This article is about the State of Illinois.
For the river, see Illinois River.
For other uses, see Illinois (disambiguation).
|Before statehood||Illinois Territory|
|Admitted to the Union||December 3, 1818 (21st)|
|Largest metro||Chicago metropolitan area|
|Governor||J. B. Pritzker (D)|
|Lieutenant Governor||Juliana Stratton (D)|
|Legislature||Illinois General Assembly|
|Lower house||House of Representatives|
|Judiciary||Supreme Court of Illinois|
|U.S. senators||Dick Durbin (D)
Tammy Duckworth (D)
|U.S. House delegation||13 Democrats
5 Republicans (list)
|Total||57,915 sq mi (149,997 km)|
|Land||55,593 sq mi (143,969 km)|
|Water||2,320 sq mi (5,981 km) 3.99%|
|Length||390 mi (628 km)|
|Width||210 mi (338 km)|
|Elevation||600 ft (180 m)|
|Highest elevation (Charles Mound)||1,235 ft (376.4 m)|
|Lowest elevation (Confluence of Mississippi River and Ohio River)||280 ft (85 m)|
|Density||232/sq mi (89.4/km)|
|Median household income||$65,030|
|Spoken language||English (80.8%)
Spanish (14.9%) Other (5.1%)
|Time zone||UTC−06:00 (Central)|
|Summer (DST)||UTC−05:00 (CDT)|
|ISO 3166 code||US-IL|
|Latitude||36° 58′ N to 42° 30′ N|
|Longitude||87° 30′ W to 91° 31′ W|
|Illinois state symbols|
|Amphibian||Eastern tiger salamander|
|Food||Gold Rush Apple, popcorn|
|Slogan||"Land of Lincoln"|
|Soil||Drummer silty clay loam|
|State route marker|
Illinois has been noted as a microcosm of the entire United States.
With Chicago in northeastern Illinois, small industrial cities and immense agricultural productivity in the north and center of the state, and natural resources such as coal, timber, and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base, and is a major transportation hub.
The Port of Chicago connects the state to international ports via two main routes: from the Great Lakes, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway, to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, via the Illinois River, through the Illinois Waterway.
For decades, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has been ranked as one of the world's busiest airports.
The capital of Illinois is Springfield, which is located in the central part of the state.
Although today Illinois's largest population center is in its northeast, the state's European population grew first in the west as the French settled lands near the Mississippi River, when the region was known as Illinois Country and was part of New France.
In 1818, Illinois achieved statehood.
Following increased commercial activity in the Great Lakes after the construction of the Erie Canal, Chicago was incorporated in the 1830s on the banks of the Chicago River at one of the few natural harbors on the southern section of Lake Michigan.
John Deere's invention of the self-scouring steel plow turned Illinois's rich prairie into some of the world's most productive and valuable farmland, attracting immigrant farmers from Germany and Sweden.
The Illinois and Michigan Canal (1848) made transportation between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River valley faster and cheaper, and new railroads carried immigrants to new homes in the country's west and shipped commodity crops to the nation's east.
The state became a transportation hub for the nation.
Illinois was an important manufacturing center during both world wars.
Today, Illinois honors Lincoln with its official state slogan Land of Lincoln, which has been displayed on its license plates since 1954.
"Illinois" is the modern spelling for the early French Catholic missionaries and explorers' name for the Illinois Native Americans, a name that was spelled in many different ways in the early records.
American scholars previously thought the name "Illinois" meant "man" or "men" in the Miami-Illinois language, with the original iliniwek transformed via French into Illinois.
This etymology is not supported by the Illinois language, as the word for "man" is ireniwa, and plural of "man" is ireniwaki.
The name "Illinois" derives from the Miami-Illinois verb irenwe·wa—"he speaks the regular way".
The French borrowed these forms, changing the /we/ ending to spell it as -ois, a transliteration for its pronunciation in French of that time.
The current spelling form, Illinois, began to appear in the early 1670s, when French colonists had settled in the western area.
The Illinois's name for themselves, as attested in all three of the French missionary-period dictionaries of Illinois, was Inoka, of unknown meaning and unrelated to the other terms.
Main article: History of Illinois
Main article: Geology of Illinois
During the early part of the Paleozoic Era, the area that would one day become Illinois was submerged beneath a shallow sea and located near the Equator.
This receded by the Eocene Epoch.
American Indians of successive cultures lived along the waterways of the Illinois area for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans.
The Koster Site has been excavated and demonstrates 7,000 years of continuous habitation.
They built an urban complex of more than 100 platform and burial mounds, a 50-acre (20 ha) plaza larger than 35 football fields, and a woodhenge of sacred cedar, all in a planned design expressing the culture's cosmology.
It is 100 feet (30 m) high, 951 feet (290 m) long, 836 feet (255 m) wide, and covers 13.8 acres (5.6 ha).
It contains about 814,000 cubic yards (622,000 m) of earth.
It was topped by a structure thought to have measured about 105 feet (32 m) in length and 48 feet (15 m) in width, covered an area 5,000 square feet (460 m), and been as much as 50 feet (15 m) high, making its peak 150 feet (46 m) above the level of the plaza.
The finely crafted ornaments and tools recovered by archaeologists at Cahokia include elaborate ceramics, finely sculptured stonework, carefully embossed and engraved copper and mica sheets, and one funeral blanket for an important chief fashioned from 20,000 shell beads.
These artifacts indicate that Cahokia was truly an urban center, with clustered housing, markets, and specialists in toolmaking, hide dressing, potting, jewelry making, shell engraving, weaving and salt making.
The civilization vanished in the 15th century for unknown reasons, but historians and archeologists have speculated that the people depleted the area of resources.
Many indigenous tribes engaged in constant warfare.
According to Suzanne Austin Alchon, "At one site in the central Illinois River valley, one third of all adults died as a result of violent injuries."
The next major power in the region was the Illinois Confederation or Illini, a political alliance.
As the Illini declined during the Beaver Wars era, members of the Algonquian-speaking Potawatomi, Miami, Sauk, and other tribes including the Fox (Mesquakie), Ioway, Kickapoo, Mascouten, Piankashaw, Shawnee, Wea, and Winnebago (Ho-Chunk) came into the area from the east and north around the Great Lakes.
