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Peoria is a city in and the county seat of Peoria County, Illinois, United States, and the largest city on the Illinois River. Established in 1691 by the French explorer Henri de Tonti, Peoria is the oldest European settlement in Illinois, and is named after the Peoria tribe. As of the 2010 census, the city was the seventh-most populated in Illinois, with a population of 115,007. The Peoria Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 373,590 in 2011. Peoria had a population of 118,943 in 2010, when far northern Peoria was also included. Peoria is the headquarters for Caterpillar Inc., one of the 30 companies composing the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
As of the census of 2000, there were 112,936 people, 45,199 households, and 27,345 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,543.4 people per square mile (982.1/km²). There were 49,125 housing units at an average density of 1,106.3 per square mile (427.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 69.29% White, 24.79% African American, 0.20% Native American, 2.33% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.20% from other races, and 2.16% of mixed races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.51% of the population. The city has a sizable, established Lebanese population with a long history in local business and government.
There were 45,199 households, out of which 29.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.6% were married couples living together, 15.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.5% were non-families. Individuals made up 33.2% of all households, and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 3.04.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 25.7% under the age of 18, 12.0% from 18 to 24, 27.2% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 14.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $36,397. The per capita income for the city was $20,512. Some 18.8% of the population was below the poverty line.
Special censuses were conducted in 2004 and 2007 that noted a total increase of 8,455 in the city’s population since the 2000 census, mainly in the northwest corridor making the current population 121,391. The metropolitan area has a population of 370,000, which includes Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Stark and Marshall counties. Suburbs and towns in this area include Bartonville, Bellevue, Creve Coeur, Dunlap, East Peoria, Germantown Hills, Groveland, Marquette Heights, Metamora, Morton, North Pekin, Pekin, Peoria Heights, Pottstown, Rome, Tremont, Washington, and West Peoria.