Illinois State Overview

State of Illinois general data

  • Time zone: 7 hours less than Italy
  • Capital: Springfield
  • Main towns: Aurora, Chicago, Joliet,Naperville, Peoria, Rockford
  • Area: 149.990 km²
  • Population: Approximately 12,800,000 inhabitants.
  • Population density: 85,3 residents / km²
  • State abbreviation: IL
  • Entry into the United States: It joins the United States on December 3, 1818, it is the 21st state to join the union.

According to, the Illinois territory is mostly flat, almost completely covered by agricultural crops. To the south, the plain is interrupted by the first hills of the Orzak mountain range, however, the highest point in the state is in the north-west, Charles Mound, 376m above sea level. This region was 90% affected by glaciations, with the exception of the counties of Jo Daviess in the northwest, Calhoun in the central-western region, and the counties further south, however, this territory was favored by the sedimentation of loess materials. and other materials that have greatly enriched the land for agricultural use.

Seven large basins make it possible to divide the state of Illinois into natural regions: that of Lake Michigan, and that of the rivers Illinois, Rock, Kaskaskia, Big Muddy, Wabash and Ohio. The most important basin is that of the Illinois River which flows in the state from north-east to south-west and connects with the Mississippi River and Lake Michigan, (thanks to an artificial canal, the Illinois Waterway). Natural lakes are scarce in Illinois, not so are man-made water supplies, such as the Carlyle, Crab Orchard, and Shelbyville. Some, like Chain O’Lakes (a group of small lakes in the northwest) are a popular recreation area during the summer months.

Climate – The climate of Illinois is very varied, as cold winds from the north meet, and warm currents from the south. In Illinois there are cold winters and hot summers and an average annual temperature between 10 ° C and 16 ° C higher in the southern region. Average temperatures are -6 ° C in the north and 3 ° C in the south in winter; in the summer months temperatures reach 21 ° C in the north and 25 ° C in the south. As for rainfall, an annual average of 864 mm is recorded, with more abundant rainfall in the south, up to 1110 mm annually. Snow storms are frequent in winter.

Flora and fauna– The flora that originally covered Illinois consisted of tall grasses in the prairies, and forests of deciduous trees such as oaks, walnuts, maples, beeches, elms, and ash trees that covered the river valleys. All this natural vegetation has been replaced by cultivated land. The rich fauna includes deer, hares, squirrels, foxes, quail and pheasants, along with many species of waterfowl.


According to, Springfield, is the capital of the state of Illinois. In central Illinois, home to Sangamon County, on the Sangamon River. It is a commercial, manufacturing and financial center located in one of the richest regions of agricultural crops in the United States. Main products are: industrial machinery, food, and metal products. State offices, the insurance sector, printing and publishing, and tourism are important for the economy of the city.

Springfield became famous as the home of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, who lived there for 24 years before taking office in 1861. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is filled with artifacts, interactive exhibits and cinemas featuring special effects, the four blocks of Lincoln Home National Historic Site form a pedestrianized historic district featuring refurbished 19th-century homes, gas streetlights, and wooden sidewalks surrounding the simple cottage where Lincoln lived with his wife Mary for 16 years. Lincoln’s other locations in Springfield are: his law office, tomb, and the Old State Capitol. Here the president gave the famous “House Divided” speech in 1858, highlighting the divisions that would lead to the Civil War.

According to, Springfield is also traversed by Route 66. The ancient road follows a well-signposted route through the city to the Cozy Dog Drive-in in the south, diner of Route 66, which boasts the invention of the “corndog”. in cornmeal and fried). The home of the American poet Vachel Lindsay, who was born in Springfield, the Illinois State Museum, the Henson-Robinson Zoo, and the Illinois State Fair held every August in Springfield are other attractions of interest in the city.

Colonized in 1818 by Elisha Kelly and founded in 1822, the city received its name from Lieutenant Spring Creek, and developed as a distribution center for farms. In 1837 Lincoln worked to move the state capital from Vandalia to Springfield. During the 19th century the city developed as a shipping and coal mining center.

Useful numbers in Springfield

Emergency Number – 911 Illinois Hospital 700 S 2nd St Springfield, IL

62704 tel. (217) 528-9039 (217) 541-1150 (217) 789-7272 SPRINGFIELD POLICE DEPARTMENT 800 E. Monroe Springfield, IL 62701 tel. (217) 788.8311 Sheriff Sangamon County 200 S 9th St Springfield, IL 62701 tel. (217) 753-6666 (217) 535-3129 (217) 753-6367

City Data

Inhabitants – about 116,000

Area – 155 sq km

Prefix 217

Chicago history

The name Chicago derives from the Indian tribes that inhabited its territory, although it is not known which of these gave the name to the city, despite this there are many theories on the origin of the name. A generally accepted one is that the name comes from the Indian words wild onion, (wild onion or skunk), but some historians believe that the word Chicago means strong or large. The first secretary of the Chicago Historical Society, William Barry, wrote that whatever the etymological meaning of the word Chicago in its practical use, it probably denoted strength or greatness. The Indians probably applied this term to the Mississippi River, thunder, or the voice of the Great Manitou.

French explorers passed through the area where Chicago is today in 1673. Father Jacques Marquette, a Jesuit missionary, and Louis Jolliet, a Canadian explorer and cartographer, were the first Europeans to see the land of the city of Chicago. They later returned with five other Europeans to explore the Mississippi River. The first settlements took place in 1803 when a site was built by the US military, Fort Dearborn.

One hundred and twenty-five years ago Chicago was practically destroyed by flames. The October 8, 1871 evening edition of the Chicago Tribune periodical stated that this was one of the worst fires in the history of the city. The fire originated in Chicago’s central neighborhood, the Loop, in the boiler room of a West Side building and the city burned for 17 hours. The flames destroyed many buildings and all the firefighters in the city were exhausted or injured. For days the situation was alarming, the absence of rain for three weeks made them fear a rekindling of the fire. The commercial center of the city and most of the north, North Side, and west burned. The disaster caused more than 300 deaths and 90. 000 people were left homeless. 17,450 buildings were destroyed, a third of the city in total was destroyed by fire. The destruction was so great that many of the buildings were impossible to rebuild. It was therefore necessary in many cases to rebuild the city. Within two years, buildings in the worst affected areas were rebuilt and the local economy began to grow again. In the following years, architects and designers remade Chicago into one of the most modern cities in the country, with some of the tallest buildings in the world and the most impressive structures. Chicago in 1893 had stolen from its rival, New York, the right to have the Colombian World Exposition .

Illinois State Overview