European exploration and settlement prior to 1800
Main articles: New France; Louisiana (New France); Canada (New France); Illinois Country; French and Indian War; Treaty of Paris (1763); Province of Quebec (1763–1791); Indian Reserve (1763); American Revolutionary War; Western theater of the American Revolutionary War; Illinois County, Virginia; Treaty of Paris (1783); Northwest Ordinance; and Northwest Territory
In 1680, French explorers under René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle and Henri de Tonti constructed a fort at the site of present-day Peoria, and in 1682, a fort atop Starved Rock in today's Starved Rock State Park.
French Empire Canadiens came south to settle particularly along the Mississippi River, and Illinois was part of first New France, and then of La Louisiane until 1763, when it passed to the British with their defeat of France in the Seven Years' War.
The small French settlements continued, although many French migrated west to Ste.
Louis, Missouri, to evade British rule.
A few British soldiers were posted in Illinois, but few British or American settlers moved there, as the Crown made it part of the territory reserved for Indians west of the Appalachians, and then part of the British Province of Quebec.
In a compromise, Virginia (and other states that made various claims) ceded the area to the new United States in the 1780s and it became part of the Northwest Territory, administered by the federal government and later organized as states.
Prior to statehood
The Illinois-Wabash Company was an early claimant to much of Illinois.
During the discussions leading up to Illinois's admission to the Union, the proposed northern boundary of the state was moved twice.
The original provisions of the Northwest Ordinance had specified a boundary that would have been tangent to the southern tip of Lake Michigan.
Such a boundary would have left Illinois with no shoreline on Lake Michigan at all.
However, as Indiana had successfully been granted a 10-mile (16 km) northern extension of its boundary to provide it with a usable lakefront, the original bill for Illinois statehood, submitted to Congress on January 23, 1818, stipulated a northern border at the same latitude as Indiana's, which is defined as 10 miles north of the southernmost extremity of Lake Michigan.
However, the Illinois delegate, Nathaniel Pope, wanted more, and lobbied to have the boundary moved further north.
The final bill passed by Congress included an amendment to shift the border to 42° 30' north, which is approximately 51 miles (82 km) north of the Indiana northern border.
More importantly, it added nearly 50 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and the Chicago River.
Pope and others envisioned a canal that would connect the Chicago and Illinois rivers and thus connect the Great Lakes to the Mississippi.
The State of Illinois prior to the Civil War
In 1818, Illinois became the 21st U.S. state.
The capital remained at Kaskaskia, headquartered in a small building rented by the state.
In 1819, Vandalia became the capital, and over the next 18 years, three separate buildings were built to serve successively as the capitol building.
In 1837, the state legislators representing Sangamon County, under the leadership of state representative Abraham Lincoln, succeeded in having the capital moved to Springfield, where a fifth capitol building was constructed.
A sixth capitol building was erected in 1867, which continues to serve as the Illinois capitol today.
The ethnic French had owned black slaves since the 1720s, and American settlers had already brought slaves into the area from Kentucky.
Slavery was nominally banned by the Northwest Ordinance, but that was not enforced for those already holding slaves.
When Illinois became a sovereign state in 1818, the Ordinance no longer applied, and about 900 slaves were held in the state.
As the southern part of the state, later known as "Egypt" or "Little Egypt", was largely settled by migrants from the South, the section was hostile to free blacks.
Settlers were allowed to bring slaves with them for labor, but, in 1822, state residents voted against making slavery legal.
Still, most residents opposed allowing free blacks as permanent residents.
Some settlers brought in slaves seasonally or as house servants.
The Illinois Constitution of 1848 was written with a provision for exclusionary laws to be passed.
The winter of 1830–1831 is called the "Winter of the Deep Snow"; a sudden, deep snowfall blanketed the state, making travel impossible for the rest of the winter, and many travelers perished.
Several severe winters followed, including the "Winter of the Sudden Freeze".
On December 20, 1836, a fast-moving cold front passed through, freezing puddles in minutes and killing many travelers who could not reach shelter.
The adverse weather resulted in crop failures in the northern part of the state.
It represents the end of Indian resistance to white settlement in the Chicago region.
The Indians had been forced to leave their homes and move to Iowa in 1831; when they attempted to return, they were attacked and eventually defeated by U.S. militia.
The survivors were forced back to Iowa.
Located in Hancock County along the Mississippi River, Nauvoo flourished, and soon rivaled Chicago for the position of the state's largest city.
Following a succession crisis (Latter Day Saints), Brigham Young led most Latter Day Saints out of Illinois in a mass exodus to present-day Utah; after close to six years of rapid development, Nauvoo rapidly declined afterward.
By 1857, Chicago was Illinois's largest city.
With the tremendous growth of mines and factories in the state in the 19th century, Illinois was the ground for the formation of labor unions in the United States.
Dix came into this effort after having met J. O.
King, a Jacksonville, Illinois businessman, who invited her to Illinois, where he had been working to build an asylum for the insane.
With the lobbying expertise of Dix, plans for the Jacksonville State Hospital (now known as the Jacksonville Developmental Center) were signed into law on March 1, 1847.
Civil War and after
Main article: Illinois in the American Civil War
Beginning with President Abraham Lincoln's first call for troops and continuing throughout the war, Illinois mustered 150 infantry regiments, which were numbered from the 7th to the 156th regiments.
Seventeen cavalry regiments were also gathered, as well as two light artillery regiments.
During the Civil War, and more so afterwards, Chicago's population skyrocketed, which increased its prominence.
From Sunday, October 8, 1871, until Tuesday, October 10, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire burned in downtown Chicago, destroying four square miles (10 km).
At the turn of the 20th century, Illinois had a population of nearly 5 million.
Many people from other parts of the country were attracted to the state by employment caused by the expanding industrial base.
Whites were 98% of the state's population.
Bolstered by continued immigration from southern and eastern Europe, and by the African-American Great Migration from the South, Illinois grew and emerged as one of the most important states in the union.
By the end of the century, the population had reached 12.4 million.
Illinois manufactured 6.1 percent of total United States military armaments produced during World War II, ranking seventh among the 48 states.
Chicago became an ocean port with the opening of the Saint Lawrence Seaway in 1959.
Illinois had a prominent role in the emergence of the nuclear age.
With eleven plants currently operating, Illinois leads all states in the amount of electricity generated from nuclear power.
