According to babyinger, Illinois is a state located in the Midwestern United States. It is bounded by Wisconsin to the north, Iowa to the west, Missouri and Kentucky to the south, and Indiana to the east. The state covers an area of 57,918 square miles and has a population of 12.7 million people as of 2020.
Illinois can be divided into three distinct geographic regions: Northern Illinois, Central Illinois, and Southern Illinois. Northern Illinois is dominated by rolling hills and flat plains. It includes Chicago and its suburbs as well as other large cities such as Rockford and Aurora. Central Illinois is home to some of the state’s most productive farmland with vast fields of corn, soybeans, wheat, and other crops stretching across its landscape. Southern Illinois features hilly terrain with forests that are home to many species of wildlife including deer, turkey, coyote, foxes, bobcats and more.
The climate in Illinois varies across its different regions but generally features hot summers with temperatures reaching up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) in July along with cold winters where temperatures can drop below 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius). The state receives around 40 inches (100 cm) of precipitation annually which mostly falls between April-September in the form of rain or snow depending on location and seasonality.
Illinois also has several major bodies of water including Lake Michigan which forms its northeastern border with Wisconsin; Fox River which flows through northern parts of the state; Mississippi River which forms its western border with Iowa; Wabash River which flows through southeastern parts of the state; Kaskaskia River which flows through central parts of the state; Ohio River which forms part of its southern border with Kentucky; Vermilion River which winds through eastern parts of the state; Des Plaines River which flows through western parts near Chicago; as well as several other smaller rivers throughout the region.
Administrative Regions in Illinois
According to COUNTRYAAH.COM, Illinois is divided into 102 counties and is further divided into eight regions for administrative purposes. The Northern Region consists of the counties of Boone, DeKalb, Grundy, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Ogle and Will. This region is home to some of the most populous cities in the state including Chicago and its suburbs as well as Rockford and Aurora. The Central Region consists of the counties of Adams, Brown, Bureau, Calhoun, Cass, Champaign, Christian, Clark, Coles, Crawford and Cumberland. This region is home to some of Illinois’ most productive farmland with vast fields of corn and soybeans stretching across its landscape.
The East Central Region consists of the counties of DeWitt, Douglas, Edgar, Ford, Iroquois, Livingston, Logan, Macon, Mason, McLean, Menard, Montgomery and Piatt. This region is part of the Prairie State and is home to many large cities such as Peoria and Champaign-Urbana. The West Central Region consists of the counties of Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Knox and Mercer. This region is home to some of Illinois’ most beautiful landscapes with rolling hills and forests covering its landscape.
The Southwestern Region consists of the counties of Bond, Clay Jackson Jefferson Madison Monroe Perry Randolph St. Clair Washington White and Williamson. This region is home to many large cities such as Carbondale and Marion as well as some smaller towns in between them. The South Suburban Region consists of the counties of Cook DuPage Kankakee Kendall LaSalle Will Will County Grundy and Kendall. This region includes some of Illinois’ largest cities such as Chicago Naperville Joliet Wheaton Harvey Aurora Elgin Waukegan Gary Des Plaines Mount Prospect Arlington Heights and Schaumburg.
Finally, the South Eastern Region consists of the counties of Alexander, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski and Union. This region is home to some of Illinois’ most historic cities such as Cairo and Shawneetown as well as many smaller towns in between them. The region is also home to many large bodies of water including the Ohio River which forms part of its eastern border. All together, these regions make up the great state of Illinois. From sprawling metropolises to small rural towns and from rolling hills to vast prairies each region offers something unique for visitors and residents alike.
Demographics of Illinois
Illinois is the sixth most populous state in the United States with a population of 12,671,821 people according to the 2019 U.S. Census estimates. The majority of the population (68%) live in the Chicago metropolitan area, which is home to over 9 million people. The racial makeup of Illinois is 77% White, 15% Black or African American, 4% Asian, and 2% from two or more races. Hispanics and Latinos make up 14.5% of the population while Native Americans make up a small percentage with only 0.3%. The median household income in Illinois is $62,992 and 19.1% of households live below the poverty line. Education levels are high; 91.2 % of adults over 25 have at least a high school diploma and 35.7 % have a bachelor’s degree or higher. In terms of religion, 43% are affiliated with Christianity while 33% are unaffiliated with any religion and 24% identify as non-Christian faiths such as Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism among others. Finally, Illinois has a diverse economy that includes finance and insurance services as well as manufacturing for automobiles and chemicals among other industries that contribute to its GDP of $845 billion dollars as reported by the Bureau of Economic Analysis in 2018.
Transportation in Illinois
Illinois is home to an extensive transportation network that includes roads, highways, railways, and airports. The state has over 200,000 miles of roads and highways including the Chicago Skyway, the Dan Ryan Expressway, the Eisenhower Expressway, and many others. The state also has more than 3,500 miles of railroad track operated by freight railroads such as BNSF Railway Company and Union Pacific Railroad. Amtrak operates several intercity passenger rail services throughout Illinois that connect major cities such as Chicago to other cities in the Midwest. The public transit system in Illinois consists of buses and trains operated by Metra and Pace Bus. Metra operates 11 commuter rail lines that connect downtown Chicago to its surrounding suburbs while Pace Bus operates a bus service in the suburbs of Chicago as well as other parts of northern Illinois.
In addition to its extensive road network, Illinois also has numerous airports scattered throughout the state with O’Hare International Airport being the busiest airport in the world with more than 80 million passengers passing through it annually. Midway International Airport is another major airport located in Chicago while other regional airports include Champaign Willard Airport, General Wayne A Downing Peoria International Airport among others. With this comprehensive network of transportation options available for both freight and passenger travel, Illinois is well connected to other states across America as well as internationally.