Most Viewed Illinois Maps
Located in the Midwestern United States, Illinois is a state in the Great Lakes region of North America. Comprising 57,918 square miles, 'The Prairie State' is the 25th largest state by land area and the 5th most populous state in United States. The state capital is Springfield while Chicago is the largest city.
History of Illinois
Around 10,000-8,000 BC, the Paleo Indians lived in small groups in the area. Over the years, the region was inhabited by people of Woodland and Mississippian cultures. In the year 1680, other French explorers arrived and built a fort at what is today known as Peoria. Subsequently, in the year 1682, a fort was built on Starved Rock in what is today famously known as Starved Rock State Park. With its defeat in the Seven Years' War, France had to surrender all of the Illinois country to Britain.
In the year 1783, the Treaty of Paris extended the boundaries of the United States to include Illinois. In a compromise that followed, Virginia surrendered its hold on Illinois to the newly formed US. On December 3, 1818, Illinois achieved statehood and became the 21st US state. There was a marked improvement in labor conditions in the 20th century and the state's economy began to prosper.
Geography of Illinois
The state borders Wisconsin to the north, Lake Michigan and Indiana to the east, Kentucky to the south, and Iowa and Missouri to the west. The state has 102 counties. It can be divided into three major regions: Northern, Central and Southern.
Northern Illinois features city of Chicago and its suburbs. The Heart of Illinois, Central division is dominated by mostly flat prairies which make up around 90% of the state. Southern Illinois has Shawnee Hills and the Gulf Coastal Plain.
Charles Mound is the state’s highest point at 376 meters (1,235 feet) above the sea level. The average temperature in Illinois varies from 87.1 degrees Fahrenheit to 9.8 degrees Fahrenheit.
Travel Destinations in Illinois
Walk the Windy City's Magnificent Mile to gaze at skyscrapers, shop in high-end boutiques, and grab a slice of deep-dish pizza. Learn more about Honest Abe's life at Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, go for a hike to the waterfalls in Starved Rock State Park, take an evening walk in Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford, admire fall foliage at Shawnee National Forest, and trace Native American history at Cahokia Mounds.
Navy Pier, Shedd Aquarium, Cloud Gate, Lincoln Park Zoo, Buffalo Rock State Park, Mississippi Palisades State Park, and Chestnut Mountain are also major points of interest in Illinois.
Transportation in Illinois
- By Air – Chicago's O'Hare International Airport (ORD) is consistently ranked among the world's busiest airports.
- By Train – Amtrak operates Lake Shore Limited, Capitol Limited, City of New Orleans, Texas Eagle, Southwest Chief, and California Zephyr routes through the state.
- By Road – More primary (two-digit) interstate highways pass through Illinois than any other US State.
Education in Illinois
Education in Illinois is compulsory from age 7 until age 17. The state has 11 national universities. The University of Chicago
, Northwestern University
, and the University of Illinois
at Urbana-Champaign are continuously ranked in top 50 American universities. Read more here
Facts about Illinois
- It was the first state to abolish slavery by ratifying the Thirteenth Amendment.
- The world's first Skyscraper, Home Insurance Building, was erected in Chicago.
- The state generates more nuclear power than any other state.
Read more here
Last Updated on: May 22, 2017