The state's fourth constitution was adopted in 1970, replacing the 1870 document.
On August 28, 2017, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed a bill into law that prohibited state and local police from arresting anyone solely due to their immigration status or due to federal detainers.
Some fellow Republicans criticized Rauner for his action, claiming the bill made Illinois a sanctuary state.
Main article: Geography of Illinois
Further information: List of ecoregions in Illinois
The Wabash River continues as the eastern/southeastern border with Indiana until the Wabash enters the Ohio River.
This marks the beginning of Illinois's southern border with Kentucky, which runs along the northern shoreline of the Ohio River.
The state's northern border with Wisconsin is fixed at 42° 30′ north latitude.
Though Illinois lies entirely in the Interior Plains, it does have some minor variation in its elevation.
In extreme northwestern Illinois, the Driftless Area, a region of unglaciated and therefore higher and more rugged topography, occupies a small part of the state.
Charles Mound, located in the Driftless region, has the state's highest natural elevation above sea level at 1,235 feet (376 m).
Illinois has three major geographical divisions.
Chicago itself is a cosmopolitan city, densely populated, industrialized, the transportation hub of the nation, and settled by a wide variety of ethnic groups.
The midsection of Illinois is the second major division, called Central Illinois.
It is an area of mainly prairie and known as the Heart of Illinois.
It is characterized by small towns and medium–small cities.
The western section (west of the Illinois River) was originally part of the Military Tract of 1812 and forms the conspicuous western bulge of the state.
Southern Illinois is the site of the ancient city of Cahokia, as well as the site of the first state capital at Kaskaskia, which today is separated from the rest of the state by the Mississippi River.
This region has a somewhat warmer winter climate, different variety of crops (including some cotton farming in the past), more rugged topography (due to the area remaining unglaciated during the Illinoian Stage, unlike most of the rest of the state), as well as small-scale oil deposits and coal mining.
The Illinois suburbs of St.
The other somewhat significant concentration of population in Southern Illinois is the Carbondale-Marion-Herrin, Illinois Combined Statistical Area centered on Carbondale and Marion, a two-county area that is home to 123,272 residents.
A portion of southeastern Illinois is part of the extended Evansville, Indiana, Metro Area, locally referred to as the Tri-State with Indiana and Kentucky.
Seven Illinois counties are in the area.
In addition to these three, largely latitudinally defined divisions, all of the region outside the Chicago Metropolitan area is often called "downstate" Illinois.
This term is flexible, but is generally meant to mean everything outside the influence of the Chicago area.
Main article: Climate of Illinois
See also: St.
Illinois has a climate that varies widely throughout the year.
Because of its nearly 400-mile distance between its northernmost and southernmost extremes, as well as its mid-continental situation, most of Illinois has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa), with hot, humid summers and cold winters.
Average yearly precipitation for Illinois varies from just over 48 inches (1,219 mm) at the southern tip to around 35 inches (889 mm) in the northern portion of the state.
Normal annual snowfall exceeds 38 inches (965 mm) in the Chicago area, while the southern portion of the state normally receives less than 14 inches (356 mm).
The all-time high temperature was 117 °F (47 °C), recorded on July 14, 1954, at East St. Louis, and the all-time low temperature was −38 °F (−39 °C), recorded on January 31, 2019, during the January 2019 North American cold wave at a weather station near Mount Carroll, and confirmed on March 5, 2019.
This followed the previous record of −36 °F (−38 °C) recorded on January 5, 1999, near Congerville.
Prior to the Mount Carroll record, a temperature of −37 °F (−38 °C) was recorded on January 15, 2009, at Rochelle, but at a weather station not subjected to the same quality control as official records.
Illinois averages approximately 51 days of thunderstorm activity a year, which ranks somewhat above average in the number of thunderstorm days for the United States.
Illinois is vulnerable to tornadoes, with an average of 35 occurring annually, which puts much of the state at around five tornadoes per 10,000 square miles (30,000 km) annually.
While tornadoes are no more powerful in Illinois than other states, some of Tornado Alley's deadliest tornadoes on record have occurred in the state.
The Tri-State Tornado of 1925 killed 695 people in three states; 613 of the victims died in Illinois.
The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Illinois was 12,671,821 in 2019, moving from the fifth-largest state to the sixth-largest state (losing out to Pennsylvania).
Illinois's population declined by 69,259 people from July 2018 to July 2019, making it the worst decline of any state in the U.S. in raw terms.
This includes a natural increase since the last census of 462,146 people (i.e., 1,438,187 births minus 976,041 deaths) and an decrease due to net migration of 622,928 people.
Immigration resulted in a net increase of 242,945 people, and migration from within the U.S. resulted in a net decrease of 865,873 people.
Illinois is the most populous state in the Midwest region.
Although Chicagoland comprises only 9% of the land area of the state, it contains 65% of the state's residents.
- 71.5% White American (63.7% non-Hispanic white, 7.8% White Hispanic)
- 14.5% Black or African American
- 0.3% American Indian and Alaska Native
- 4.6% Asian American
- 2.3% Multiracial American
- 6.8% some other race
In the same year 15.8% of the total population was of Hispanic or Latino origin (they may be of any race).
According to 2018 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, Illinois's population was 71.7% White (60.9% Non-Hispanic White), 5.6% Asian, 5.6% Some Other Race, 14.1% Black or African American, 0.3% Native Americans and Alaskan Native, 0.1% Pacific Islander and 2.7% from two or more races.
The White population continues to remain the largest racial category in Illinois as Hispanics primarily identify as White (62.2%) with others identifying as Some Other Race (31.2%), Multiracial (3.9%), Black (1.5%), American Indian and Alaskan Native (0.8%), Asian (0.3%), and Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (0.1%).
By ethnicity, 17.3% of the total population is Hispanic-Latino (of any race) and 82.7% is Non-Hispanic (of any race).
If treated as a separate category, Hispanics are the largest minority group in Illinois.
|Native Hawaiian and||—||—||—|
|Two or more races||—||1.9%||2.3%|
The state's most populous ethnic group, non-Hispanic white, has declined from 83.5% in 1970 to 60.90% in 2018.
As of 2011, 49.4% of Illinois's population younger than age 1 were minorities (Note: Children born to white Hispanics or to a sole full or partial minority parent are counted as minorities).
