School Districts are geographic entities within which state, county, local officials, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, or the U.S. Department of Defense provide public educational services for the area’s residents. The Census Bureau obtains the boundaries, names, local education agency codes, and school district levels for school districts from state and local school officials.
The Census Bureau tabulates data for three types of school districts: elementary, secondary, and unified. The elementary school districts provide education to the lower grade/age levels and the secondary school districts provide education to the upper grade/age levels. Unified school districts provide education to children of all school ages in their service areas. In general, where there is a unified school district, no elementary or secondary school district exists; and where there is an elementary school district, the secondary school district may or may not exist.
Source of definition: U.S. Census Bureau, Geography Division. Geographic Terms and Concepts – School Districts (Elementary, Secondary, and Unified)
Date of definition: July 2012
Note: IECAM presents data by elementary school district and unified (or unit) school district, both of which serve young children. IECAM does not present data by secondary school district. Elementary and unit school districts are contiguous and non-overlapping. Taken together, they cover the entire area of the state.
Note on number of school districts and yearly changes in school districts: For 2009, based on the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, there are a total of 379 elementary and 389 unified (unit) school districts (768 for both district types) reported for Illinois. School districts change yearly, as old districts combine or split, as new districts are created, and as elementary districts merge with secondary districts. Therefore:
- the number of school districts changes from year to year
- school district X in one year may not cover the same geographic area as school district X the following year.
Note on data availability by school district: Almost all site-based data (e.g., child care) and almost all demographic data (e.g., population) are presented by school district in IECAM. Non-site-based data (e.g., early intervention) are not presented by school district.
Note on searching school district by year: When a user searches by year and by school district in the basic search, IECAM presents results only for those school districts that existed in that year (though IECAM uses the same geographies for the years 2005-2008). When a user searches by school district and several years in the multi-year search, IECAM presents results for all school districts that existed in any of the years selected. If the school district did not exist in one of the selected years, an indication such as “N/A” will appear in that particular table cell.
Note: The following abbreviations or acronyms are used on IECAM for school district names.
- CCD = Community Consolidated District
- CCSD = Consolidated Community School District
- CUD = Community Unit District
- CUSD = Community Unit School District
- Elem = Elementary
- SD = School District
Note: View a list of:
- Elementary and Unit school districts for 2014
- Elementary school districts for 2009
- Unit school districts for 2009
- For information on changes in elementary and unit school districts across various years, see the Data by Geographic Region by Year page.
Web Resources: Geographic Regions
- IPUMS-USA’s “Composition of PUMAs and Super-PUMAs”
2000 PUMAs and on the composition of the 2000 PUMAs by state
- United States Census Bureau: Geographic Terms and Concepts –
- Illinois Department of Human Services: Division of Human Capital Development (HCD)
- United States Census Bureau: 2010 Census Public Use Microdata Area (PUMA) Reference Maps – Illinois
A list of which counties and/or which parts of counties are associated with which PUMAs, and for maps of the 2010 PUMAs for Illinois