In 1818 the Prairie State of Illinois became the 21st state of the USA.
It borders the states of Indiana to the east and Wisconsin to the north. The great Mississippi River lies to the west, separating it from Iowa and Missouri. The landscape of Illinois has vast areas of forests, farmlands, hills, and wetlands. It is the home of one of the largest cities in the USA: The Windy City, Chicago, which lies on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Chicago is the largest city in Illinois. Its population is around two million. Situated in the center of Illinois, Chicago is the third-largest metropolitan area in the USA. Thus, there is an extensive customer base for a business. It also means that there are a large job market and skilled labor pool.
Some of the other major cities are Aurora, Rockford, Joliet, Naperville, and the capital city, Springfield. Together, these cities are home to over 756,000 people. The state has a population of over twelve million altogether.