At the 2007 estimates from the U.S.
Census Bureau, there were 1,768,518 foreign-born inhabitants of the state or 13.8% of the population, with 48.4% from Latin America, 24.6% from Asia, 22.8% from Europe, 2.9% from Africa, 1.2% from Canada, and 0.2% from Oceania.
Of the foreign-born population, 43.7% were naturalized U.S. citizens, and 56.3% were not U.S. citizens.
In 2007, 6.9% of Illinois's population was reported as being under age 5, 24.9% under age 18 and 12.1% were age 65 and over.
Females made up approximately 50.7% of the population.
According to the 2007 estimates, 21.1% of the population had German ancestry, 13.3% had Irish ancestry, 8% had British ancestry, 7.9% had Polish ancestry, 6.4% had Italian ancestry, 4.6% listed themselves as American, 2.4% had Swedish ancestry, 2.2% had French ancestry, other than Basque, 1.6% had Dutch ancestry, and 1.4% had Norwegian ancestry.
Chicago, along the shores of Lake Michigan, is the nation's third largest city.
In 2000, 23.3% of Illinois's population lived in the city of Chicago, 43.3% in Cook County, and 65.6% in the counties of the Chicago metropolitan area: Will, DuPage, Kane, Lake, and McHenry counties, as well as Cook County.
The remaining population lives in the smaller cities and rural areas that dot the state's plains.
Births do not add up, because Hispanics are counted both by ethnicity and by race.
|White:||119,157 (75.9%)||119,995 (75.7%)||119,630 (75.6%)|
|Non-Hispanic White||85,866 (54.7%)||86,227 (54.4%)||85,424 (54.0%)||82,318 (53.3%)||78,925 (52.8%)||77,244 (53.3%)|
|Black||27,692 (17.6%)||28,160 (17.8%)||28,059 (17.7%)||25,619 (16.6%)||25,685 (17.2%)||24,482 (16.9%)|
|Asian||9,848 (6.3%)||10,174 (6.4%)||10,222 (6.5%)||10,015 (6.5%)||9,650 (6.5%)||9,452 (6.5%)|
|American Indian||234 (0.1%)||227 (0.1%)||205 (0.1%)||110 (0.0%)||133 (0.1%)||129 (0.1%)|
|Hispanic (of any race)||33,454 (21.3%)||33,803 (21.3%)||33,902 (21.4%)||32,635 (21.1%)||31,428 (21.0%)||30,362 (21.0%)|
|Total Illinois||156,931 (100%)||158,556 (100%)||158,116 (100%)||154,445 (100%)||149,390 (100%)||144,815 (100%)|
- Since 2016, data for births of White Hispanic origin are not collected, but included in one Hispanic group; persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.
Chicago is the largest city in the state and the third-most populous city in the United States, with its 2010 population of 2,695,598.
Census Bureau currently lists seven other cities with populations of over 100,000 within Illinois.
Based upon the Census Bureau's official 2010 population: Aurora, a Chicago satellite town that eclipsed Rockford for the title of second-most populous city in Illinois; its 2010 population was 197,899.
Rockford, at 152,871, is the third-largest city in the state, and is the largest city in the state not located within the Chicago suburbs.
Joliet, located in metropolitan Chicago, is the fourth-largest city in the state, with a population of 147,433.
Naperville, a suburb of Chicago, is fifth with 141,853.
Naperville and Aurora share a boundary along Illinois Route 59.
Springfield, the state's capital, comes in as sixth-most populous with 117,352 residents.
Peoria, which decades ago was the second-most populous city in the state, is seventh with 115,007.
The eighth-largest and final city in the 100,000 club is Elgin, a northwest suburb of Chicago, with a 2010 population of 108,188.
Other major urban areas include the Champaign-Urbana Metropolitan Area, which has a combined population of almost 230,000 people, the Illinois portion of the Quad Cities area with about 215,000 people, and the Bloomington-Normal area with a combined population of over 165,000.
Main article: Languages of Illinois
Nearly 80% of people in Illinois speak English natively, and most of the rest speak it fluently as a second language.
A number of dialects of American English are spoken, ranging from Inland Northern American English and African-American English around Chicago, to Midland American English in Central Illinois, to Southern American English in the far south.
Over 20% of Illinoians speak a language other than English at home, of which Spanish is by far the most widespread, at more than 12% of the total population.
Roman Catholics constitute the single largest religious denomination in Illinois; they are heavily concentrated in and around Chicago, and account for nearly 30% of the state's population.
However, taken together as a group, the various Protestant denominations comprise a greater percentage of the state's population than do Catholics.
In 2010 Catholics in Illinois numbered 3,648,907.
Illinois has one of the largest concentrations of Missouri Synod Lutherans in the United States.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the largest of the sects to emerge from the Mormon schism, has more than 55,000 adherents in Illinois today.
Other Abrahamic religious communities
A significant number of adherents of other Abrahamic faiths can be found in Illinois.
Muslims constituted the largest non-Christian group, with 359,264 adherents.
Illinois has the largest concentration of Muslims by state in the country, with 2,800 Muslims per 100,000 citizens.
The largest and oldest surviving Baháʼí House of Worship in the world is located in Wilmette, Illinois, The Chicago area has a very large Jewish community, particularly in the suburbs of Skokie, Buffalo Grove, Highland Park, and surrounding suburbs.
Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is the Windy City's first Jewish mayor.
The Baháʼí House of Worship in Wilmette is the center of that religion's worship in North America.
Main article: Economy of Illinois
See also: Illinois locations by per capita income
The dollar gross state product for Illinois was estimated to be US$909 billion in 2019.
The state's 2019 per capita gross state product was estimated to be around $72,000.
As of February 2019, the unemployment rate in Illinois reached 4.2%.
Illinois's minimum wage will rise to $15 per hour by 2025, making it one of the highest in the nation.
In most years, Illinois is either the first or second state for the highest production of soybeans, with a harvest of 427.7 million bushels (11.64 million metric tons) in 2008, after Iowa's production of 444.82 million bushels (12.11 million metric tons).
Illinois ranks second in U.S. corn production with more than 1.5 billion bushels produced annually.
With a production capacity of 1.5 billion gallons per year, Illinois is a top producer of ethanol, ranking third in the United States in 2011.
Illinois is a leader in food manufacturing and meat processing.
