Oak Park, IL
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Living in Oak Park


Oak Park is a larger medium-sized village located in the state of Illinois. With a population of 52,287 people and 14 constituent neighborhoods, Oak Park is the 29th largest community in Illinois. Oak Park has an unusually large stock of pre-World War II architecture, making it one of the older and more historic villages.

Oak Park home prices are not only among the most expensive in Illinois, but Oak Park real estate also consistently ranks among the most expensive in America.

Oak Park is a decidedly white-collar village, with fully 93.65% of the workforce employed in white-collar jobs, well above the national average. Overall, Oak Park is a village of professionals, managers, and sales and office workers. There are especially a lot of people living in Oak Park who work in management occupations (15.12%), teaching (12.93%), and office and administrative support (11.23%).

Of important note, Oak Park is also a village of artists. Oak Park has more artists, designers and people working in media than 90% of the communities in America. This concentration of artists helps shape Oak Park’s character.

Also of interest is that Oak Park has more people living here who work in computers and math than 95% of the places in the US.

Telecommuters are a relatively large percentage of the workforce: 7.47% of people work from home. While this number may seem small overall, as a fraction of the total workforce it is high relative to the nation. These workers are often telecommuters who work in knowledge-based, white-collar professions. For example, Silicon Valley has large numbers of people who telecommute. Other at-home workers may be self-employed people who operate small businesses out of their homes.

In addition to being popular with young singles, Oak Park is also home to many people who can be described as "urban sophisticates". While both of these categories describe educated professionals, urban sophisticates are quite a different demographic. Urban sophisticates are people who are both educated and wealthy, and thus tend to be older, richer, and more established than young professionals. "Urban sophisticates" is not just about being educated and well-off financially: it is a point of view and state of mind, one that you might call 'urbaneness'. But such people can and do regularly live in small towns, suburbs and rural areas, as well as in big cities. They read, support the arts and high-end shops, and love travel.

One downside of living in Oak Park, however, is that residents on average have to contend with a long commute, spending on average 34.37 minutes every day commuting to work. It is, however, a pedestrian-friendly village. Many of its neighborhoods are dense enough and have amenities close enough together that people find it feasible to get around on foot. In addition, local public transit is widely used. For those who would prefer to avoid driving entirely and leave their car at home, it may be an option to use the transit instead.

For the size of the village, public transportation in Oak Park is quite heavily used. Mostly, people who use it for their daily commute are taking the subway. For Oak Park, the benefits are reduced air pollution and congestion on the highways.

If knowledge is power, Oak Park is a pretty powerful place. 67.83% of the adults in Oak Park have earned a 4-year college degree, masters degree, MD, law degree, or even PhD. Compare that to the national average of 21.84% for all cities and towns.

The per capita income in Oak Park in 2010 was $48,628, which is wealthy relative to Illinois and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $194,512 for a family of four. However, Oak Park contains both very wealthy and poor people as well.

Oak Park is an extremely ethnically-diverse village. The people who call Oak Park home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of Oak Park residents report their race to be White, followed by Black or African-American. Important ancestries of people in Oak Park include Irish, English, Italian, and Polish.

The most common language spoken in Oak Park is English. Other important languages spoken here include Spanish and German.