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Population: 12,875,255 (Source: 2012 U.S. Census)
Major Cities: Chicago, Aurora, Rockford, Joliet, Naperville, Springfield, Peoria
Borders: Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky
Gross Domestic Product (GDP): $695,238 million (2012 U.S. Department of Commerce)
Agriculture including corn, soybeans, wheat, cattle, and dairy products
Chemicals, machinery, food processing, electronic products, publishing, and tourism
How Illinois got its name: The name Illinois is a French word that was used to describe the local Native Americans.
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Illinois State Symbols
State Nickname: Prairie State
State Slogan: Mile After Magnificent Mile; Right Here. Right Now.
State Motto: State sovereignty, national union
State flower: Violet
State bird: Cardinal aka Northern Cardinal
State fish: Bluegill
State tree: White Oak
State mammal: White-tailed deer
State foods: Popcorn
Becoming a State
Date admitted: Thursday, December 3, 1818
Number admitted: 21
Prior Name: Illinois Territory
Postal Abbreviation: IL
The Geography of Illinois
Total Size: 55,584 sq. miles (source: 2003 Census)
Geographical Low Point: Mississippi River at 279 feet, located in the county/subdivision of Alexander (source: U.S. Geological Survey)
Geographical High Point: Charles Mound at 1,235 feet, located in the county/subdivision of Jo Daviess (source: U.S. Geological Survey)
Central Point: Located in Logan County approx. 28 miles northeast of Springfield (source: U.S. Geological Survey)
Counties: 102 (source: National Association of Counties)
Bodies of Water: Lake Michigan, Rend Lake, Illinois River, Mississippi River, Ohio River, Wabash River
- Hillary Clinton - First Lady and U.S. Secretary of State
- Cindy Crawford - Model
- Michael Crichton - Author and movie producer
- Walt Disney - Founder of Walt Disney Company
- Wyatt Earp - Lawman of the wild west
- Enrico Fermi - Nuclear scientist
- Harrison Ford - Actor
- Ernest Hemingway - Author
- Jackie Joyner-Kersee - Track and field athlete
- Abraham Lincoln - The 16th President of the United States and Illinois congressman
- Bill Murray - Actor and comedian
- Michelle Obama - First Lady of the U.S.
- Ronald Reagan - The 40th President of the United States
- Derrick Rose - Professional basketball player
- Eddie Vedder - Lead singer of Pearl Jam
- The Willis Tower (Sears Tower) in Chicago, Illinois is the tallest building in the United States.
- Chicago is the third largest city in the United States.
- The headquarters of McDonald's is located in Oak Brook, Illinois.
- The state dance of Illinois is Square Dancing.
- On Saint Patrick's Day the Chicago River is dyed green.
- Famous people born in Illinois include Walt Disney, Harrison Ford, Ernest Hemmingway, and President Ronald Reagan.
- Illinois was the first state to abolish slavery by ratifying the thirteenth amendment.
- There are over 6,000 units of government (for example city, township, county, etc.) in the State of Illinois.
- The world's largest public library is the Chicago Public Library. It has over 2 million books!
- Abraham Lincoln served in the Illinois State Legislature.
Professional Sports Teams
- Chicago Bears - NFL (football)
- Chicago Blackhawks - NHL (hockey)
- Chicago Bulls - NBA (basketball)
- Chicago Cubs - MLB (baseball)
- Chicago Fire - MLS (soccer)
- Chicago White Sox - MLB (baseball)
Geography >> US States>> Illinois History
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