Although Chicago may no longer be "Hog Butcher for the World", the Chicago area remains a global center for food manufacture and meat processing, with many plants, processing houses, and distribution facilities concentrated in the area of the former Union Stock Yards.
In the area of The Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Byway, peaches and apples are grown.
The German immigrants from agricultural backgrounds who settled in Illinois in the mid- to late 19th century are in part responsible for the profusion of fruit orchards in that area of Illinois.
Illinois's universities are actively researching alternative agricultural products as alternative crops.
Illinois is one of the nation's manufacturing leaders, boasting annual value added productivity by manufacturing of over $107 billion in 2006.
As of 2011, Illinois is ranked as the 4th-most productive manufacturing state in the country, behind California, Texas, and Ohio.
About three-quarters of the state's manufacturers are located in the Northeastern Opportunity Return Region, with 38 percent of Illinois's approximately 18,900 manufacturing plants located in Cook County.
As of 2006, the leading manufacturing industries in Illinois, based upon value-added, were chemical manufacturing ($18.3 billion), machinery manufacturing ($13.4 billion), food manufacturing ($12.9 billion), fabricated metal products ($11.5 billion), transportation equipment ($7.4 billion), plastics and rubber products ($7.0 billion), and computer and electronic products ($6.1 billion).
By the early 2000s, Illinois's economy had moved toward a dependence on high-value-added services, such as financial trading, higher education, law, logistics, and medicine.
In some cases, these services clustered around institutions that hearkened back to Illinois's earlier economies.
Other important non-manufacturing industries include publishing, tourism, and energy production and distribution.
Venture capitalists funded a total of approximately $62 billion in the U.S. economy in 2016.
Of this amount, Illinois-based companies received approximately $1.1 billion.
Similarly, in FY 2016, the federal government spent $461 billion on contracts in the U.S. Of this amount, Illinois-based companies received approximately $8.7 billion.
Illinois is a net importer of fuels for energy, despite large coal resources and some minor oil production.
Illinois exports electricity, ranking fifth among states in electricity production and seventh in electricity consumption.
About 68% of Illinois has coal-bearing strata of the Pennsylvanian geologic period.
According to the Illinois State Geological Survey, 211 billion tons of bituminous coal are estimated to lie under the surface, having a total heating value greater than the estimated oil deposits in the Arabian Peninsula.
Many Illinois power plants are not equipped to burn high-sulfur coal.
In 1999, Illinois produced 40.4 million tons of coal, but only 17 million tons (42%) of Illinois coal was consumed in Illinois.
Most of the coal produced in Illinois is exported to other states and countries.
In 2008, Illinois exported three million tons of coal, and was projected to export nine million in 2011, as demand for energy grows in places such as China, India, and elsewhere in Asia and Europe.
As of 2010, Illinois was ranked third in recoverable coal reserves at producing mines in the nation.
Mattoon was recently chosen as the site for the Department of Energy's FutureGen project, a 275-megawatt experimental zero emission coal-burning power plant that the DOE just gave a second round of funding.
In 2010, after a number of setbacks, the city of Mattoon backed out of the project.
Illinois is a leading refiner of petroleum in the American Midwest, with a combined crude oil distillation capacity of nearly 900,000 barrels per day (140,000 m/d).
However, Illinois has very limited crude oil proved reserves that account for less than 1% of the U.S. total reserves.
Residential heating is 81% natural gas compared to less than 1% heating oil.
Illinois is ranked 14th in oil production among states, with a daily output of approximately 28,000 barrels (4,500 m) in 2005.
Main article: Nuclear power in the United States
Nuclear power arguably began in Illinois with the Chicago Pile-1, the world's first artificial self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction in the world's first nuclear reactor, built on the University of Chicago campus.
With the exception of the single-unit Clinton plant, each of these facilities has two reactors.
Illinois ranked first in the nation in 2010 in both nuclear capacity and nuclear generation.
Generation from its nuclear power plants accounted for 12 percent of the nation's total.
In 2007, 48% of Illinois's electricity was generated using nuclear power.
The Morris Operation is the only de facto high-level radioactive waste storage site in the United States.
Main article: Wind power in Illinois
Illinois has seen growing interest in the use of wind power for electrical generation.
Most of Illinois was rated in 2009 as "marginal or fair" for wind energy production by the U.S.
Department of Energy, with some western sections rated "good" and parts of the south rated "poor".
These ratings are for wind turbines with 50-meter (160 ft) hub heights; newer wind turbines are taller, enabling them to reach .
As a result, more areas of Illinois have become prospective wind farm sites.
Illinois ranked ninth among U.S. states in installed wind power capacity, and sixteenth by potential capacity.
As of 2007, wind energy represented only 1.7% of Illinois's energy production, and it was estimated that wind power could provide 5–10% of the state's energy needs.
The National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center (NCERC), the world's only facility dedicated to researching the ways and means of converting corn (maize) to ethanol is located on the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
Tax is collected by the Illinois Department of Revenue.
In 1990, that rate was set at 3%, but in 2010, the General Assembly voted for a temporary increase in the rate to 5%; the new rate went into effect on January 1, 2011; the personal income rate partially sunset on January 1, 2015, to 3.75%, while the corporate income tax fell to 5.25%.
Illinois failed to pass a budget from 2015 to 2017, after the 736-day budget impasse, a budget was passed in Illinois after lawmakers overturned Governor Bruce Rauner's veto; this budget raised the personal income rate to 4.95% and the corporate rate to 7%.
There are two rates for state sales tax: 6.25% for general merchandise and 1% for qualifying food, drugs, and medical appliances.
The property tax is a major source of tax revenue for local government taxing districts.
The property tax in Illinois is imposed only on real property.
On May 1, 2019, the Illinois Senate voted to a approve a constitutional amendment to change from a flat tax rate to a graduated rate, in a 73–44 vote.
The governor, J.B. Pritzker, approved the bill on May 27, 2019.
It was scheduled for a 2020 general election ballot vote and requires 60 percent voter approval.
It needed 71 votes to pass, with taxpayers making over $250,000 to be impacted.
It also includes $100 million for property tax relief.
As of 2017 Chicago had the highest state and local sales tax rate for a U.S. city with a populations above 200,000, at 10.250%.
