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Capital Springfield
Nickname The Prairie State
Official Language English
Governor J.B. Pritzker, D
Senator Richard Durbin, D
(202) 224-2152
Senator Tammy Duckworth, D
(202) 224-2854
Population 12,675,000 (2020)
Ratification of Constitution/or statehood December 3, 1818 (21st)
Flag of Illinois Motto: "State" Sovereignty; National Union"

Illinois was the twenty-first state to enter into the union. Its capital is Springfield, and the largest city is Chicago. Illinois is bordered by Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Iowa, and Wisconsin. It is considered to be one of the most corrupt states in the nation. It has a population of 12,830,632 according to the 2010 census. Making it the 5th most populous state.

Illinois is one of the top 10 agricultural states in the United States, and outside of Chicago agriculture is the biggest part of the economy. Its leading products are corn, soybeans, and swine.

The state Constitution of Illinois, like all of the other 50 states, acknowledges God or our Creator or the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe. It says:

We, the People of the State of Illinois; grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberty which He has permitted us to enjoy and seeking His blessing upon our endeavors — in order to provide for the health, safety and welfare of the people; maintain a representative and orderly government; eliminate poverty and inequality; assure legal, social and economic justice; provide opportunity for the fullest development of the individual; insure domestic tranquility; provide for the common defense; and secure the blessings of freedom and liberty to ourselves and our posterity - do ordain and establish this Constitution for the State of Illinois.
Rep. John R. Thomas, a GOP U.S. representative from Illinois spanning 1879–89 who voted against the Pendleton Act.[1]


2014 gubernatorial election results. If it were not for Cook County, Rauner would have won in a landslide.[2]

Overall, Illinois is a blue state. Geographically speaking, the vast majority of Illinois is Republican and conservative, but because of the large population of ultraliberal Cook County and parts of the suburbs, the Democratic Party dominates the state. The 2014 gubernatorial election was very tight, even though Bruce Rauner, who won the election, won every county except Cook. Particularly regarding presidential elections, Illinois is a liberal Democrat stronghold.

Currently, Illinois has a Democrat governor, J.B. Pritzker. One of its governors in the recent past was George Ryan, who controversially emptied the state's death row after an investigation by Northwestern University law students proved that one death row inmate was innocent.[3] Critics charged that he only did so to gain sympathy because he was about to be tried for corruption and selling commercial driver's licenses when he was the Illinois Secretary of State. There are 2 Senators and 18 Representatives in Illinois.

Illinois is one of the worst fiscally managed states in the United States.[4]


  • Gross State Product - $528 Billion (2004)
  • Personal income per Capita - $32,965 (2003)

Illinois is not only the nation's leading pumpkin producer, but also its leading pumpkin processor. Libby's plants 5,000 acres of Dickinson Select pumpkins each year in and around Morton, Illinois. Morton, where 80 percent of the world's canned pumpkin is packed at the Libby's factory, is known as the "Pumpkin Capital of the World." The town hosts an annual Pumpkin Festival to celebrate the start of the pumpkin canning season. Illinois is a leading producer of soybeans, corn and pigs. The state's climate and varied soil types enable farmers to grow and raise many other agricultural commodities, including cattle, wheat, oats, sorghum,hay, sheep, poultry, fruits and vegetables. Illinois also produces several specialty crops, such as buckwheat, horseradish, ostriches, fish and Christmas trees. Marketing of Illinois' agricultural commodities generates more than $9 billion annually. Corn accounts for nearly 40 percent of that total. Marketing of soybeans contributes about one-third, with the combined marketing of livestock, dairy and poultry generating about 23 percent. Illinois has a competitive edge over many other states due to its central location and superior transportation system. More than 2,000 miles of interstate highways and 34,500 miles of other state highways make trucking of goods fast and efficient. Chicago is home to the largest rail gateway in the nation, connecting the eastern and western United States. The state boasts some 1,100 airports, landing areas and heliports, including Chicago's O'Hare International, through which more than 65 million travelers pass annually. Illinois' 1,118 miles of navigable waterways, including the Illinois and Mississippi rivers, make barge traffic an excellent option for shipment of grain to the Gulf of Mexico.


According to the 2010 census.

  • Population: 12,830,632
  • Male Population: 6,080,336 (49.0%)
  • Female Population: 6,338,957 (51.0%)
  • White: 9,177,877 (71.5%)
  • Black: 1,866,414 (14.5%)
  • Asian: 586,934 (4.6%)
  • American Indian: 43,963 (0.3%)
  • Other race: 861,412 (56.7%)
  • Two or more races: 289,982 (2.3%)
  • Hispanic/Latino: 2,029,578 (15.8%)

Elected Officials

As of 2019.



State Facts

  • Illinois State Tree – white oak
  • Illinois State Bird – cardinal
  • Illinois State Fish – bluegill
  • Illinois State Animal – white-tailed deer
  • Illinois State Insect – monarch butterfly
  • Illinois State Mineral – fluorite
  • Illinois State Prairie Grass – big bluestem
  • Illinois State Reptile – painted turtle
  • Illinois State Flower – violet
  • Illinois State Snack – popcorn
  • Illinois State Fruit – goldrush apple

See also

Further reading

  • Buck, Solon J. Illinois in 1818 (1917) excellent history complete text online
  • Biles, Roger. Illinois: a history of the land and its people. (2005). very good recent survey DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press. ISBN 9780875803494. OCLC 58526330.
  • Bridges, Roger D. and Davis, Rodney O., eds. Illinois: its history & legacy. (1984). essays by experts .
  • Cole, Arthur Charles. The era of the Civil War, 1848-1870 [1919]. excellent history
  • Davis, James E. Frontier Illinois. (1998).
  • Gove, Samuel Kimball; Nowlan, James Dunlap. Illinois politics & government: the expanding metropolitan frontier (1996) government textbook
  • Grossman, James R., Keating, Ann Durkin and Reiff, Janice L. Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago (2005) (Online ed.).outstanding reference on Chicagoland
  • Hallwas, John E., ed Illinois literature: the nineteenth century. (1986).
  • Howard, Robert P. Illinois; a history of the Prairie State. (1972). fair textbook
  • Jensen, Richard E. Illinois: a history (1977), influential interpretation, stressing traditionalism, modernization and postmodernity
  • Keiser, John H. Building for the centuries: Illinois, 1865 to 1898. good survey
  • Kleppner, Paul. Political atlas of Illinois (1988) election maps
  • Meyer, Douglas K. Making the heartland quilt: a geographical history of settlement and migration in early-nineteenth-century Illinois. (2000).

Primary sources

  • Peck, John Mason. A Gazetteer of Illinois, in Three Parts: Containing a General View of the State, a General View of Each County, and a Particular Description of Each (1837) fascinating primary source online
  • Sutton, Robert P. ed. The Prairie State; a documentary history of Illinois. (1976). primary and secondard sources
  • Walton, Clyde C. ed. An Illinois reader' '(1970). primary and secondary sources
  • Works Progress Administration. The WPA guide to Illinois: the Federal Writers' Project guide to 1930s Illinois. (1939), very good primary source
  • The source for the facts [1]


  1. TO PASS S. 133, A BILL REGULATING AND IMPROVING THE U. S. CIVIL SERVICE. (J.P. 163). Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  2. Quinn/Rauner a Squeaker? Durbin/Oberweis a Cakewalk? Think Again. NIU Today (November 5, 2014). Retrieved on July 26, 2016.
  4. Lawler, Joseph (July 11, 2017). The 5 worst fiscally managed states in the USA. Washington Examiner. Retrieved July 13, 2017.