Illinois Facts

State Location Illionis Location In The US
State Abbreviation IL
Statehood December 3, 1818
State Capital Springfield
State Size Total (Land + Water): 57,914 sq miles; Land Only: 55,584 sq miles
Number of Counties 102
State Population (2015)12,859,995
State Population Density231.4 people / square mile
Electoral Votes20
State Quarter Issue Date January 2, 2003
State Motto State sovereignty, national union
State Flower Violet
State Tree White oak
State Bird Cardinal
Nickname Prairie State
State Flag Illinois State Flag
State Gas Tax$0.3108 / Gallon
State Cigarette Tax$1.98 / Pack
Area Codes 217, 224, 309, 312, 331, 447, 464, 618, 630, 708, 730, 773, 779, 815, 847, 872
Top 5 Cities (2010 population) Chicago (2,695,598)
Aurora (197,899)
Rockford (152,871)
Joliet (147,433)
Naperville (141,853)
Major Sports Teams MLB: Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox
NFL: Chicago Bears
NBA: Chicago Bulls
NHL: Chicago Blackhawks

Illinois Fun Facts

  • The name "Illinois" comes from a Native American word meaning "tribe of superior men."
  • The world's first skyscraper, the ten-story Home Insurance Building, was built in Chicago in 1885.
  • The IATA airport code "ORD" for Chicago's O'Hare Airport comes from its original name, Orchard Field. O'Hare Airport was named in honor of Lieutenant Commander Edward H. "Butch" O'Hare.
  • The first all-color TV station, WMAQ-TV, debuted in Chicago on April 15, 1956.
  • Illinois is home to the world’s largest bottle of catsup, a 170-feet tall water tower located south of downtown Collinsville, Illinois.
  • Carol Moseley Braun became the first female African-American Senator when she was elected to the U.S. Senate in Illinois in 1992.
  • Illinois is the largest producer of pumpkins in the United States, and Morton is the self-proclaimed "Pumpkin Capitol of the World."
  • In Illinois, the legal drinking age is 21. Those under 21 can drink legally provided that they are participating in a culinary arts, food service, or restaurant management degree program of which a portion of the program includes instruction on responsible alcoholic beverage serving methods.
  • The official State Snack Food in Illinois is popcorn. A group of elementary school students, with help from their teacher, Fran Hollister, at Cunningham Elementary School in Joliet petitioned Illinois legistrators to make popcorn the official snack food of Illinois, and State Senator Larry Walsh sponsored the bill. The bill was passed in 2003.

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