The state of Illinois has the second highest rate of real estate tax: 2.31%, which is second only to New Jersey at 2.44%.
Toll roads are a de facto user tax on the citizens and visitors to the state of Illinois.
Illinois ranks seventh out of the 11 states with the most miles of toll roads, at 282.1 miles.
Chicago ranks fourth in most expensive toll roads in America by the mile, with the Chicago Skyway charging 51.2 cents per mile.
Illinois also has the 11th highest gasoline tax by state, at 37.5 cents per gallon.
For a more comprehensive list, see List of museums in Illinois.
Illinois has numerous museums; the greatest concentration of these are in Chicago.
Several museums in Chicago are ranked as some of the best in the world.
The Illinois State Museum boasts a collection of 13.5 million objects that tell the story of Illinois life, land, people, and art.
The ISM is among only 5% of the nation's museums that are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.
Other historical museums in the state include the Polish Museum of America in Chicago; Magnolia Manor in Cairo; Easley Pioneer Museum in Ipava; the Elihu Benjamin Washburne; Ulysses S. Grant Homes, both in Galena; and the Chanute Air Museum, located on the former Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul.
The Chicago metropolitan area also hosts two zoos: The very large Brookfield Zoo, located about ten miles west of the city center in suburban Brookfield, contains more than 2,300 animals and covers 216 acres (87 ha).
The zoo covers over 35 acres (14 ha) within the park.
- Illinois Museums
Main article: Music of Illinois
Illinois is a leader in music education, having hosted the Midwest Clinic International Band and Orchestra Conference since 1946, as well being home to the Illinois Music Educators Association (IMEA), one of the largest professional music educator's organizations in the country.
Each summer since 2004, Southern Illinois University Carbondale has played host to the Southern Illinois Music Festival, which presents dozens of performances throughout the region.
Chicago, in the northeast corner of the state, is a major center for music in the midwestern United States where distinctive forms of blues (greatly responsible for the future creation of rock and roll), and house music, a genre of electronic dance music, were developed.
The Great Migration of poor black workers from the South into the industrial cities brought traditional jazz and blues music to the city, resulting in Chicago blues and "Chicago-style" Dixieland jazz.
Chicago is also well known for its soul music.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Home Alone, The Breakfast Club, and all his films take place in the fictional Shermer, Illinois (the original name of Northbrook was Shermerville, and Hughes's High School, Glenbrook North High School, is on Shermer Road).
For a more comprehensive list, see List of professional sports teams in Illinois.
Major league sports
As one of the United States' major metropolises, all major sports leagues have teams headquartered in Chicago.
- Two Major League Baseball teams are located in the state. The Chicago Cubs of the National League play in the second-oldest major league stadium (Wrigley Field) and are widely known for having the longest championship drought in all of major American sport: not winning the World Series since 1908. However, this ended in 2016 when the Cubs finally won their first world series in 108 years. That drought finally came to an end when the Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians in seven games to win the 2016 World Series. The Chicago White Sox of the American League won the World Series in 2005, their first since 1917. They play on the city's south side at Guaranteed Rate Field.
- The Chicago Bears football team has won nine total NFL Championships, the last occurring in Super Bowl XX on January 26, 1986.
- The Chicago Bulls of the NBA is one of the most recognized basketball teams in the world, largely as a result of the efforts of Michael Jordan, who led the team to six NBA championships in eight seasons in the 1990s.
- The Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL began playing in 1926, and became a member of the Original Six once the NHL dropped to that number of teams during World War II. The Blackhawks have won six Stanley Cups, most recently in 2015.
- The Chicago Fire is a member of MLS and has been one of the league's most successful and best-supported clubs since its founding in 1997, winning one league and four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups in that timespan. The team played in Bridgeview, adjacent to Chicago from 2006 to 2019. The team now plays in Chicago.
Other top-level professional sports
- The Chicago Red Stars have played at the top level of U.S. women's soccer since their formation in 2009, except in the 2011 season. The team currently plays in the National Women's Soccer League, sharing a stadium with the Fire.
- The Chicago Sky have played in the Women's National Basketball Association, the sister league of the NBA, since 2006.
Minor league sports
Many minor league teams also call Illinois their home.
- The Bloomington Edge of the Indoor Football League
- The Bloomington Flex of the Midwest Professional Basketball Association
- The Chicago Bandits of the NPF, a female softball league; have won four league titles, most recently in 2016
- The Chicago Red Stars of the NWSL, previously of Women's Professional Soccer League (WPS) and Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL)
- The Chicago Wolves are an AHL team playing in the suburb of Rosemont
- The Gateway Grizzlies of the Frontier League in Sauget, Illinois
- The Kane County Cougars of the Midwest League
- The Normal CornBelters of the Frontier League
- The Joliet Slammers of the Frontier League
- The Peoria Chiefs of the Midwest League
- The Peoria Rivermen are an SPHL team
- The Rockford Aviators of the Frontier League
- The Rockford IceHogs are an AHL team
- The Schaumburg Boomers of the Frontier League
- The Southern Illinois Miners based out of Marion in the Frontier League
- The Windy City Bulls, playing in the Chicago suburb of Hoffman Estates, of the NBA G League
The state features 13 athletic programs that compete in NCAA Division I, the highest level of U.S. college sports.
The Fighting Illini football team has won five national championships and three Rose Bowl Games, whereas the men's basketball team has won 17 conference seasons and played five Final Fours.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats have won eight football conference championships and one Rose Bowl Game.
The Northern Illinois Huskies from DeKalb, Illinois compete in the Mid-American Conference winning four conference championships and earning a bid in the Orange Bowl along with producing Heisman candidate Jordan Lynch at quarterback.
The Huskies are the state's only other team competing in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the top level of NCAA football.
Four schools have football programs that compete in the second level of Division I football, the Football Championship Subdivision.
The Illinois State Redbirds (Normal, adjacent to Bloomington) and Southern Illinois Salukis (the latter representing Southern Illinois University's main campus in Carbondale) are members of the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) for non-football sports and the Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC).
The city of Chicago is home to four Division I programs that do not sponsor football.
The Loyola Ramblers, with their main campus straddling the Edgewater and Rogers Park community areas on the city's far north side, compete in the MVC.
Finally, two non-football Division I programs are located downstate.
Former Chicago sports franchises
The city was formerly home to several other teams that either failed to survive or belonged to leagues that folded.
