Zion is a city in Lake County, Illinois, United States. The population was 22,866 at the 2000 census, and estimated at 24,303 as of 2005. The city was founded in July 1901 by John Alexander Dowie. He also started the Zion Tabernacle of the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church, which was the only church in town. It was built in the early 1900s and burned down in 1937.
The city is one of only a few in the world to have ever been completely planned out before building. Dr. Dowie modeled the city layout after the union flag, because he was originally from Scotland and Australia. In the planning stage he mailed the mayors of many large cities across the world for suggestions on how to design the best city possible. A few of the recommendations were:
Some of the diagonal roads were never completed. The north-south roads in the original plan are all named from the Bible. The original east-west roads are numbered starting with 1 at the state line (now called Russell Rd.), although there are now new east-west roads which bear names. The city used to extend all of the way down to the lakefront until the state bought it to preserve the beach. Because most of the houses on the lakefront were owned by wealthy citizens, most of them were moved to places around what is now Sheridan Rd.
The former city seal was the subject of a Supreme Court case because it contained a religious symbol.
On May 9, 2000, the area encompassing Illinois Beach State Park and North Point Marina was officially designated as the Cullerton Complex in honor of William J. Cullerton, Sr., war hero, avid environmentalist and long-time friend of conservation.
As of the census of 2000, there were 22,866 people, 7,552 households, and 5,558 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,789.5 people per square mile (1,076.7/km²). There were 8,036 housing units at an average density of 980.3/sq mi (378.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 58.76% White, 27.10% African American, 0.38% Native American, 1.87% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 7.80% from other races, and 4.02% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.25% of the population.
There were 7,552 households out of which 44.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.9% were married couples living together, 20.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.4% were non-families. 21.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.96 and the average family size was 3.44.
In the city the population was spread out with 33.2% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 31.4% from 25 to 44, 17.4% from 45 to 64, and 8.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 94.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $45,723, and the median income for a family was $50,378. Males had a median income of $37,455 versus $27,563 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,730. About 10.1% of families and 11.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.5% of those under age 18 and 7.7% of those age 65 or over.