is the prototypical state of the American Midwest and is possibly the most
economically diverse. Illinois became a state in the early 19th Century after
residents began to move north from the Ohio/Mississippi confluence in search
of good farmland. The state eventually populated northward to the Chicago
area, which has since been known as the transportation release point to the
northern portions of the United States along with being an economic center
for the entire nation.
Chicago was the nation's second largest city for many years and played a major role
in the U.S. economy during the Industrial Revolution and both World War I and II.
It is also the home to the Chicago Board of Trade and the regional Federal Reserve
The transportation infrastructure that emanates from
the northern Illinois region provides much of the United States with vital
agriculture products from the north and coal from the southern regions. The
first nuclear power plants in the U.S. are also in the state.
Illinois owns a distinctive ranking among American states, as it is 25th in size
and 5th in population. This is largely because of the population density in the
northern regions surrounding Chicago. Chicago has recorded populations of over 3
million residents for several decades.
Additional information can be found
regarding Illinois' economy and key employers by visiting Wikipedia: Illinois Economy.