Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Collar Counties
Collar Counties

Collar Counties

Map of Multi-County Region, 1851
“Collar counties” is a term applied to the five counties that surround the centrally located Cook County in the Chicago metropolitan area: DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, McHenry County, and Will County. There is no documentation of the origin of the term, but it probably came into use in the 1960s or 1970s. It is widely used in urban planning and public policy circles and in the media. As metropolitan growth begins to extend into counties outside the ring established by collar counties, the term may begin to lose some of its meaning and utility as a descriptor of the metropolitan region.