According to the 2000 national census, Illinois ranked fifth among the states, with a total population of 12,419,293. This represented an increase of 8.6 percent over the 1990 census figure of 11,430,602. In 2000 some 88 percent of the total population lived in urban areas. Chicago alone accounts for one-fourth of the state’s total population, and the Chicago metropolitan area accounts for two-thirds. The average population density for the entire state was 89 persons per sq km (231 per sq mi). Whites constituted 73.5 percent of the population in 2000. Blacks were 15.1 of the people in the state. In the late 19th century blacks accounted for only 2 percent of the state’s people. In the 1940s, blacks in large numbers began moving to Illinois, many from Southern states. In 1940 they numbered nearly 400,000, and by 2000 the number had more than quadrupled.
Asians comprised 3.4 percent of the population in 2000. Their numbers rose substantially during the 1980s and 1990s. Native Americans are 0.2 percent of the people and those of mixed heritage or not reporting race were 7.7 percent. Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders numbered 4,610. Hispanics, who may be of any race, were 12.3 percent of the population.
Chicago is the principal city of inland North America. The city is one of the leading commercial centers in the United States, and it is also one of the principal centers for industry and transportation. In 2006 there were 2,833,321 people living in the city proper and a total of 9.2 million people living in the metropolitan region centered on the city, including adjacent communities in Wisconsin and Indiana.
Unlike many of the state’s larger cities, Aurora, a residential and industrial satellite of Chicago, gained population during the 1980s and 1990s. Having surpassed Rockford to become the state’s second-largest city, in 2006 it had 170,617 inhabitants. Rockford, in northern Illinois, had a population of 155,138. Rockford is primarily an industrial center that is noted for the manufacture of machine tools. Naperville, a Chicago suburb, experienced a boom during the 1980s and 1990s and reached 142,901 inhabitants in 2006.
Joliet, with 142,702 residents in 2006, and Elgin, with 101,903, are both satellite cities of Chicago. Springfield, in central Illinois, is noted for its associations with Abraham Lincoln. It had a population in 2006 of 116,482. Peoria, with a population of 113,107, is a manufacturing center on the Illinois River in the central part of the state.
Decatur (2006 population 77,047) lies in an agricultural area of central Illinois. It is a trade center and industrial city. Evanston (75,543) is a residential suburb of Chicago and the seat of Northwestern University. East Saint Louis (29,448), on the east bank of the Mississippi River opposite St. Louis, Missouri, once was the principal city of southwestern Illinois, but its population dwindled during the 1980s. Belleville (41,095) is now the largest city in what geographers call the Metro East area of Illinois. "Illinois" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
Photos of European countries to visit
Photos of Asian countries to visit
Photos of America