Downstate Illinois

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Downstate Illinois refers to all of Illinois outside of the Chicago metropolitan area. This term is flexible, but because it is generally meant to refer to everything outside the Chicago-area, some cities in Northern Illinois, such as Rockford[1][2][3] (which is north of Chicago), are considered to be "downstate".[4][5] Prior to the issuance of 2000 Census results, when it became part of the Chicago metropolitan area, even DeKalb (located 65 miles west of Chicago) was often considered to be "downstate".[6][7][8]

The term has been part of the Illinois vernacular for decades,[9] and is commonly used by the media.[10][11][12] The General Assembly (the state legislature for Illinois) regularly makes references to the term in the titles of bills it passes.[13]

Major cities[edit]

Ten Largest Downstate Cities
Rank City Population County
1 Rockford 152,871 Winnebago
2 Springfield 116,250 Sangamon
3 Peoria 115,007 Peoria
4 Champaign 81,055 Champaign
5 Bloomington 76,610 McLean
6 Decatur 76,122 Macon
7 Normal 52,497 McLean
8 Belleville 44,478 St. Clair
9 Moline 43,483 Rock Island
10 Urbana 41,250 Champaign

Most of the state's largest cities (six of the top ten) are concentrated in and around the Chicago area, but several mid-sized cities exist in the downstate area as well. Rockford is the largest downstate city, which is ironically north of Chicago.

See also[edit]

References[edit]