Lemont is a centuries old community that has grown rapidly in recent years. A housing boom beginning in the late 1980s fueled a dramatic increase in Lemont’s size; within 17 years the population nearly tripled and the Village annexed more than 1,000 acres. Upon requests from the Village, the U.S. Census Bureau has conducted a special census twice since 2000. The 2010 Census raised the Village’s official population to 16,000. The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning predicts Lemont’s population will be 30,209 in the year 2030.
The median age in Lemont, as reported in the 2010 Census was 42.6 years old. Lemont is a community of families, with over 4,400 residents (27.5% of the total population) 19 years old and younger.
Race and Ancestry
The construction of the I&M Canal in the mid-nineteenth century brought an influx of European immigrants, particularly Irish, to Lemont. By 1870 the population was almost equally Irish, German, Swedish, Danish, and native-born. In the decades that followed, Polish and other eastern European immigrants became a large part of the ethnic mix. Today’s racial and ethnic compositions of the Village reflect the northern and eastern European roots of the community’s population. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Polish is the most prevalent ancestry; 30.6% of residents identify themselves as of Polish descent. Other common ancestries include: German (19.2%); Irish (20.3%); and Lithuanian (7.4%).
Lemont continues to be a home for eastern European
immigrants. The Lithuanian World Center (above) is part of a large and active Lithuanian community in town, and Lemont boasts a handful of European delicatessens where shoppers and staff are more likely to speak in Polish or Lithuanian than English. Another large cultural institution in the Village, the Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago (left), attracts worshipers largely from outside the Village population.