- The Chicago Blitz, United States Football League 1983–1984
- The Chicago Sting, North American Soccer League 1975–1984 and Major Indoor Soccer League
- The Chicago Cougars, World Hockey Association 1972–1975
- The Chicago Rockers, Continental Basketball Association
- The Chicago Skyliners, American Basketball Association 2000–01
- The Chicago Bruisers, Arena Football League 1987–1989
- The Chicago Power, National Professional Soccer League 1984–2001
- The Chicago Blaze, National Women's Basketball League
- The Chicago Machine, Major League Lacrosse
- The Chicago Whales of the Federal Baseball League, a rival league to Major League Baseball from 1914 to 1916
- The Chicago American Giants of the Negro baseball league, 1910–1952
- The Chicago Bruins of the National Basketball League, 1939–1942
- The Chicago Studebaker Flyers of the NBL, 1942–43
- The Chicago American Gears of the NBL, 1944–1947
- The Chicago Stags of the Basketball Association of America, 1946–1950
- The Chicago Majors of the American Basketball League, 1961–1963
- The Chicago Express of the ECHL
- The Chicago Enforcers of the XFL pro football league
- The Chicago Fire, World Football League 1974
- The Chicago Winds, World Football League 1975
- The Chicago Hustle, Women's Professional Basketball League 1978–1981
- The Chicago Mustangs, North American Soccer League 1966–1967
- The Chicago Storm, Ultimate Soccer League 2004–2005
- The Chicago Rush, Arena Football League 2001–2013
Louis, Missouri after the 1959 season.
The franchise is now known as the Washington Wizards.
Professional sports teams outside Chicago
The Schaumburg Boomers and Lake County Fielders are members of the North American League, and the Southern Illinois Miners, Gateway Grizzlies, Joliet Slammers, Windy City ThunderBolts, and Normal CornBelters belong to the Frontier League.
In addition to the Chicago Wolves, the AHL also has the Rockford IceHogs serving as the AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Motor racing oval tracks at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, the Chicago Motor Speedway in Cicero and the Gateway International Raceway in Madison, near St. Louis, have hosted NASCAR, CART, and IRL races, whereas the Sports Car Club of America, among other national and regional road racing clubs, have visited the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, the Blackhawk Farms Raceway in South Beloit and the former Meadowdale International Raceway in Carpentersville.
Parks and recreation
For a more comprehensive list, see List of protected areas of Illinois.
The Illinois state parks system began in 1908 with what is now Fort Massac State Park, becoming the first park in a system encompassing more than 60 parks and about the same number of recreational and wildlife areas.
Areas under the protection of the National Park Service include: the Illinois and Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor near Lockport, the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, the Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail, the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, the American Discovery Trail, and the Pullman National Monument.
Law and politics
Main article: Government of Illinois
The executive branch is split into several statewide elected offices, with the governor as chief executive.
Legislative functions are granted to the Illinois General Assembly.
The judiciary is composed of the Supreme Court and lower courts.
The members of the General Assembly are elected at the beginning of each even-numbered year.
The executive branch is composed of six elected officers and their offices as well as numerous other departments.
The government of Illinois has numerous departments, agencies, boards and commissions, but the so-called code departments provide most of the state's services.
The Judiciary of Illinois is the unified court system of Illinois.
The Supreme Court oversees the administration of the court system.
The administrative divisions of Illinois are counties, townships, precincts, cities, towns, villages, and special-purpose districts.
The basic subdivision of Illinois are the 102 counties.
Eighty-five of the 102 counties are in turn divided into townships and precincts.
Municipal governments are the cities, villages, and incorporated towns.
Some localities possess home rule, which allows them to govern themselves to a certain extent.
Illinois is a Democratic stronghold.
However, in recent elections, the Democratic Party has gained ground, and Illinois has come to be seen as a solid "blue" state in presidential campaigns.
Votes from Chicago and most of Cook County have long been strongly Democratic.
College towns like Carbondale, Champaign, and Normal also lean Democratic.
Republicans continue to prevail in the rural areas of northern and central Illinois, as well as southern Illinois outside of East St. Louis.
By contrast, Illinois has trended more toward the Democratic party, and has voted for their presidential candidates in the last six elections; in 2000, George W. Bush became the first Republican to win the presidency without carrying either Illinois or Vermont.
In 2010, incumbent governor Pat Quinn was re-elected with 47% of the vote, while Republican Mark Kirk was elected to the Senate with 48% of the vote.
In 2012, President Obama easily carried Illinois again, with 58% to Republican candidate Mitt Romney's 41%.
In 2014, Republican Bruce Rauner defeated Governor Quinn 50% to 46% to become Illinois's first Republican governor in 12 years after being sworn in on January 12, 2015, while Democratic senator Dick Durbin was re-elected with 53% of the vote.
History of corruption
Main article: Political corruption in Illinois
In 2006, former governor George Ryan was convicted of racketeering and bribery, leading to a six-and-a-half-year prison sentence.
In 2008, then-Governor Rod Blagojevich was served with a criminal complaint on corruption charges, stemming from allegations that he conspired to sell the vacated Senate seat left by President Barack Obama to the highest bidder.
Subsequently, on December 7, 2011, Rod Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in prison for those charges, as well as perjury while testifying during the case, totaling 18 convictions.
Blagojevich was impeached and convicted by the legislature, resulting in his removal from office.
In the late 20th century, Congressman Dan Rostenkowski was imprisoned for mail fraud; former governor and federal judge Otto Kerner, Jr. was imprisoned for bribery; Secretary of State Paul Powell was investigated and found to have gained great wealth through bribes, and State Auditor of Public Accounts (Comptroller) Orville Hodge was imprisoned for embezzlement.
In 1912, William Lorimer, the GOP boss of Chicago, was expelled from the U.S. Senate for bribery and in 1921, Governor Len Small was found to have defrauded the state of a million dollars.
U.S. presidential elections
Main article: United States presidential elections in Illinois
Illinois has shown a strong presence in presidential elections.
Lincoln was born in Kentucky, but he moved to Illinois at age 21.
House of Representatives before his election to the presidency in 1860.
Ulysses S. Grant was born in Ohio and had a military career that precluded settling down, but on the eve of the Civil War and approaching middle age, he moved to Illinois and thus utilized the state as his home and political base when running for president.
