Illinois

Illinois
State of Illinois
Nickname(s)
Land of Lincoln, Prairie State, The Inland Empire State
Motto(s)
State Sovereignty, National Union
Anthem: "Illinois"
Map of the United States with Illinois highlighted
Map of the United States with Illinois highlighted
CountryUnited States
Before statehoodIllinois Territory
Admitted to the UnionDecember 3, 1818 (21st)
CapitalSpringfield
Largest cityChicago
Largest metro and urban areasChicagoland
Government
 • GovernorJ. B. Pritzker (D)
 • Lieutenant GovernorJuliana Stratton (D)
LegislatureGeneral Assembly
 • Upper houseIllinois Senate
 • Lower houseIllinois House of Representatives
JudiciarySupreme Court of Illinois
U.S. senatorsDick Durbin (D)
Tammy Duckworth (D)
U.S. House delegation13 Democrats
5 Republicans (list)
Area
 • Total57,915 sq mi (149,997 km2)
 • Land55,593 sq mi (143,969 km2)
 • Water2,320 sq mi (5,981 km2)  3.99%
 • Rank25th
Dimensions
 • Length390 mi (628 km)
 • Width210 mi (338 km)
Elevation
600 ft (180 m)
Highest elevation1,235 ft (376.4 m)
Lowest elevation
(Confluence of Mississippi River and Ohio River[2][3])
280 ft (85 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total12,812,508[4]
 • Rank6th
 • Density232/sq mi (89.4/km2)
  • Rank12th
 • Median household income
$65,030[5]
 • Income rank
17th
DemonymsIllinoisan
Language
 • Official languageEnglish[6]
 • Spoken languageEnglish (80.8%)
Spanish (14.9%)
Other (5.1%)
Time zoneUTC−06:00 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−05:00 (CDT)
USPS abbreviation
IL
ISO 3166 codeUS-IL
Traditional abbreviationIll.
Latitude36° 58′ N to 42° 30′ N
Longitude87° 30′ W to 91° 31′ W
Websitewww.illinois.gov
Illinois state symbols
Flag of Illinois.svg
Seal of Illinois.svg
Living insignia
AmphibianEastern tiger salamander
BirdNorthern cardinal
ButterflyMonarch butterfly
FishBluegill
FlowerViolet
GrassBig bluestem
MammalWhite-tailed deer
ReptilePainted turtle
TreeWhite oak
Inanimate insignia
DanceSquare dance
FoodGold Rush Apple, popcorn
FossilTully monster
MineralFluorite
RockDolostone
Slogan"Land of Lincoln"
SoilDrummer silty clay loam
State route marker
Illinois state route marker
State quarter
Illinois quarter dollar coin
Released in 2003
Lists of United States state symbols

Illinois (/ˌɪləˈnɔɪ/ (listen) IL-ə-NOY) is a state in the Midwestern United States. Chicago is its largest city, and the state's capital is Springfield; other major metropolitan areas include Metro East (of Greater St. Louis), Peoria and Rockford. Of the fifty U.S. states, Illinois has the fifth-largest gross domestic product (GDP), the sixth-largest population, and the 25th-largest land area.

Illinois has a highly diverse economy, with the global city of Chicago in the northeast, major industrial and agricultural hubs in the north and center, and natural resources such as coal, timber, and petroleum in the south. Owing to its central location and favorable geography, the state is a major transportation hub: the Port of Chicago has access to the Atlantic Ocean through the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence Seaway and to the Gulf of Mexico from the Mississippi River via the Illinois Waterway. Additionally, the Mississippi, Ohio, and Wabash rivers form parts of the state's boundaries. Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has been among the world's ten busiest airports for decades. Illinois has long been considered a microcosm of the United States and a bellwether in American culture, exemplified by the phrase Will it play in Peoria?.[7]

