Naperville About the Region
Even though Naperville, with its population of over 147,000, is now the fourth-largest city in Illinois, it still feels like a quaint small town.
Founded in 1831 by Joseph Naper, it was originally known as “Naper’s Settlement.” After DuPage County was split from Cook County in 1839, Naper’s Settlement became the DuPage County seat, a distinction it held until 1868. Naper’s Settlement was incorporated as the Village of Naperville in 1857, at which time it had a population of 2,000. Reincorporation of Naperville as a city took place in 1890.
Today, Naperville is a community with big-city amenities and opportunities on the doorstep of a great metropolis. When you shop in its diverse businesses; dine in its quaint restaurants; walk through the covered bridges along the Riverwalk; wander through the historic and picturesque Naper Settlement; and listen to the 72-bell Millennium Carillon in the majestic 16-story Moser Tower, you will find it difficult to believe that you are only minutes from Chicago.
Naperville’s picturesque Riverwalk is considered its crown jewel, featuring 1.75 miles of brick paths, fountains, bridges, meeting and event places, outdoor sculpture and artwork, recreational facilities and celebratory memorials. The Riverwalk was created in 1981 as a permanent memorial of Naperville’s 150th anniversary, but improvements are constantly being made to enhance it.
The Riverwalk’s list of amenities includes Centennial Beach, an outdoor swimming pool with a sandy beach that boasts 6.2 million gallons of water that starts with zero depth and goes as deep as 15 feet. The water itself is chlorinated, re-circulated and hand-skimmed to remove debris, but it is not filtered like a typical swimming pool. It is actually classified as a “beach” through the Illinois Department of Health.
In addition, Naperville groups and organizations host many events during the year, including historic events at the Settlement including a month-long Christkindlmarket, marathons, outdoor symphony concerts, children’s seasonal events, parades and food/music fests with carnivals.
Naperville is safe, clean and vibrant. Outstanding health care is readily available, as are recreational facilities and educational attractions like the historic Naper Settlement and the DuPage Children’s Museum.
It is also hard to miss the fact that Naperville’s community leaders invest heavily in programs that help children develop into educated, confident and interested adults who can remain in their hometown to thrive as adults and raise a new generation of Naperville residents.
Naperville also plays an integral part in the Illinois Technology and Research Corridor. Employers include Bell Labs, Nokia, BP, Ineos, Nalco, Calamos, Nicor and Edward Hospital. Tellabs has its corporate headquarters in Naperville and ConAgra has a Grocery Division branch office in Naperville that employs approximately 400 people. The city is also home to the headquarters of Dukane Precast and their double-wall pre-cast concrete manufacturing plant.
Money Magazine has included Naperville on its “Best Places to Live” list seven times since 2004 and in 2013 it was rated first on The Kiplinger Report’s list of the best cities for early retirement.
In 2017, niche.com named Naperville second on the list of the “Best Cities to Live In,” first on the “Best City to Raise a Family In” list and also named it the safest city in America.
24/7 Wall Street included the city on its “Best Cities to Live in Every State” list in 2018 and Livability ranked it third in its listing for best places to visit. Most recently, the home security and safety brand Safewise named Naperville the 12th safest college town in the nation.
And when it comes to business, Money Magazine has recognized Naperville twice in the last four years as a “Top Earning Town.”