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 makes 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]