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Rockford is a small town with big-city style. Residents enjoy the high-quality amenities without the hassle of living in a large city. Located in Winnebago County, Rockford is a mid-sized city situated where Interstates 90 and 39 intersect. Coined as the Forest City, there is an abundance of beautiful nature all around, and many streets are lined with towering trees. Many residents of Rockford love the central location of the community, as there is easy access to major highways, railroads and one of the fastest-growing airports in the country.
Rockford apartments for rent are ideal for individuals who enjoy a town rich with history all around, along with modern amenities to complement a contemporary lifestyle. Rockford is a great place to raise a family, retire in or begin a career. According to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, the population has remained steady over that past two decades. Today, more than 152,200 people call Rockford home.
Rockford was first established in 1834 by Germanicus Kent, Thatcher Blake and Lewis Lemon, who founded a settlement on the east bank of the Rock River. The area was briefly known as Midway, since it was located halfway between Chicago and Galena. Later the community became known as Rockford because of the ford across Rock River. The earliest settlers of the area were from New York state and New England.
By 1837, a post office was established in the area and by 1839 it was incorporated as a village. A few years later in 1852 it was chartered as a city. Until the 1850s, Rockford was a sleepy country village. Between 1890 and 1930, the city was home to three successful daily newspapers. In 1951 the Rockford Water Power Company was organized and a year later the Galena and Chicago Railroad reached the city. For the first half of the 20th century, the community flourished as the second-largest furniture manufacturing center in the country.
At the end of the 20th century, Rockford’s prosperous economy began to see issues including urban decay, severe unemployment and tree blight. Since then, the city has begun to thrive again and plays an important role in the region’s healthcare, entertainment and financial industries.
The diverse economic development in Rockford offers many options for employment. The top employers include the Rockford School District 205, Rockford Health System, Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation, Swedish American Health System and Anderson Packaging.
Students living in rentals in Rockford have several nearby options available to them for post-secondary education. For instance, Northern Illinois University is a comprehensive research institute with an enrollment of more than 22,000 students. The four-year college has many bachelor’s and master’s programs available. Other schools include Rockford College, Judson University, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford and Jerusalem University College.
Living in Rockford is very reasonably priced, especially considering all the amenities in the city. According to Best Places, the overall cost of living is 16 points lower than the national average, food is 6 points lower and utilities are 8 points lower. Similarly, apartments in Rockford are affordable to many. According to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, the average cost of rentals is $729.
Rockford is home to Illinois’ largest street festival, On the Waterfront. The festival is a fun attraction for residents and visitors. Spanning nearly 25 city blocks in the center of the city, the festival features more than 80 performers on five stages, 30 special events and 40 food vendors. Since its inaugural year in 1986, On the Waterfront has played a major role in the economic development of Rockford. The festival has help from more than 4,000 volunteers and has generated more than $10 million for about 300 non-profit organizations. The annual economic impact is roughly $13.2 million.
To find a Rockford apartment or rental, check out our apartment listings. Rent.com® is happy to help you find your next home.
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