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Illinois Nicknamed the Windy City

Illinois, stretching from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River, embraces vast, rich farmlands, the giant city of Chicago, rolling glacial plains and, to the south, the hills and valleys of the Illinois Ozarks.

Illinois boasts 6,900km or 4,300 miles of scenic shoreline, 1,100 historic sites and half a million acres of state parks. Abraham Lincoln, the 16th US president, spent most of his professional life here, as he was a lawyer and political figure here.

Nicknamed the Windy City, Chicago is one of the worlds giant trade, industry and transportation centres and the birthplace of the skyscraper.

In contrast, its Lake Michigan shoreline is dotted with sandy beaches, hundred of parks, harbours, zoos and vast expanses of forest reserve. It is one of the USAs largest cities and the hub of the Midwest.

The inhabitants in the Chicago land area speak more than 50 languages, making it the most ethnically diverse city in the USA. For visitors to the USA, it is the gateway to the farmlands and cities of Illinois and Indiana, and the recreation areas of Wisconsin.

Constituent state of the United States of America. It encompasses 56,345 square miles and stretches 385 miles from Wisconsin in the north to Cairo in the area that is known as Little Egypt, which lies farther south than Richmond.

In addition to Wisconsin, the state borders Lake Michigan on the northeast, Indiana on the east, Kentucky on the southeast, and Missouri and Iowa on the west. Illinois was named for the Illinois Indians. The capital is Springfield.

Admitted as the 21st member of the Union on Dec. 3, 1818, Illinois has throughout the 20th century been profoundly divided. It lies within both the so called old industrial belt and the fertile agricultural heart of the nation.

The presence of Chicago, the nations third largest city, creates sharp distinctions between the states largely urban northeast and the more evenly balanced urban rural population downstate. Because of its great length, Illinois exhibits both Northern and Southern regional characteristics. Still further contrasts derive from the racial and ethnic complexity of the population.

These internal divisions, while not unique to Illinois, perhaps became magnified through the states critical role in the economic and political life of the nation. Rich in coal and oil reserves and ideally located for the acquisition of raw materials and distribution of finished goods, Illinois ranks among the top states in value of exports, agricultural income, and value added by manufacturing.

Chicago is a railroad hub of the nation, its O Hare International Airport is among the worlds busiest, and Illinois highways and waterways are thick with commercial traffic. Politically, Illinois has continued to be a swing state, its votes often mirroring fluctuating social tensions that underlie the growing, but unevenly distributed, economic

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