Census. Given this absence, in North Lawndale there are about 84 men for every 100 women in the primary parenting years of ages 20 to 39. This gap often leads to permanent or intermittent father absence, decreased family income, and a heavy reliance on grandparents for parenting.

North Lawndale benefits greatly from transportation infrastructure. North Lawndale has the Cermak Branch of the CTA Blue Line running from east to west through the community. Near the Northern border are the Eisenhower expressway (I-290) and the Forest Park Branch of the CTA Blue line, and Ogden Avenue runs diagonally through the middle of the community linking North Lawndale with many western suburbs.

In the 2010-11 school year, 10 of the 27 North Lawndale elementary schools exceeded the district average composite score (73%) on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) and 2 exceeded the state average (82%). Of the six North Lawndale high schools, none exceeded the district average composite score (28.3%) on the Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE). Likewise, no North Lawndale high school exceeded the state average (50.5%) on the PSAE.

59.4% of 20- to 24-year olds in North Lawndale are jobless, and the community has an unemployment rate (13%) of almost triple the city average (5%), according to the 2000 Census, the most recent year for which data is available.