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 (which is north of Chicago), are considered to be "downstate". 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".
The term has been part of the Illinois vernacular for decades, and is commonly used by the media. The General Assembly (the state legislature for Illinois) regularly makes references to the term in the titles of bills it passes.
|Ten Largest Downstate Cities|
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.
- Upstate New York, an area with similar issues to Downstate Illinois
- Dave McKinney, Stephen Di Benedetto (3 September 2011). "Illinois House OKs casino for Chicago, slots at O’Hare, Midway". Chicago Sun-Times.
- "Building Permits Rise 11%". Chicago Tribune. 1987-12-05.
- "Bradley University: Foster College of Business Administration". Bradley.edu. Retrieved 2011-07-11.
- Associated Press. "Illinois raises cap on charter schools - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star". Rrstar.com. Retrieved 2011-07-11.
- Around, Getting (2010-08-23). "Chicago-K.C. corridor ready to roll - Chicago Tribune". Articles.chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2011-07-11.
- Ramsey, Mike (1998-11-06). "Missionary Educator From Downstate Illinois Is Remembered In China - Chicago Tribune". Articles.chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2011-07-11.
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- "Illinois General Assembly - list of bills with "Downstate" in the text". Retrieved 2011-07-11.