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Named for a confederacy of Native Americans who once called the region home, Illinois is centrally located in the heartland of the US and is home to vast areas of farmland as well as one of the country's largest urban centers, Chicago. Long before Abe called it home, the Land of Lincoln was quarters for bands of native peoples who set up river-side villages. With the opening of the American West and immigration through the 18th century, Chicago's population ballooned. Business and industrial development made the city one of America's most important. Today, the Windy City and its surrounding suburbs are an arts, culture and business center. Other popular destinations in the state include Springfield, the capital city; Nauvoo, the first home of Mormonism and site of its historic development; the college town of Urbana/Champagne; and Illinois' oldest city, Cahokia. Much of the state holds fast to its agrarian roots and remains an integral producer of American agricultural products. Nature lovers will enjoy the Shawnee National Forest, which straddles the southern tip of the state along the borders with Kentucky and Missouri. Because of its location, Illinois has a variable climate throughout the year that ranges from warm, sometimes sticky, summers to colder winters, especially in the north.


Famous Residents

Famous people that live in or are from Illinois
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Ernest Hemingway
  • John Deere
  • Ronald Reagan
  • Cindy Crawford
  • Harrison Ford
  • Miles Davis
  • Quincy Jones
  • Carl Sandburg
  • Bill Murray


Local Color

What makes Illinois unique
  • Deep-Dish Pizza
  • Major League Pizza
  • Hot Dogs
  • Lincoln
  • Bald Eagles
  • Route 66
  • The Loop



Illinois's alter egos
  • Land of Lincoln
  • Prairie State
  • Corn State
  • Garden of the West


Major Industries

Most profitable industries in Illinois
  • Agriculture
  • Cattle
  • Manufacturing
  • Mining


Geographic Regions

Regions that extend into Illinois
  • Central Plains
  • Shawnee Hills
  • Gulf Coastal