University of Illinois Urbana‑Champaign

Geographic Region: Townships

A township is a type of county subdivision. In Illinois there are three types of county subdivisions: townships, precincts, and city (Chicago only).

IECAM uses the term township to refer to all three of these types of county subdivisions. In Illinois, most counties are divided into townships. However, 17 counties, mostly in the southern part of the state, are divided into precincts. Source of definition: U.S. Census Bureau, Geography Division. Geographic Terms and Concepts – County Subdivision

County subdivisions periodically change (more so in counties that use precincts) as old subdivisions are combined or divided, as new subdivisions are created, and as county subdivisions undergo boundary changes. Therefore,

  • the number of townships (or other county subdivisions) may change from year to year,
  • township X in one year may not cover the same geographic area as township X the following year, and
  • a township or precinct may not have the same name from one year to the next.

Almost all site-based data (e.g., PFA, child care) and almost all demographic data (e.g., population) are presented by township on the IECAM database. Non-site-based service data (e.g., home visiting, early intervention) are not presented by township.

When a user searches by year and by township in the basic search, IECAM presents results only for those townships that existed in that year. When a user searches by township and several years in the multiyear search, IECAM presents results for all townships that existed in any of the years selected. If the township did not exist in one of the selected years, an indication such as “N/A” will appear in that particular table cell.