Illinois (IL)

ILLINOIS STATE FLAG

The first Europeans to visit Illinois were French explorers Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette in 1673, but the region was ceded to Britain after the French and Indian War. After the American Revolution, Illinois became a territory of the United States and became a state in 1818.

Located on Lake Michigan, and connected to the eastern ports by the Erie Canal, Chicago became a thriving metropolis, and even the fire of 1871 failed to stunt its growth. In the second half of the 19th century, the great need for workers for the factories, railroads, and slaughterhouses made Chicago a popular destination for immigrants and liberated blacks.

During Prohibition, Chicago became synonymous with illegal booze and mobsters like Al Capone.

Geography

Illinois is located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Wisconsin to the north, Iowa to the west, Missouri and Kentucky to the south, and Indiana to the east. The Mississippi River forms part of its western border. Illinois has an area of 57,914 square miles (150,000 km2), making it the 25th largest state in America. Its population is approximately 12.7 million people and it is divided into 102 counties and 1,299 municipalities.

The geography of Illinois is varied with flat plains in the northern regions and rolling hills in the southern regions. The northern region includes parts of the Great Lakes Plain, while most of central Illinois consists of prairies and rolling hills. The southern region consists mostly of lowlands along with some hills and bluffs along rivers such as the Ohio River and Mississippi River. The highest point in Illinois is Charles Mound at 1,235 feet (376 m).

The state contains numerous rivers such as the Illinois River, Des Plaines River, Kankakee River, Fox River and Rock River which all flow into or near Lake Michigan or Mississippi river which forms part of its western border. There are also several large natural lakes including Lake Michigan which forms much of its eastern border with Indiana; Carlyle Lake; Rend Lake; Lake Shelbyville; Crab Orchard Lake; Lake Springfield; and Evergreen Lake among others. Much of this water eventually flows into either one of two major drainage basins: The Great Lakes Basin or The Gulf Of Mexico Basin via various other rivers like Wabash river or Ohio river before finally reaching their respective destinations.

Illinois also contains a number of wildlife preserves including Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge near Marion; Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge near Havana; LaSalle Fish & Wildlife Area near Ottawa; Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge near Havana; Kankakee Sands Prairie Restoration near Morocco as well as many other smaller wildlife preserves scattered across various parts of state making them ideal spots for bird watching enthusiasts or nature lovers alike.

Additionally, there are several State Parks located throughout Illinois including Starved Rock State Park near Oglesby; Giant City State Park near Makanda; Pere Marquette State Park near Grafton; Moraine View State Recreation Area near LeRoy; Matthiessen State Park near Oglesby among many others offering camping sites, hiking trails, fishing spots, canoeing/ kayaking locations etc.. making them perfect places for outdoor activities like camping, hiking, fishing etc.

Cities in Illinois

Below are the top 15 cities by population in Illinois.

Chicago is the largest city in Illinois, and it is the third most populous city in the United States. It is located on the shores of Lake Michigan and is home to a wide variety of cultural attractions and activities for visitors. The city has a vibrant performing arts scene, with world-class museums, music venues, theater companies, and art galleries. Chicago also boasts an impressive skyline with iconic buildings such as the Willis Tower and John Hancock Center. There are plenty of things to do in Chicago from visiting museums like The Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium to exploring attractions like Navy Pier and Millennium Park.

Aurora is another major city in Illinois located 40 miles west of Chicago. It is the second most populous city in the state after Chicago. Aurora has become known as a hub for shopping, dining, entertainment and culture with its array of theaters, museums, parks, gardens and other attractions. Visitors can enjoy many outdoor activities such as fishing on Fox River or bicycling along one of Aurora’s many bike paths. Aurora also has an impressive selection of restaurants ranging from upscale fine dining to casual eateries serving locally sourced ingredients. Finally, Aurora offers numerous annual events including RiverEdge Park Summer Concert Series which features live music performances every summer weekend at RiverEdge Park Amphitheater.

