University of Illinois Urbana‑Champaign

Geographic Region: Chicago Community Areas (CCAs)

Chicago is divided into 77 Chicago Community Areas (CCAs). CCA boundaries do not change over time like ward boundaries do. This allows for easier comparison of demographic data.

Chicago Community Areas (CCAs) are 77 areas (originally 75) that were defined by the University of Chicago’s Social Science Research Committee in the 1920s. The purpose of the CCAs is to allow the comparison across time (especially across decennial censuses) of demographic characteristics in areas with stable boundaries. Other small areas, such as wards (with politically changing boundaries) and neighborhoods (with popularly shifting boundaries), do not serve this purpose. There have been only two changes in CCA boundaries since the 1920s: the addition of the O’Hare CCA in the 1950s and the separation of the Edgewater CCA from the Uptown CCA in 1980.

Source of definition: The Community Areas entry of the Encyclopedia of Chicago

Beginning with 2012, demographic data are available on IECAM by Chicago Community Areas. Beginning with 2015, data are available on IECAM for many early childhood service types. 

IECAM computes demographic data for CCAs by aggregating the American Community Survey census data of the census tracts that fall within each CCA.

Chicago Community Area Boundaries

Chicago Community Areas and Zip Codes