When the Great Depression of the 1930's reared its ugly head, it proved financially disastrous across Illinois, and all of America. Industry all but shut down and thousands or workers lost their jobs. The discovery of oil in the southern-reaches of the state provided some of the needed economic recovery in the late 1930s.
In the end it was World War II that revived the state's 20th century economy. Unparalleled growth in munition and other defense-related industries, as well as demand for traditional products sparked the economy.
Although considered one of America's top industrial states, Illinois is also an important agricultural state, successfully producing corn and soybeans in record amounts. In addition, the state is a leader in the cattle and hog industries. With a 2000 census population of over 12 million, Illinois ranks 5th in population in the nation. Over 65% of the state's population resides in the Chicago area, the third largest city in the U.S.
Renowned for its natural beauty, the Illinois landscape has something to offer every outdoor lover. Visitors can drive any of the six National Scenic Byways and witness beautiful rivers, lakes, prairie and acres of idyll farmland, or visit the many state parks and wildlife centers. Lake Michigan forms the Illinois Northwestern border and the Mississippi River separates the state from Missouri and Iowa.
Several airlines and Amtrak use the state as a major transportation pivot and the city of Chicago is an important port of call on Lake Michigan. The central location and transportation infrastructure are attractive for all kinds of major industrial complexes, leading to a highly diverse economy. The Chicago metropolitan area is home to many of the nations' largest companies including Boeing, McDonald's and Motorola.
Illinois Vacation Travel
For those of us that love travel, the State of Illinois offers a broad array of choices. From quiet and relaxed small towns where "do not disturb" and "table for two" are the only plans for the day, or to the sparkling non-stop city of Chicago, where a "24-hour day" seems totally inadequate.
In this modern "Land of Lincoln" you will discover "Mile after Magnificent Mile" of historical points-of-interest, professional sports, shopping venues, state parks, summer and winter outdoor activities, and a growing wine industry.
Illinois boasts world-class museums including the state of the art Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, the largest presidential library in the country. The city of Chicago is the birthplace of skyscrapers and a distinctive brand of the blues, as well as Illinois vacation attractions such as the renowned Lincoln Park Zoo and Art Institute of Chicago.
A few notable famous natives of Illinois include Ronald Reagan, Walt Disney, Cindy Crawford, George Ferris (Ferris wheel inventor), Robin Williams and John Cusack. The state houses two Major Leagues Baseball teams and is a leading educational hub, with the University of Chicago and Northwestern University ranking among the top 100 National Universities in the United States.
CITY ATTRACTIONS & MAPS:
Illinois Cities, Counties & Area Codes
|Chicago||Cook||847 , 312|
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