Downstate Illinois

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Downstate Illinois is all of Illinois south of the Chicago metropolitan area, and 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 also 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 lexis for decades,[9] and is commonly used by the media.[10][11][12] The General Assembly (the state legislature for Illinois) regularly uses 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 Moline 45,883 Rock Island
9 Belleville 44,478 St. Clair
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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dave McKinney; Stephen Di Benedetto (3 September 2011). "Illinois House OKs casino for Chicago, slots at O'Hare, Midway". Chicago Sun-Times.
  2. ^ "Building Permits Rise 11%". Chicago Tribune. 1987-12-05.
  3. ^ "They Got Us Wrong". Chicago Reader.
  4. ^ "Bradley University: Foster College of Business Administration". Archived from the original on 2010-05-28. Retrieved 2011-07-11.
  5. ^ Associated Press. "Illinois raises cap on charter schools - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star". Archived from the original on 2012-09-15. Retrieved 2011-07-11.
  6. ^ "MTV's Campus Invasion Tour". 18 October 2000. Archived from the original on 11 June 2014.
  7. ^ "DeKalb Corp. announces capitalization of three new companies, spinoff". 21 June 1988. Archived from the original on 11 June 2014.
  8. ^ "Names".
  9. ^ "Lawrence Journal-World - Google News Archive Search".
  10. ^ Around, Getting (2010-08-23). "Chicago-K.C. corridor ready to roll - Chicago Tribune". Retrieved 2011-07-11.
  11. ^ Ramsey, Mike (1998-11-06). "Missionary Educator From Downstate Illinois Is Remembered In China - Chicago Tribune". Retrieved 2011-07-11.
  12. ^ [1] Archived March 8, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "Illinois General Assembly - list of bills with "Downstate" in the text". Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2011-07-11.

Coordinates: 40°N 89°W / 40°N 89°W / 40; -89