Interesting Facts about Illinois: 10 Facts about the Prairie State

Illinois is the largest state in the Midwestern United States in terms of both population and Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It’s one of eight states in the Great Lakes region of North America. Illinois is surrounded by Wisconsin to the north, Iowa and Missouri to the west, Kentucky to the east and south, and Indiana to the east. There’s also a northeastern water boundary with Michigan in Lake Michigan. Illinois has some nicknames such as: Land of Lincoln, Prairie State, The Inland Empire State. This article will talk about 10 Interesting Illinois Facts.

1. Illinois is the 6th Most Populous States in the United States

As the most populous states in the midwestern United States, Illinois is the 6th most populous states in the United States behind California, Texas, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania. While Illinois is the 5th largest in GDP behind California, Texas, New York and Florida.

Flag of Illinois
Flag of Illinois

2. Chicago is the 3rd Most Populous City in the United States

Chicago is the most populous city in Illinois as well as in the midwestern of the United States. Chicago is also the 3rd most populous city in the United States after the New York City and Los Angeles. Chicago is an international hub for finance, culture, commerce, industry, education, technology, telecommunications, and transportation. A number of Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in Chicago such as: Archer Daniels Midland, Conagra Brands, Exelon, JLL, Kraft Heinz, McDonald’s, Mondelez International, Motorola Solutions, Sears, and United Airlines Holdings.

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois

3. Chicago O’Hare International Airport is One of the World’s Busiest Airport

Chicago O’Hare International Airport was the world’s busiest airport from 1963 to 1998. In 2021, it’s the fourth busiest airport in terms of passenger counts. Chicago O’Hare International Airport is also considered as the most connected airport in the world as of 2022.

Chicago O'Hare International Airport
Chicago O’Hare International Airport

4. Illinois is Ranked Second in Corn Production among U.S. States

Corn is an important agricultural product of Illinois. Illinois is ranked second among US corn producing states. It can produce more than 1.5 billion bushels of corn annually. Illinois corn is used to produce around 40% of the ethanol consumed in the United States that makes Illinois among the top producer of Ethanol.

Corn field
Corn field

5. Illinois has the Largest Concentration of Muslims by State

Muslims is the largest non-Christian group in Illinios. With around 2,800 Muslims per 100,000 citizens, Illinois has the largest concentration of Muslims by state. The population of Muslims (as well as Baháʼí and Jewish) are largely concentrated in Chicago metropolitan area.

Chicago Islamic Center
Chicago Islamic Center

6. The Largest and Oldest Surviving Baháʼí House of Worship in the World is Located in Wilmette, Illinois

The world’s largest and oldest surviving Baháʼí House of Worship is located on the shores of Lake Michigan in Wilmette, Illinois. The Baháʼí House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois (also called Chicago Baháʼí Temple) is a Baháʼí temple ever constructed but it is the oldest that still standing. This Baháʼí temple was built between 1912-1953.

Chicago Baháʼí Temple
Chicago Baháʼí Temple

7. The University of Chicago is One of the Best University in the World

We can find the University of Chicago at the top of the world’s best University list from year to year. University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois that was founded in 1890 by John D. Rockefeller. The main campus of University of Chicago is located in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. Currently, more than 7000 undergraduate students and 10000 graduate students are enrolled in the University of Chicago.

University of Chicago
University of Chicago

8. The Northern Cardinal is the State Bird of Illinois

The northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) is a mid-sized songbird that was inaugurated as the state bird of Illinois in 1929. The northern cardinal is the most popular state bird as it’s chosen as the state bird by 7 states (Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia).

Northern Cardinal
Northern Cardinal

9. The White Oak is the State Tree of Illinois

The white oak (Quercus alba) was selected as the official state of tree in 1973 as the result of a special poll of school children. The white oak is a long-lived oak that can live over 450 years. It’s a native tree of eastern and central North America. The white oak is also the state tree of Connecticut and Maryland.

White oak
White oak

10. The Monarch Butterfly is the State Insect of Illinois

The official state insect of Illinois is the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) that was designated in 1973. The monarch butterfly or simply monarch is also the state insect of Alabama, Idaho, Minnesota, Texas, Vermont, and West Virginia.

Monarch butterfly
Monarch butterfly

We have talked about 10 interesting Illinois facts in this article. There are surely a lot more interesting facts that we don’t talk about in this article. You may share with us here if you know one.

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