Illinois State: Population, Rankings, and Facts

#36 in Overall Ranking out of 50 in 2021

Illinois became the 21st state in the USA. Chicago, the third-largest city in the country, is located in the Northeastern part of the region. It’s largely known for its booming agriculture and enriching natural resources. It doesn’t come as a surprise that it has the 5th highest GDP in the country. Amidst other interesting facts, it is also popularly known as the land of Lincoln, or Prairie State.

Updated: April 1, 2021
  • Area
    57,913.55 SQ. MI.
  • Capital
  • Population
  • Income
  • Home Value
  • Crime
  • Unemployment
  • Education
  • Medicine
  • Poverty
  • Environment
  • Infrastructure

The state of Illinois has position #36 in the U.S. In the grand scheme of things, the state’s economy is sustainable and steady.

Way back before the revolution, American Indians people occupied the Prairie State for decades. Koster Site exposed signs of archeological occupation during its excavation, which formed a page in the state’s history. Cahokia is the largest urban center of pre-Colombian native city.

Two French explorers, namely Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet, were the first Europeans to visit Illinois in 1673. Following the Indian and French war, the region was ceded to Britain.

The American Revolution opened a new page in the state’s history as it became an American territory. Finally, in 1818, the state was founded.

“Illinois” originates from a Miami-Illinois verb “irenwe-wa” which means “he speaks well,” or “tribe of superior men.” However, this etymology isn’t verified. The official abbreviation is IL, and it’s popularly known as the Prairie State.

It is situated in the great lake region and is home to many lakes. IL borders Ohio and the Wabash River to the south. The Mississippi River marks the western border, while lake Michigan flows across the northern one. It also neighbors Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, and Kentucky. Its zip codes range from 60001 to 62999.

IL’s weather is fairly temperate and continental. The area experiences summer, winter, fall, and spring, except for the northern part of the region, which has inconsistencies in the weather.

How We Figured Out Which Were the Best States to Live In

Tried-and-true data were studied to collate an accurate the best states to live in report. One of the sources includes records from U.S. News ranking and Census Bureau records. Data from government entities like the United Health Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency were also consulted.

The facts were collected, sorted, and analyzed to arrive at an accurate conclusion. The metrics used to make final decisions were based on pressing state needs.

To decide the ranking, several measures were used as yardsticks. They are crime rate, education, health care, road conditions, etc.

Illinois Rankings

  • Population
    Data: 12,671,821

    Despite the slip in Chicago's population last year, its metropolitan area is the most populated in the region. According to the Census Bureau, about 65% of the state's population resides there. Being home to the third most populated city in the country, IL is highly inhabited. It hosts 3.96% of the country's population.

  • Median Income
    Income in $
    Data: $62,992

    According to Forbes, it’s the 5th on the list of states with billionaires. The diversity in the state's government and the economy is a major source of stability. The economy draws its strength from Agriculture, Technology, Tourism, etc. However, at 6.25%, the sales tax rate and the property tax at 1.95% are relatively high.

  • Home Value
    Home Value
    Data: $219,806

    This median home value index results in attractive housing markets. It includes more working opportunities and a lower crime rate. Compared to other states, home prices in IL are relatively low. However, the index has increased by 5.9% in 2021, and the average rent in the land of Lincoln is $1,590.

  • Unemployment Rate
    Data: 8.0%

    Job availability is a primary factor that determines economic performance. With a 61.9% labor participation rate, the local job market is promising. So long as one hones the required skills, landing a job is an easy catch here. However, the pandemic caused a general spike in unemployment last year.

  • Poverty
    Data: 12.4%

    About 1,363,528 people are poor, placing IL a tidbit behind Montana. Chicago suburbs have experienced a sublime poverty rate over time. As of 2019, women's poverty rates were 20% above that of men. Also, black men and women are more prone to poverty.

  • Education
    Data: 33.4%

    With just a handful of U.S. states ahead, IL stands tall as one of the most educated ones in the U.S. 13% of the people have undergone graduate studies, leaving it near Washington's 12.7%. It also has 125 colleges and universities spread across the cities.

  • Medicine
    Health Outcomes: 28

    IL's health sector is reputable for health innovations. Chicago's modernizations have made their research and medical centers an attraction for new investors. However, the current rank is a reflection of health inequity dominant in the state's suburbs. Digitized health care has gained an upward trajectory. The health outcome is relatively fair in comparison with other regions in the U.S.

