East Chicago, city (1990 pop. 33,892), Lake co., extreme NW Ind., on Lake Michigan, in the industrialized Calumet region, adjoining Gary, Hammond, and Whiting; inc. 1889. It is a large port, its Indiana Harbor on Lake Michigan connected with the Grand Calumet River by a ship and barge canal. Once busy with steelworks, oil refineries, railroad equipment shops, and chemical plants, the city has declined steadily, losing jobs and population since the 1970s. A riverboat casino was opened in 1997 in an attempt at revival.