Rockford is a mid-sized city located on both banks of the Rock River in far northern Illinois. Often referred to as "The Forest City", Rockford is the county seat of Winnebago County, Illinois, USA. As reported in the 2000 U.S. census, the city was home to 150,115 people, while in the 2008 estimate, it was said to have a population of 157,272. The metropolitan area has 339,178 residents as of the 2000 census. During the latter part of the 20th century Rockford was the second largest city in Illinois. The current mayor is Lawrence J. Morrissey, an independent elected to a second four year term in April as of 2009.