About Sterling, Illinois.
Sterling (population 15,432) is located in Northwestern Illinois along the Rock River on the eastern edge of Whiteside County. It is approximately 100 miles due west of the Chicago, 55 miles southwest of Rockford, Illinois, 55 miles East of the Iowa-Illinois Quad Cities and 70 miles north of Peoria. It is just 35 miles East of the Mississippi River. Interstate 88 and US Highway 30 both run just south of Sterling, providing easy access to the Quad Cities and the Chicago area. Illinois Route 40 and Illinois Route 2 both pass through Sterling and provide a quick route to Rockford and Peoria.