He then became president in 2008, running as a candidate from his Illinois base.
Reagan later moved to California during his young adulthood.
He then became an actor, and later became California's Governor before being elected president.
Hillary Clinton was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago and became the first woman to represent a major political party in the general election of the U.S. presidency.
Clinton ran from a platform based in New York State.
African-American U.S. senators
Moseley-Braun was the first African-American woman to become a U.S.
Three families from Illinois have played particularly prominent roles in the Democratic Party, gaining both statewide and national fame.
The Stevenson family, initially rooted in central Illinois and later based in the Chicago metropolitan area, has provided four generations of Illinois officeholders.
- Adlai Stevenson I (1835–1914) was a Vice President of the United States, as well as a Congressman
- Lewis Stevenson (1868–1929), son of Adlai, served as Illinois Secretary of State.
- Adlai Stevenson II (1900–1965), son of Lewis, served as Governor of Illinois and as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; he was also the Democratic party's presidential nominee in 1952 and 1956, losing both elections to Dwight Eisenhower.
- Adlai Stevenson III (1930–), son of Adlai II, served ten years as a United States Senator.
The Daley family's powerbase was in Chicago.
- Richard J. Daley (1902–1976) served as Mayor of Chicago from 1955 to his death.
- Richard M. Daley (1942–), son of Richard J, was Chicago's longest-serving mayor, in office from 1989 to 2011.
- William M. Daley (1948–), another son of Richard J, is a former White House Chief of Staff and has served in a variety of appointed positions.
The Pritzker family is based in Chicago and have played important roles in both the private and the public sectors.
- Jay Pritzker (1922–1999), co-founder of Hyatt Hotel based in Chicago.
- Penny Pritzker (born 1959), 38th United States Secretary of Commerce under President Barack Obama.
- J.B. Pritzker (born 1965), current and 43rd governor of Illinois and co-founder of the Pritzker Group.
Illinois State Board of education
Main article: Illinois State Board of Education
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is autonomous of the governor and the state legislature, and administers public education in the state.
The ISBE also makes recommendations to state leaders concerning education spending and policies.
Primary and secondary schools
Education is compulsory for ages 7–17 in Illinois.
District territories are often complex in structure.
Many areas in the state are actually located in two school districts—one for high school, the other for elementary and middle schools.
And such districts do not necessarily share boundaries.
A given high school may have several elementary districts that feed into it, yet some of those feeder districts may themselves feed into multiple high school districts.
Colleges and universities
For a more comprehensive list, see List of colleges and universities in Illinois.
Using the criterion established by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, there are eleven "National Universities" in the state.
As of 19 August 2010, six of these rank in the "first tier" (that is, the top quartile) among the top 500 National Universities in the United States, as determined by the U.S. rankings: the News & World ReportUniversity of Chicago (3), Northwestern University (10), the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (41), Loyola University Chicago (89), the Illinois Institute of Technology (108), DePaul University (123), University of Illinois at Chicago (129), Illinois State University (149), Southern Illinois University Carbondale (153), and Northern Illinois University (194).
The University of Chicago is continuously ranked as one of the world's top ten universities on various independent university rankings, and its Booth School of Business, along with Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management consistently rank within the top five graduate business schools in the country and top ten globally.
The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign is often ranked among the best engineering schools in the world and in United States.
Schools in Illinois are funded primarily by property taxes, based on state assessment of property values, rather than direct state contributions.
Scholar Tracy Steffes has described Illinois public education as historically “inequitable,” a system where one of “the wealthiest of states” is “the stingiest in its support for education.” There have been several attempts to reform school funding in Illinois.
The most notable attempt came in 1973 with the adoption of the Illinois Resource Equalizer Formula, a measure through which it was hoped funding could be collected and distributed to Illinois schools more equitably.
However, opposition from affluent Illinois communities who objected to having to pay for the less well-off school districts (many of them Black majority communities, produced by redlining, white flight, and other “soft” segregation methods) resulted in the formula’s abolition in the late 1980s.
From 1962 until 1998, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport (ORD) was the busiest airport in the world, measured both in terms of total flights and passengers.
While it was surpassed by Atlanta's Hartsfield in 1998 (as Chicago splits its air traffic between O'Hare and Midway airports, while Atlanta uses only one airport), with 59.3 million domestic passengers annually, along with 11.4 million international passengers in 2008, O'Hare consistently remains one of the two or three busiest airports globally, and in some years still ranks number one in total flights.
Midway Airport (MDW), which had been the busiest airport in the world at one point until it was supplanted by O'Hare as the busiest airport in 1962, is now the secondary airport in the Chicago metropolitan area and still ranks as one of the nation's busiest airports.
Midway is a major hub for Southwest Airlines and services many other carriers as well.
Midway served 17.3 million domestic and international passengers in 2008.
Illinois has an extensive passenger and freight rail transportation network.
Chicago is a national Amtrak hub and in-state passengers are served by Amtrak's Illinois Service, featuring the Chicago to Carbondale Illini and Saluki, the Chicago to Quincy Carl Sandburg and Illinois Zephyr, and the Chicago to St. Louis Lincoln Service.
Currently there is trackwork on the Chicago–St.
Louis line to bring the maximum speed up to 110 mph (180 km/h), which would reduce the trip time by an hour and a half.
Nearly every North American railway meets at Chicago, making it the largest and most active rail hub in the country.
One of the largest suburban commuter rail system in the United States, operated by Metra, uses existing rail lines to provide direct commuter rail access for hundreds of suburbs to the city and beyond.
Interstate highway system
Main article: List of Interstate Highways in Illinois
The Interstate Highways in Illinois are all segments of the Interstate Highway System that are owned and maintained by the state.
Illinois has the distinction of having the most primary (two-digit) interstates pass through it among all the 50 states with 13.
Illinois also ranks third among the fifty states with the most interstate mileage, coming in after California and Texas, which are much bigger states in area.
U.S. highway system
Main article: List of U.S. Highways in Illinois
The system in Illinois consists of 21 primary highways.
Among the U.S. highways that pass through the state, the primary ones are: US 6, US 12, US 14, US 20, US 24, US 30, US 34, US 36, US 40, US 41, US 45, US 50, US 51, US 52, US 54, US 60, US 62, and US 67.
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illinois.