Is Chicago a City or a State? (Chicago vs Illinois)

Is Chicago a City or a State
The Famous Chicago Bean

Chicago is a city, and it is located in the state of Illinois. Officially, the name is the City of Chicago. It was founded by a non-native settler named Jean Baptiste Point du Sable in the 1780s.

 Today, Chicago is the most populated city in the state, with about 2.7 million residents on a 2020 census. It is estimated that the entire population of Illinois is 12 million.

 Is Chicago the Capital City of Illinois?

 When most people think of the capital of Illinois, they automatically think of the city of Chicago. However, this is not actually correct! The capital city of Illinois is actually the city of Springfield.

Springfield is located in the central part of the state, and it has been the capital since 1837.

Although Chicago is much larger and more populous than Springfield, it has never been the official capital. This is because Springfield was purposely chosen as the capital in order to avoid having the state government be located too close to either Chicago or St. Louis.

As a result, although Chicago may be the unofficial capital of Illinois, Springfield will always be the official capital and seat of the state legislature.

5 Largest Cities in Illinois

Illinois is home to some of the largest cities in the Midwest. Chicago, of course, is the biggest city in the state and the third-largest city in the country.

But there are four other Illinois cities that rank among the 100 largest in the United States:

  • Chicago – Population 2,699,000
  • Aurora – Population 199,326
  • Rockford – Population 147,441
  • Joliet – Population 147,323
  • Naperville – Population 147,734

Combined, the top five cities have a population of over 5 million people. That’s nearly half of Illinois’ total population!

Each of these cities has its own unique history and cultural offerings. From world-class museums and theaters to Michelin-starred restaurants, there’s something for everyone in Illinois’ big cities.

So, Chicago isn’t the only city to visit when you travel to Illinois!

Chicago Vs Illinois

Facts About the City of Chicago City

Below are some fun facts about the City of Chicago.

 1. River Flowing Backwards

The Chicago River is the only river that flows backwards. It did not happen naturally. People did this for sanitation reasons.

 Engineers used what they call a reversal technique to divert sewage. This process ensures that the water supply from Lake Michigan is clean. 

Read Also: Is Boston a Good Place to Live?

 2. First Blood Bank in the US

The person who introduced blood donations and blood banks was Dr. Bernard Fantus. He had this concept when he was working at the Cook County Hospital in Chicago as far back as 1937.

 Because of his idea, Chicago established the first blood bank in the country. Soon after, many hospitals in the country did the same thing.

 3. First All-Color TV Station

NBC 5 was the first all-color TV station in the world. The first broadcast in full color happened back in 1956. Later on, the station also because the first commercial station that broadcast in stereo back in 1986.

 Known as WMAQ-TV, it programmed from the NBC network, and it is the station that aired the game of the famous Chicago Bulls basketball team for all of the team’s NB final victories.  

 4. Route 66 Starts in Chicago

One of the most famous routes in America, Route 66, begins in Chicago. People also call Route 66 by other names such as Mother Road and Main Street of America. 

 Route 66 is popular primarily because it reduced the travel time between Los Angeles and Chicago. The road also reduced the distance between these two cities by more than 200 miles.

 5. First Brownie in the World

It was Bertha Palmer who made the first brownie in Chicago. She was the wife of Potter Palmer, a millionaire who was in the hotel business.

 Bertha cooked up some square fudges back in 1893. She did it in a place now known as Chicago’s Palmer House.

 Facts About the State of Illinois

And now, here are some fun facts about the state of Illinois.

 1. First State to Ratify 13th Amendment

Illinois was the first state in the country that voted to abolish slavery. This Amendment was finally passed and ratified in 1865.

 At that time, there were four US states that did not ratify the abolition of slavery. These states were Mississippi, New Jersey, Delaware, and Kentucky.

 2. Illinois is the Land of Lincoln

Many people refer to the state of Illinois as the Land of Lincoln, referring to Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States.

 The thing is that Lincoln was not born in Illinois. Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky. Of all the American Presidents, only Ronald Reagan was born in Illinois.

 3. Illinois is a Flat State

What this means is that the are no high areas in the states. The highest point of elevation in Illinois is only 1,235 feet about sea level.

 Although Illinois is not the flattest state, it comes in second. It lacks topography, so to speak. Scientists say that there were glaciers that receded from the place many thousands of years ago.

 4. 21st State in the US

Illinois only became a state in December 1818. Prior to its statehood, the Illinois-Wabash Company claimed much of the state’s lands. It was in 1809 when Illinois was called Illinois Territory, and its capital was Kaskaskia. 

 By the time Illinois became a state, the capital was still Kaskaskia. It was in 1819 that Vandalia became its new capital, then moved to Springfield. Until today, Springfield is the capital of Illinois.

 5. Big Farmland

About 75% of the state is farmland. Although it is home to Chicago, a mega city, much of the products of Illinois are agriculture-based. 

 Today, Illinois is one of the top producers of soybeans, corn, and swine. The state has a climate that is conducive to raising cattle, too.

 As of 2019, there were 72,000 farms in the state. The total farmland in the state covers 27 million acres, which comprises about 75% of the entire state.

 The average size of a farm in Illinois is 175 acres. Many of these farms are for planting crops like corn, wheat, and soybeans. Of all these farms, about 3% have swine and other animals.

 Chicago City FAQs

Is Chicago a Rich City?

Yes, Chicago is a rich city. It is one of the richest cities in the United States, with a GDP of $524 billion. It belongs to the top 10 richest cities in the world. 

 Because of this, Chicago is also home to many wealthy people. The top 1% of the city’s population earns an average of $600,000 annually or more. About 21% of the residents in the metro area are not rich, though, as they live below the poverty line.

 Is Chicago a Dangerous City?

Yes, Chicago is a dangerous city. The crime rate in the city is higher than the average in the United States, and it’s considered to 20th most dangerous city in the United States.

 Back in 2016, almost half of the homicides in the entire nation were from Chicago. Experts say that this high crime rate is due to the gang culture that permeates the city. 


Chicago is a city, not a state. The state is Illinois, and the city is Chicago. It is a rich city, and it has some of the wealthiest people in the country.

However, it is also a dangerous city because more than 20% of its population is poor which forces many people into crime. There are also many gangs in the area.