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Illinois: What you need to know

Chicago is a global business destination, drawing people from all over the world to live, work and visit.

With its 24-hour vibe, Chicago remains famous for its fabulous museums, deep-dish pizza and 5,000 restaurants offering every style of cuisine, and it is home to, whoda thunk it, the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs.

While the City of Broad Shoulders captures deserved attention, Illinois offers standout communities in every corner of the state. The Land of Lincoln lays claim to dozens of cities with revitalized downtowns, excellent entertainment venues, great schools and plentiful outdoor recreation opportunities. Best places to live in Illinois include Aurora, Rockford, Joliet, Naperville and Springfield.

A diverse $784 billion economy includes major industry sectors in biotechnology, advanced manufacturing, agribusiness and food production, energy and logistics. Illinois hosts a roster of brands known round the world, among them Boeing, McDonald’s, Allstate, Caterpillar, John Deere and Archer Daniels Midland.

Illinois' innovation ecosystem includes 440 corporate R&D facilities, 144 research centers and 71 federal labs, including Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

Universities in the state are on the leading edge of research and several of them, including the University of Illinois-Champaign Urbana and Northwestern Universit,  are among the only 108 institutions nationally classified as “Very High Research Activity” on the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

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Illinois Profile

Quick Facts about IL

Population 12,873,761
Latest Population Increase 0.00%
Median Household Income $57,574
Median Home Price $173,800
Median Property Tax $1,636
Median Rent $66

Employment Rate in IL

  Employed 94.4%
  Unemployed 5.6%

Race in IL

  Ethnicity White 72.3%
  Ethnicity Black 14.3%
  Ethnicity Asian 5%
  Ethnicity Hispanic 16.5%
  Ethnicity Indian 0.2%
  Ethnicity Other 5.8%

Employment Rate in IL

  Employed 94.4%
  Unemployed 5.6%

Educational Levels in IL

  Bachelor's Degree 19.9%
  Associate's Degree 7.7%
  Graduate or Professional Degree 12.4%
  High School Graduate 26.8%
  Some College, No Degree 21.1%
  Percent Bachelor's Degree or Higher 32.3%
  Percent High School Graduate or Higher 87.9%

Industry in IL

Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting and Mining 1.1%
Construction 5.1%
Manufacturing 12.6%
Wholesale Trade 3%
Retail Trade 11%
Transportation and Warehousing, and Utilities 5.9%
Information 2%
Finance and Insurance, and Real Estate and Rental and Leasing 7.3%
Professional, Scientific and Management and Administrative and Waste 11.4%
Educational Services and Health Care and Social Assistance 23%
Arts, Entertainment and recreation and Accommodation and food Services 9.1%
Other Services, Except Public Administration 4.7%
Public Administration 3.8%

Housing in IL

  Homes Rent 66.4%
  Homes Owned 33.6%

Illinois Rankings

Best places to Live in Illinois

Title Population Median Home Price Median Household Income
Chicago 2,717,534 $222,900 $48,522
Aurora 200,614 $168,900 $63,090
Rockford 150,283 $94,200 $38,716
Joliet 147,918 $163,900 $60,976
Naperville 145,058 $379,000 $109,468
Springfield 117,061 $120,400 $49,868
Peoria 115,847 $123,800 $45,552
Elgin 112,105 $165,800 $60,499
Waukegan 88,570 $121,200 $45,845
Cicero 84,361 $126,800 $41,866
Champaign 84,008 $150,400 $42,094
Bloomington 78,206 $163,800 $62,254
Arlington Heights 75,802 $320,600 $81,059
Evanston 75,603 $348,600 $70,041
Decatur 74,654 $80,100 $40,679
Schaumburg 74,559 $233,400 $74,086
Bolingbrook 74,371 $202,900 $77,506
Palatine 69,188 $266,700 $71,573
Skokie 65,061 $278,600 $66,999
Des Plaines 58,930 $234,400 $65,109