  • Crime Rate
    Violent Crime: 51,561

    Chicago occupies 28th place in the FBI's top 50 rankings of dangerous cities. Cities like Peoria, Rockford, and the capital Springfield also have higher crime rates. Compared to other states, the number of violent crimes and murders in IL hangs relatively high. Except for the occasional occurrence of arson, robbery, burglary, and rape, the area is pretty much safe.

  • Natural Environment
    Air: 103

    The national environment has deteriorated over time. Air and hazardous waste violations, pesticides, water quality, contributed to this inference. There are 256 occurrences of hazardous waste in IL, while the number of pesticides and water violations are 13 and 1,153 respectively. With a whopping 1,684 PWS violations, IL's natural environment isn't one of the best in the U.S.

  • Infrastructure
    Poor Roads: 6.90%

    Factors like roads in poor conditions, deficient bridges, etc., formed the bedrock of this research. IL ranks 33 out of 50 states, making it at the low end infrastructurally. According to the Census Bureau, the average travel time to work is 26.6 min. However, in the last couple of years, the infrastructure quality has improved.

Illinois Facts

  • Illinois state motto is “State sovereignty, national union.”
  • Based on history, the white oak (Quercus Alba) became the state tree in 1973.
  • The Northern Cardinal became the official state bird in 1929 after a vote.
  • The state flower is Viola.
  • In Mount Pulaski, it’s illegal for boys to throw snowballs at trees.
  • Chicago River gets dyed green on St Patrick’s day.
  • Morton in IL is the pumpkin capital of the world.
  • The notorious great Chicago fire of 1871 affected 2,112 acres and destroyed 17,500 buildings. 
  • There are 43 state parks and 155 lakes, which is almost a renowned logo of the state.
  • IL is one of the country’s largest Bituminous Coal reserves
  • It has 11 nuclear reactors, which is the highest number in the United States.
  • It’s the seat of “NYSE Chicago” – the highest regional stock exchange in the country.
  • Illinoisans can acquire a lifetime fishing license.
  • According to history, the first skyscraper in the world was built in IL in 1885.
  • It’s the hub for air transport globally.
  • IL is the seat of Nabisco, the largest bakery in the world.     
  • The Illinois flag was adopted in 1915. It consists of a seal/logo of IL on a white background with the state’s name written under it.

Illinois in Photos

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Illinois Chicago
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FAQ Section

  • Where Is Illinois?

    IL is one of the states in the Midwestern region of the U.S. It borders Kentucky to the south, Indiana, and Lake Michigan on the east. It also neighbors Wisconsin and Iowa to the north and west, respectively.

  • What Time Zone Is Illinois?

    The time zone is Central Standard time (CST). It’s one of the states using daylight saving time. It started in IL on Sunday, March 14, 2021, at 2:00 AM local time and ends Sunday, November 7, 2021, at 2:00 AM.

  • How Many Counties Are in the Prairie State?

    There are 102 Illinois counties. According to IL statutes, three types of county governments are legal. Counties under executive form (1), counties under township organization (84), and counties under commission form (17). By population, the largest one is Cook County, while the smallest is Hardin.

  • What Is Minimum Wage in Illinois?

    The new minimum wage for 2021 is $11.00 per hour. In a place where employees receive gratuity, an employer may pay 60% of the minimum wage. An employer can also apply for authorization to pay learners or physically/mentally challenged employees sub-minimum rates.

    Overtime should be rewarded after 40 hours of work at one half of the usual rate.

  • What Is IL Known for?

    It’s known as the hub of commerce and global transit. Chicago, aka Windy City, provides tons of tourist and industrial actions to the region.

    Amidst other things, it has a historical record of being the region with high-tech industries. One-fourth of America’s Bituminous coal comes from IL. The blooming Agricultural sector and extremely enriched soil have set this state in the spotlight. It’s a prominent producer of corn, swine, and soybeans.

    IL is also known as the home of highly influential politicians like Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama, etc.

  • What Documents Are Needed for Illinois Driver’s License?

    To acquire a driver’s license, acceptable documents that prove identity are crucial. These documents should corroborate the name, social security number, residency, date of birth, and signature.

    Documents like installment loan documents, court orders, etc., can be proof of signature. Acceptable documents include a Birth certificate, USA visa, certified school transit, etc.

    A valid Social Security Card or a Prairie State’s ID card record can confirm an SSN. For proof of residency, documents like school transcript, medical claim, rental or lease agreement, etc., will suffice.