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Welcome to Illinois

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Illinois State Flag
Illinois State Flag
Illinois State Seal
Illinois State Seal
Illinois Location
Illinois Location


Illinois is a state in the United States named after the Illiniwek Indian tribe, which used to live there. The capital of Illinois is Springfield and the U.S. postal abbreviation for the state is IL.

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, lived in Illinois from a young age, and eventually served four terms in the Illinois General Assembly. Ronald Reagan, the 40th President, was born in Tampico, Illinois.

The USS Illinois was named in honor of this state.

State nicknames The Prairie State or Land of Lincoln
Capital Springfield
Largest City Chicago
Governor (2004) Rod Blagojevich
- Total
- Land
- Water
- % water
Ranked 25th
149,998 kmē
143,968 kmē
6,030 kmē
4.0 %
- Total (2000)
- Density
Ranked 5th
Ranked 11th 86.27 /kmē
Admittance into Union
- Order
- Date

December 3, 1818
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
87°30'W to 91°30'W
36°58'N to 42°30'N
- Highest
- Mean
- Lowest
340 km
630 km

376 meters
182 meters
8 5 meters
ISO 3166-2 US-IL
State Animal White-tailed deer
State Bird Cardinal
State Fish Bluegill
State Flower Purple violet
State Insect Monarch butterfly
State Song "Illinois"
State Tree White oak


Named for the Illiniwek tribe of Native Americans, this state is known as the "Land of Lincoln," because it is where the 16th President spent his formative years. Illinois became the 21st state in 1818. Illinois Territory was created on February 3, 1809 out of the Northwest Territory. Previous to that, its lands were claimed by the Illinois-Wabash Company.


The capital of the state is Springfield. The current Governor of Illinois is Rod Blagojevich (a Democrat) and the U.S. Senators are Richard J. Durbin (a Democrat) and Peter G. Fitzgerald (a Republican). Senator Fitzgerald will retire when his term ends. Currently on the ballet to replace him are Barack Obama (Democrat), Alan Keyes (Republican), Jerry Kohn (Libertarian), and Albert Franzen, an independent. Keyes was selected for the Republican ticket to replace Jack Ryan (Republican), who had withdrawn from the race.


It is in the north central U.S. and borders on Lake Michigan. Surrounding states are Wisconsin to the north, Iowa and Missouri to the west, Kentucky to the south, and Indiana to the east. Illinois also borders Michigan, but only via a water boundary in Lake Michigan.


The 1999 total gross state product for Illinois was $446 billion, placing it 4th in the nation. The per capita income was $32,259.

Illinois' agricultural outputs are corn, soybeans, hogs, cattle, dairy products and wheat. Its industrial outputs are machinery, food processing, electrical equipment, chemical products, publishing, fabricated metal products, transportation equipment, petroleum and coal.


The 2000 population of Illinois was 12,419,293. At the northern edge of the state on Lake Michigan lies Chicago, the nation's third largest city. More than half of the population lives in and around Chicago, the leading industrial and transportation center in the region. The rest of the population lives in the smaller cities and on the farms that dot the state's gently rolling plains.

Important Cities and Towns

Population > 1,000,000
Important Suburbs of Chicago
Other Cities Population >10,000


Population > 100,000

Colleges and Universities

  • Augustana College
  • Aurora University
  • Barat College
  • Benedictine University
  • Blackburn College
  • Bradley University
  • The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
  • Chicago State University
  • College of DuPage
  • Columbia College
  • Concordia University, River Forest
  • DePaul University
  • DeVry University, DuPage
  • Dominican University
  • East-West University
  • Eastern Illinois University
  • Elmhurst College
  • Erikson Institute
  • Eureka College
  • Governors State University
  • Greenville College
  • Illinois College
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Illinois State University
  • Illinois Wesleyan University
  • Judson College
  • Kendall College
  • Knox College
  • Lake Forest College
  • Lakeview College of Nursing
  • Lewis University
  • Lincoln Christian College and Seminary
  • Loyola University Chicago
  • Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
  • McKendree College
  • McMurray College
  • Midwestern University
  • Millikin University
  • Monmouth College
  • Moody Bible Institute
  • National University of Health Sciences
  • National-Louis University
  • North Central College
  • North Park College and Theological Seminary
  • Northeastern Illinois University
  • Northern Illinois University
  • Northwestern University
  • Olivet Nazarene University
  • Principia College
  • Quincy University
  • Robert Morris College
  • Rockford College
  • Roosevelt University
  • Rush University
  • Saint Anthony College of Nursing
  • St. Xavier University
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Shimer College
  • Southern Illinois University System
    • Southern Illinois University Carbondale
    • Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  • Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies
  • Trinity Christian College
  • Trinity International University
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Illinois System
    • University of Illinois at Chicago
    • University of Illinois at Springfield
    • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • University of St. Francis
  • Western Illinois University
  • Wheaton College

Professional Sports Teams

National Football League

  • Chicago Bears

National Basketball Association

  • Chicago Bulls

National Hockey League

  • Chicago Blackhawks

Major League Soccer

  • Chicago Fire

Major League Baseball:

  • Chicago Cubs
  • Chicago White Sox

Minor League baseball teams:

  • Peoria Chiefs
  • Kane County Cougars
  • Cook County Cheetahs
  • Gateway Grizzlies
  • Rockford RiverHawks


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