Chicago, Illinois


City in the United States
State Illinois
County Cook County
Time zone UTC−6 (CST)
daylight saving time UTC−5 (CDT)
Coordinates 41°51’0.11″N, 87°39’0.18″WL
Surface 606 km²
– country 588.38 km²
– water 17.62 km²
(April 1, 2020)
(4582 inhabitant/km²)
– agglomeration 9,312,255 (2010)
Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D)

State Street, Chicago in 1907

According to ehuacom, Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois and the administrative center of Cook County. With a population of 2,693,976 people (2019) in the city and more than 9 million in the metropolis, Chicago is the second largest city in the US after New York and Los Angeles.

The city is located on the shore of Lake Michigan, about 300 kilometers from Illinois ‘ capital Springfield. Chicago covers an area of ​​606 km².


Chicago has approximately 3 million inhabitants, the metropolitan area has approximately 9 million inhabitants. In 2015, 32.3% of the population was Caucasian (non-Hispanic white), 30.7% African American, and 28.9% of the population was Hispanic or Hispanic. They come mainly from Mexico and Cuba. In addition, 6.1% of the population was of Asian descent. 1.7% of the population was of mixed descent.

11% of the population is older than 65 years. 34% of the population is single. 25% of the population lives below the poverty line. 7% of the population is unemployed.


View of Michigan Avenue at the Michigan Avenue Bridge; left the Wrigley Building and right the Tribune Tower

Downtown Chicago (‘The Loop’) as seen from the Willis Tower, the tallest building right of center is the John Hancock Center

Chicago River view west with the Marina Towers on the right

Front of Chicago Theater in the Loop

University of Chicago campus

Museum of Science and Industry

Chicago Water Tower

North Lakeshore Drive, a major thoroughfare in Chicago. Photo taken from the John Hancock Building

In January the average temperature is −5.3 °C, in July it is 23.9 °C. Annual average precipitation is 949.5 mm (data based on the measurement period 1961-1990).


The Potawatomi tribe originally lived in what is now Chicago. Chicago was founded in 1830 and was granted city status in 1837.

Between October 8 and 10, 1871, much of the city was destroyed by fire. Of the then 300,000 inhabitants, a third became homeless. The number of deaths was not too bad given the enormous size of the fire, it was between 200 and 300.

The rebuilding of Chicago revolutionized architecture. The invention of the elevator and electricity made it possible to design office towers of more than eight storeys. Driftig experimented with constructions of cast iron columns and steel beams, steel skeleton and concrete skeleton.

Between May 1 and 4, 1886, there was great tension between the unions and the police which culminated in the Haymarket Riot. A bomb was dropped in these riots, and the leaders of the union action were arrested and convicted, some of them executed, although there was no evidence of their involvement.

In 1893, Chicago was the scene of the World’s Fair, which was repeated in 1933.

During Prohibition in the 1920s, Chicago was home to a number of notorious criminals; the best known of these was Al Capone. See also St Valentine’s Day Massacre.

Chicago once had the largest public transportation network in the United States. In the early 20th century, more than 3,000 streetcars ran over more than 1,000 miles of track. After major mergers between public transportation companies in the city, the CTA, the Chicago Transit Authority, was created.


Chicago has a very large business center. In the nineteenth century, when the railroads carried much of the freight, Chicago was the departure point for almost all trains bound for the western United States. Even today, Chicago still enjoys an exceptionally strategic position for both rail and car traffic. This position has made Chicago the largest industrial center in America, even bigger than New York and Los Angeles. There is also a very large airport near the city: O’Hare International Airport. This airport has been one of the busiest airports in the world for decades and has six runways. Also the largest convention center and event hall in the United States,McCormick Place, is located in Chicago.

Art and culture

Chicago is home to some of the world’s leading cultural institutions.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra – CSO – is one of the five best and most beautiful sounding in the world. They play the Orchestra Hall on South Michigan Avenue. Under Fritz Reiner, the orchestra reached one of its heydays and the music of Richard Strauss in particular was frequently heard. As early as the 1950s, the CSO made recordings for the RCA Living Stereo label.

The orchestra has a tradition with chief conductors of European origin. After Reiner, who was originally Hungarian, Georg Solti – also Hungarian – was associated with the orchestra for a long time and this also applied to Daniel Barenboim. Many famous composers conducted their own work with the CSO. As early as 1903, Richard Strauss visited the orchestra with his wife. He conducted his own works in which his wife – who had a protected status as a soprano, but could not sing very well at all – performed a few arias. Béla Bartók, Leopold Stokowski and later Pierre Boulez also performed for the orchestra. From the 2006-2007 concert season, Bernard Haitinkappointed as principal conductor and Pierre Boulez as principal conductor emeritus.


The Lyric Opera of Chicago is today a premier cultural institution for its daring operatic presentations. This has been different for years because the conservative repertoire predominated. This is because the large lenders, who actually keep the opera financially healthy, had a very dominant presence on the program council for years.

The British Sir Andrew Davis is the musical director. Opera performances take place at the world-famous Civic Opera House on North Wacker Drive. It is an art deco building that opened in 1929.

The opera house was born from the vision of the magnate Samuel Insull (1859-1938), a billionaire known as the “Prince of Electricity”. Insull, president of the Chicago Civic Opera Association, wanted to build a new opera house to outdo Louis B. Sullivan’s Auditorium Building on South Michigan Avenue. Insull stated that the building had to fulfill five goals: it had to be safe, the sightlines had to be very good, the seats had to be comfortable, the environment and presentation had to be unsurpassed and the acoustics had to be great. The design team chosen by Insull was the Chicago architecture firm of Graham, Anderson, Probst & White.

3500 people can enjoy opera. The building is a kind of throne: a middle section with a 45-storey skyscraper and 22-storey high office buildings on both sides.

