The South Side is a major part of the city of Chicago, which is located in Cook County, Illinois. It is one of the three major parts of the city, the others being the West Side and the North Side. Much of it evolved from the city's incorporation of independent townships, such as Hyde Park Township, which voted along with several other townships to be annexed in the June 29, 1889 elections. Regions of the city, referred to as "sides," historically have been divided by the Chicago River and its branches.
The South Side of Chicago was originally defined as all of the city south of the main branch of the Chicago River, but it now excludes the Loop. The South Side has a varied ethnic composition. It has great disparity in income and other demographic measures. Although it has a reputation for being poor or crime-infested, the reality is more varied. The South Side ranges from affluent to middle class to working class to impoverished. Neighborhoods such as Armour Square, Back of the Yards, Bridgeport and Pullman host more blue collar residents, while Hyde Park, the Jackson Park Highlands District, Kenwood and Beverly feature affluent, middle and upper-middle class residents.
The South Side boasts a broad array of cultural and social offerings, such as professional sports teams, landmark buildings, museums, educational institutions, medical institutions and major parts of Chicago's parks system. The South Side is serviced by bus and 'L' train via the Chicago Transit Authority and a number of Metra lines. It has several interstate and national highways.