Rank City Population
1 Chicago 2,742,119
2 Aurora 183,447
3 Joliet 150,323
4 Naperville 149,013
5 Rockford 148,942
6 Springfield 114,672
7 Elgin 114,156
8 Peoria 113,672
9 Waukegan 89,751
10 Champaign 88,343
11 Cicero 84,905
12 Evanston 78,454
13 Bloomington 78,372
14 Schaumburg 78,053
15 Arlington Heights 77,283

Counties in Illinois

The State of Illinois consists of 102 counties. They are:

  1. Adams County, Illinois
  2. Alexander County, Illinois
  3. Bond County, Illinois
  4. Boone County, Illinois
  5. Brown County, Illinois
  6. Bureau County, Illinois
  7. Calhoun County, Illinois
  8. Carroll County, Illinois
  9. Cass County, Illinois
  10. Champaign County, Illinois
  11. Christian County, Illinois
  12. Clark County, Illinois
  13. Clay County, Illinois
  14. Clinton County, Illinois
  15. Coles County, Illinois
  16. Cook County, Illinois
  17. Crawford County, Illinois
  18. Cumberland County, Illinois
  19. DeKalb County, Illinois
  20. DeWitt County, Illinois
  21. Douglas County, Illinois
  22. DuPage County, Illinois
  23. Edgar County, Illinois
  24. Edwards County, Illinois
  25. Effingham County, Illinois
  26. Fayette County, Illinois
  27. Ford County, Illinois
  28. Franklin County, Illinois
  29. Fulton County, Illinois
  30. Gallatin County, Illinois
  31. Greene County, Illinois
  32. Grundy County, Illinois
  33. Hamilton County, Illinois
  34. Hancock County, Illinois
  35. Hardin County, Illinois
  36. Henderson County, Illinois
  37. Henry County, Illinois
  38. Iroquois County, Illinois
  39. Jackson County, Illinois
  40. Jasper County, Illinois
  41. Jefferson County, Illinois
  42. Jersey County, Illinois
  43. Jo Daviess County, Illinois
  44. Johnson County, Illinois
  45. Kane County, Illinois
  46. Kankakee County, Illinois
  47. Kendall County, Illinois
  48. Knox County, Illinois
  49. Lake County, Illinois
  50. LaSalle County, Illinois
  51. Lawrence County, Illinois
  52. Lee County, Illinois
  53. Livingston County, Illinois
  54. Logan County, Illinois
  55. Macon County, Illinois
  56. Macoupin County, Illinois
  57. Madison County, Illinois
  58. Marion County, Illinois
  59. Marshall County, Illinois
  60. Mason County, Illinois
  61. Massac County, Illinois
  62. McDonough County, Illinois
  63. McHenry County, Illinois
  64. McLean County, Illinois
  65. Menard County, Illinois
  66. Mercer County, Illinois
  67. Monroe County, Illinois
  68. Montgomery County, Illinois
  69. Morgan County, Illinois
  70. Moultrie County, Illinois
  71. Ogle County, Illinois
  72. Peoria County, Illinois
  73. Perry County, Illinois
  74. Piatt County, Illinois
  75. Pike County, Illinois
  76. Pope County, Illinois
  77. Pulaski County, Illinois
  78. Putnam County, Illinois
  79. Randolph County, Illinois
  80. Richland County, Illinois
  81. Rock Island County, Illinois
  82. Saint Clair County, Illinois
  83. Saline County, Illinois
  84. Sangamon County, Illinois
  85. Schuyler County, Illinois
  86. Scott County, Illinois
  87. Shelby County, Illinois
  88. Stark County, Illinois
  89. Stephenson County, Illinois
  90. Tazewell County, Illinois
  91. Union County, Illinois
  92. Vermilion County, Illinois
  93. Wabash County, Illinois
  94. Warren County, Illinois
  95. Washington County, Illinois
  96. Wayne County, Illinois
  97. White County, Illinois
  98. Whiteside County, Illinois
  99. Will County, Illinois
  100. Williamson County, Illinois
  101. Winnebago County, Illinois
  102. Woodford County, Illinois

ILLINOIS STATE FLAG