Illinois, the 21st most populous state in the United States of America, is located in the central Great Lakes region of the country, covering 57,914.6 mi². It is bordered to the north by Wisconsin, to the east by Indiana, to the south by Kentucky (across the Ohio River), and to the southwest and west by Missouri and Iowa (separated from these states only by narrow rivers).
The Mississippi River is the longest river in Illinois and forms the entire western border of the state. Other rivers of note include the Illinois, Kaskaskia, Ohio and Wabash Rivers. At 279 feet, the confluence of Ohio and Mississippi Rivers marks the lowest point of elevation in Illinois.
The climate of Illinois falls primarily within a humid continental range - although somewhat tropical characteristics can be experienced near Lake Michigan. Winters are cold; summers tend to be hot with frequent thunderstorms.
About two-thirds of all Illinois land is devoted to agriculture. The fertile soils combined with mild winters make this an ideal place for farming; corn, soybeans, and wheat are among the top crops grown in Illinois.
Illinois has three major geographical regions, each containing specific features; Central Plains, North Shore, and South Shore. The Central Plains are flat prairies that stretch across much of Northern Illinois and hold large agricultural centers such as Decatur and Bloomington-Normal, as well as larger cities such as Rockford and Peoria. The North Shore region has most of Chicago's suburbs and is characterized by rolling hills due to its proximity to Lake Michigan. At the same time, Southern Illinois drains into the Ohio River and contains numerous river valleys along with vast swaths of forests that are shared between Illinois, Missouri, and Kentucky.
Illinois offers travelers a vast array of natural wonders ranging from forests, wetlands, scenic rivers, and lakes, including Lake Michigan, that dominates Northeastern Illinois' shoreline. Other attractions include historic sites like Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site or Galena Historic District, featuring ancient Native American structures built hundreds of years ago. There are also plenty of outdoor activities available, ranging from camping in Shawnee National Forest to vacationing at Starved Rock State Park - one of many parks scattered throughout the state that offer visitors ample opportunity for hiking trails or enjoying nature's beauty at dozens of waterfalls located throughout southern Illinois.
The State of Illinois is divided into 102 counties. In alphabetical order, these counties are: Adams, Alexander, Bond, Boone, Brown, Bureau, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Champaign, Christian, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Coles, Cook, Crawford, Cumberland, DeKalb, Dewitt, Douglas, DuPage, Edgar, Edwards, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Franklin, Fulton, Gallatin, Greene, Grundy, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Henderson, Henry, Iroquois, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jersey, Jo Daviess, Johnson, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Knox, La Salle, Lake, Lawrence, Lee, Livingston, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Mason, Massac, McDonough, McHenry, McLean, Menard, Mercer, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Moultrie, Ogle, Peoria, Perry, Piatt, Pike, Pope, Pulaski, Putnam, Randolph, Richland, Rock Island, Saint Clair, Saline, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, Stark, Stephenson, Tazewell, Union, Vermilion, Wabash, Warren, Washington, Wayne, White, Whiteside, Will, Williamson, Winnebago, and Woodford.
With an area of 149,997 sq. km, Illinois is the 25th largest and the 6th most populous state in the USA. Located in the central part of the state along the shores of the Sangamon River is Springfield – the capital city of Illinois. It serves as a major financial and retail center of the state. Situated in the northeastern part of the state along the shores of Lake Michigan is Chicago – the largest and the most populous city in Illinois and the 3rd most populous city in the United States. It serves as a major international hub for culture, education, finance, commerce, international trade, industry, telecommunications, and transport. The Chicago Metropolitan Area is the world’s 4th largest metropolitan area.
The State of Illinois is located in the East-North-Central (Midwest and Great Lakes) region of the United States. Illinois is bordered by the state of Indiana in the east; by Kentucky in the southeast; by Missouri in the west; by Iowa in the northwest and by Wisconsin in the north. It is also bounded by Lake Michigan in the northeast.
Regional Maps: Map of North America
|Legal Name||State of Illinois|
|ISO 3166 Code||US-IL|
This page was last updated on February 7, 2023