What is now Illinois was inhabited for thousands of years by various indigenous cultures, including the advanced civilization centered in the Cahokia region. The French were the first Europeans to arrive, settling near the Mississippi River in the 17th century, in the region they called Illinois Country, as part of the sprawling colony of New France. Following U.S. independence in 1783, American settlers began arriving from Kentucky via the Ohio River, and the population grew from south to north. Illinois was part of the United States' oldest territory, the Northwest Territory, and in 1818 it achieved statehood. The Erie Canal brought increased commercial activity in the Great Lakes, and the small settlement of Chicago became one of the fastest growing cities in the world, benefiting from its location as one of the few natural harbors in southwestern Lake Michigan.[8] The invention of the self-scouring steel plow by Illinoisan John Deere turned the state's rich prairie into some of the world's most productive and valuable farmland, attracting immigrant farmers from Germany and Sweden. In the mid-19th century, the Illinois and Michigan Canal and a sprawling railroad network greatly facilitated trade, commerce, and settlement, making the state a transportation hub for the nation.[9]

By 1900, the growth of industrial jobs in the northern cities, and coal mining in the central and southern areas, attracted immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe. Illinois became one of America's most industrialized states and remains a major manufacturing center.[10] The Great Migration from the South established a large community of African Americans, particularly in Chicago, who founded the city's famous jazz and blues cultures.[11][12] Chicago became a leading cultural, economic, and population center and is today one of the world's major commercial centers; its metropolitan area of Chicagoland encompasses about 65% of the state's 12.8 million residents.

Three U.S. presidents have been elected while living in Illinois: Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and Barack Obama; additionally, Ronald Reagan was born and raised in the state. Today, Illinois honors Lincoln with its official state slogan Land of Lincoln, which has been displayed on its license plates since 1954.[13][14] The state is the site of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield and the future home of the Barack Obama Presidential Center in Chicago.

  1. ^ "Charles". NGS Data Sheet. National Geodetic Survey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, United States Department of Commerce. Retrieved October 20, 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Elevations and Distances in the United States". United States Geological Survey. 2001. Archived from the original on November 2, 2011. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Elevation adjusted to North American Vertical Datum of 1988.
  4. ^ "2020 Census Apportionment Results". census.gov. United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 26, 2021. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  5. ^ Bureau, US Census. "U.S. Median Household Income Up in 2018 From 2017". The United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 30, 2020. Retrieved July 12, 2020.
  6. ^ "(5 ILCS 460/20) (from Ch. 1, par. 2901‑20) State Designations Act". Illinois Compiled Statutes. Springfield, Illinois: Illinois General Assembly. September 4, 1991. Archived from the original on March 5, 2009. Retrieved April 10, 2009. Sec. 20. Official language. The official language of the State of Illinois is English.
  7. ^ Ohlemacher, Stephen (May 17, 2007). "Analysis ranks Illinois most average state". Carbondale, Illinois: The Southern Illinoisan. Associated Press. Archived from the original on January 14, 2009. Retrieved April 10, 2009.
  8. ^ "What did Chicago look like in the early 1830s?". May 16, 2008. Archived from the original on December 26, 2007. Retrieved October 20, 2007.
  9. ^ Ryburn-LaMonte, Terri (1999). "The Historical Development of Transportation in Illinois". Illinois Periodicals Online. Archived from the original on October 10, 2017.
  10. ^ "2021 Illinois Manufacturing Facts". NAM. Retrieved October 19, 2022.
  11. ^ "Jazz". Encyclopedia of Chicago. Archived from the original on May 4, 2012. Retrieved May 19, 2012.
  12. ^ "Blues". Encyclopedia of Chicago. Archived from the original on May 17, 2012. Retrieved May 19, 2012.
  13. ^ "The History of Illinois License Plates". Cyberdriveillinois.com. Archived from the original on January 29, 2012. Retrieved February 15, 2012.
  14. ^ "Slogan". Museum.state.il.us. Archived from the original on May 15, 2011. Retrieved February 7, 2011.

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