Mahalia Jackson

In 1927, Mahalia Jackson, the “queen of gospel,” from New Orleans, where she was born on October 26, 1911, came to Chicago, where, in addition to a job as a flower seller, she was a gospel music singer. With her famous We Shall Overcome, sung on August 20, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC in front of more than 200,000 people, she became one of the champions of the African American emancipation movement, alongside such greats as the Reverend Martin Luther King and his wife Coretta Scott King, both members of the same Baptist church, and Rosa Parks.


Chicago can also be described as one of the capitals of the blues. The 1920s saw an influx of large groups of black farm workers from the Mississippi Delta in search of a better life. They brought their music with them and a very lively club scene emerged, centered around Maxwell Street. In the early 1940s, these musicians began playing electrically amplified, recording for labels such as Vee Jay, Aristocrat, and Chess. The Chicago sound would play a decisive role in the genesis of rock ‘n’ roll and have a major influence on British bands of the 1960s. Big names were Big Bill Broonzy, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Elmore James, Jimmy Reed, Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry.

Oprah Winfrey

In the early 1980s, the Chicago local broadcaster started Oprah Winfrey ‘s talk show under the title AM ​​Chicago, from 1985 The Oprah Winfrey Show. The street on which the Harpostudios, in which the show was recorded since 1990, have been called the Oprah Winfrey Way since 2011.


Chicago has approximately 15 independent universities. Particularly renowned are Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. The former university is home to the Kellogg School of Business, which is generally regarded as the most renowned marketing university in the world.

At the University of Chicago, as part of the Manhattan Project , physicist Enrico Fermi conducted the decisive experiments that led to approval for the atomic bomb development project during World War II. The Chicago School is a household name in economics: under those names a number of economists are united who have developed a neo-liberal view of economics. In particular, this includes the conservative Thomas Sowell and the monetarist Milton Friedman. to name. The Chicago School has also meant a lot for sociology and related disciplines (social philosophy and social psychology). Some prominent social scientists associated with the Chicago School include founder Albion Small, but perhaps better known: GH Mead, WI Thomas, Robert Park, Ernest Burgess, and Herbert Blumer. The latter contributed greatly to the emergence of Symbolic Interactionism

Chicago also has Loyola University, founded by the Jesuits, and other universities such as the University of Illinois at Chicago, the largest medical school in the United States, and DePaul University, a smaller private university.


Chicago has five sports clubs that compete in one of the top four American professional sports. It’s about:

  • Chicago Blackhawks (ice hockey)
  • Chicago Bears (American football)
  • Chicago Cubs (baseball)
  • Chicago White Sox (baseball)
  • Chicago Bulls (basketball)

In addition, Chicago Fire football club plays in Major League Soccer.

The Chicago Bears’ Soldier Field stadium was used for the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Germany won the opening match against Bolivia 1-0.

Chicago was a candidate for the 2016 Summer Olympics, but they were assigned to Rio de Janeiro.


  • Adler Planetarium
  • Aon Center
  • Art Institute of Chicago
  • Chicago Water Tower
  • Cloud Gate
  • Field Museum of Natural History
  • Grant Park
  • Hilton Chicago
  • John Hancock Center (named after statesman John Hancock)
  • Lincoln Park
  • Magnificent Mile
  • Millennium Park
  • Monadnock Building
  • Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Museum of Science and Industry
  • Shedd Aquarium
  • Six Flags Great America
  • Willis Tower (the tallest building in the world from 1973 to 1997; since then, the tallest building in North America)


Public transportation in Chicago consists of an extensive bus network, the Chicago metro and Metra (suburban network of commuter trains). Also nationally, Chicago is a major hub with national trains from Chicago Union Station (Amtrak and Metra), Chicago O’Hare Airport, and the Port of Chicago.


  • Chicago is one of the largest rail hubs in the world.
  • The Chicago River is one of the few rivers in the world whose flow has been artificially reversed.
  • Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport is one of the largest airports in the world
  • Chicago’s nickname is the “windy city”. The connection is often made with the strong wind from Lake Michigan. An alternative explanation, however, is that around the late 1800s, Chicago politicians boasted so much about their city that outside Chicago it was often said that people from Chicago were exaggerating (English: “blow a lot of wind”).

Town twinning

  • Accra (Ghana), since 1988
  • Amman (Jordan), since 2004
  • Athens (Greece), since 1997
  • Belgrade (Serbia), since 2005
  • Birmingham (United Kingdom), since 1993
  • Busan (South Korea), since 2007
  • Casablanca (Morocco), since 1982
  • New Delhi (India), since 2001
  • Durban (South Africa), since 1973
  • Galway (Ireland), since 1997
  • Gothenburg (Sweden), since 1987
  • Hamburg (Germany), since 1994
  • Kiev (Ukraine), since 1991
  • Lahore (Pakistan), since 2007
  • Lucerne (Switzerland), since 1998
  • Mexico City (Mexico), since 1991
  • Milan (Italy), since 1973
  • Moscow (Russia), since 1997
  • Osaka (Japan), since 1973
  • Paris (France), since 1996
  • Petach Tikva (Israel), since 1994
  • Prague (Czech Republic), since 1990
  • Shanghai (China), since 1985
  • Shenyang (China), since 1985
  • Toronto (Canada), since 1991
  • Vilnius (Lithuania), since 1993
  • Warsaw (Poland), since 1960

Nearby places

The figure below shows nearby places within a 12 km radius of Chicago.


Berwyn (9 km)

Cicero (7 km)

Forest Park (12 km)

Forest View (10 km)

Lyons (12 km)

Oak Park (11 km)

Riverside (11 km)

Stickney (9km)

Chicago, Illinois