Capital city Springfield
Population 12,812,508 (2020)
Surface 149,998 km²
Governor JB Pritzker (D)
Member of the US since 1818

Illinois is one of the fifty states of the United States. The state is located on the Great Lakes. The abbreviation for Illinois is IL. Its nicknames are ‘The Prairie State’ and ‘Land of Lincoln’ (Abraham Lincoln used to be US president. When he was elected president he lived in Illinois). With a population of 12,875,255, Illinois is the fourth most populous state in the US. Illinois borders the states of Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky, and Indiana. The capital of Idaho is Springfield, but the most famous city is Chicago.


There are many cities in Illinois. Here are the five largest.

Largest Cities in Illinois

Name Inhabitants County
1. Chicago 2.695.598 Cook County
2. Aurora 197,899 Kane County
3. Rockford 152.871 Winnebago County
4. Joliet 147.433 Will County
5. Naperville 141.853 DuPage County

How many counties in Illinois? The State of Illinois comprises 102 counties.


Skyscrapers from the Chicago River, centered on the Willis Tower

Chicago is a city in the US state of Illinois. The agglomeration has more than 9 and a half million inhabitants. The city is located on Lake Michigan, one of the Great Lakes. Chicago was founded in 1830.


Chicago has 2,718,782 inhabitants, making it the second largest city in the United States after New York and Los Angeles. In Chicago, as many as a quarter of the people live below the poverty line. Most residents are African American. A quarter is white and a quarter is Hispanic. There are also many Chinese and Japanese people living there. 7% of the inhabitants are unemployed. Chicago has also suffered greatly from the 2008 credit crisis. All in all, that makes Chicago and all the inhabitants of this city quite poor.


Chicago is also called The Windy City, because the wind can be quite strong. New York is nicknamed The Big Apple and Rotterdam Rotjeknor.

Walt Disney

A lot of important people have walked around Chicago. Some have even lived there or were even born there. One of the most famous people to come from there is Walt Disney. He was born there on December 5, 1901. He is known for his films and creations


An Indian tribe used to live in the place where Chicago is now. This tribe was called Potawatomi. Chicago was founded in 1830 and as early as 1837 (i.e. seven years later) Chicago was granted “city” status (English: city). In 1871, most of Chicago went up in flames. 100,000 of the 300,000 inhabitants were injured. About 200 to 300 people did not survive the fire. Because the fire was so big, this is actually a very small number. There were a lot of gangsters in the city in the 1920s.


A subway of the Chicago ‘L’

Chicago has a major airport: O’Hare International Airport. The airport has six runways. For a long time it was the busiest airport in the world. Chicago also used to have the largest public transportation network in the US. The city then had 3000 trams. Today, Chicago is still a hub of rail, air, and highways. All these things make the city the largest industrial city in the US. Chicago also has a subway, the Chicago ‘L’. Most subways run underground, but Chicago’s is built on platforms that hang above the street. The ground under Chicago is much too soft to drill into.


Chicago downtown has many high -rise flats (skyscrapers). These buildings dominate the city skyline. The tallest and most famous building is Willis Tower (better known as Sears Tower). This skyscraper was for a long time, until 1997, the tallest building in the world. Now that is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Other skyscrapers include the Wrigley Building (former office of a chewing gum company), and the Marina Towers, which stand along the Chicago River. As in many other American cities, the streets are almost straight. This has its advantages. It’s more difficult to get lost if you just count the blocks of houses. This also gives Chicago a modern look when you look at a city map.


Millennium Park

Despite the high skyscrapers and bustle of Chicago, there are a number of parks. Both reserves and city parks. One of the most famous parks is the Millennium Park. This park is located east of Michigan avenue, one of the city ‘s best-known streets. This park includes an open-air theater. The park has bought millions of dollars. Millennium Park opened in 2004. A Nature Reserve near Chicago is Grant Park, which is located south of the city.

Partner cities

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Illinois - The Prairie State

Illinois – The Prairie State
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