Illinois – Prairie State

Facts over Illinois

State: Illinois
Abbreviation: IL
Capital: Springfield
State Since: December 3, 1818
Area Codes: 217, 309, 312, 618, 630, 708, 773, 815, 847
Bird: Cardinal
Flower: Purple Violet
Largest City: Chicago
Motto: State sovereignty, National union
Nickname: Prairie State
Population: 12,419.293
Song: Illinois
Tree: White Oak
Time Zone: -6

Adjacent States:

  • Missouri
  • Iowa
  • Wisconsin
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky

Illinois Travel Information

Illinois is one of the fifty states of the United States. Nicknames for this state of the American federation are ‘Land of Lincoln’ and ‘Prairie State’. The capital is Springfield and the standard abbreviation is IL.


Illinois is named after the Indian tribe of the same name and became a state of the United States on December 3, 1818, as the 21st. The state is also known as ‘The Land of Lincoln’ because President Abraham Lincoln grew up there. Illinois belonged to the Union during the American Civil War.


The state of Illinois covers 149,998 km². The highest point is the summit of Charles Mound (376 m). The state is bordered to the north by Lake Michigan and the state of Wisconsin, to the west by Iowa and Missouri and to the east by Indiana and Kentucky. The entire western border is defined by the Mississippi River, a portion of the southeast border by the Ohio. The Illinois River runs right through the state, which flows into the Mississippi. The mouth is very wide. The state is located in the Central time zone.

Demography and economy

In 2000, Illinois had a population of 12,419,293 (83 per km²). The gross product of the state in 1999 was $ 446 billion. Chicago, the third largest city in the US, is by far the largest city with 2.5 million inhabitants. The total Chicago metropolitan area, which also includes adjacent parts of Indiana and Wisconsin, has 9,157,540 residents (2000 census). Some suburbs of the Saint Louis, Missouri metropolitan area are within the borders of Illinois (for example, the city of East Saint Louis). See how many cities are in Illinois.


By far the biggest attraction is Chicago, with its museums, skyscrapers, architecture, Lake Michigan and the immediate vicinity. A number of national tourist routes run through the state:

  • National Historic Trail
  • Illinois & Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor
  • Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
  • Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail
  • Trail Of Tears National Historic Trail
  • The historic Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles, sung by the Rolling Stones, among others

Lincoln’s preserved home is located in the state capital Springfield. In Tampico, the birth and childhood home of former President Ronald Reagan is also open for visitors. Illinois has a large number of state parks, including Starved Rock Park on the Illinois River. This is a hill where Indian tribes have besieged and starved each other.



Facts over Chicago

State: Illinois
City Since: 1837
Motto / Nickname: Choose Chicago – Windy City
Population: 2,836,658
Area: 606.2 km2
Time Zone: -6

Top Spots:

  • Adler Planetarium
  • Art Institute of Chicago
  • Grant Park
  • Field Museum
  • Six Flags Great America
  • Shedd Aquarium

Chicago Travel Information

Known for its extravagant architecture and cultural highlights, Chicago will delight you. Here the heart beats to the rhythm of blues and jazz. Be captivated by the sheer joie de vivre in this unique city on Lake Michigan with its endless riverside promenade. While shopping along Michigan Avenue, also wisely called the Magnificient Mile, you can buy anything your heart desires. Nearby, the Great Lakes Region with its picturesque landscapes, idyllic towns and deep forests awaits you.


State Street, Chicago in 1907 View of Madison Avenue; left the Wrigley Building, former headquarters of the Wrigley Gum Syndicate; on the right the headquarters of the Chicago Tribune newspaper. The Potawatomi tribe originally lived in the area where Chicago is now located. Chicago was founded in 1830, and was granted city status in 1837.

On October 8-10, 1871, much of the city was destroyed by fire. Of the then 300,000 inhabitants, a third became homeless. The number of deaths was not too bad given the enormous size of the fire, it was between 200 and 300.

On May 1-4, 1886, there was great tension between the unions and the police that culminated in the Haymarket Riot. A bomb was dropped in these riots, and the leaders of the union action were arrested and convicted, some of them executed, although there was no evidence of their involvement.

During Prohibition in the 1920s, Chicago was home to a number of notorious mobsters; the most famous of them was Al Capone. See also St Valentine’s Day Massacre.

Chicago once had the largest public transportation network in the United States. In the early 20th century, more than 3,000 streetcars ran over more than 1,000 miles of tracks. After major mergers between public transportation companies in the city, the CTA, the Chicago Transit Authority, was created.

In 1992, the Chicago subway was completely flooded when a worker accidentally cut a hole in the bottom of the Chicago River, after which it proved impossible to plug it.


In January the average temperature is -5.3 °C, in July it is 23.9 °C. Annual average precipitation is 949.5 mm (data based on the measurement period 1961-1990).


Chicago has approximately 15 independent universities. Particularly renowned are Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. The former university is home to the Kellogg School of Business, which is generally regarded as the most renowned marketing university in the world.

At the University of Chicago, as part of the Manhattan Project, physicist Enrico Fermi conducted the decisive experiments that led to approval for the project to develop the atomic bomb during World War II. In economics, the Chicago School is a household name: it concerns a number of economists who have developed a neo-liberal view of economics. Particularly noteworthy here are the conservative Thomas Sowell and the monetarist Milton Friedman.

Chicago also has Loyola University, founded by the Jesuits and other universities such as the University of Illinois at Chicago, the largest medical school in the United States, and DePaul University, a smaller private university.


Chicago is the largest rail hub in the world.
The Chicago River is one of the few rivers in the world whose flow has been artificially reversed. Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport is one of the largest airports in the world Chicago’s nickname is the “windy city”. The connection is often made with the strong wind from Lake Michigan. An alternative explanation, however, is that around the late 1800s, Chicago politicians boasted so much about their city that people outside Chicago were often said to be exaggerating (English: “blow a lot of wind”). Chicago is a candidate for the 2016 Summer Olympics.