Chicago is located in the State of Illinois and is the capital of the Cook County. It is the largest city in the midwestern region. It is located on the southwest shore of Lake Michigan, one of the Great Lakes of North America. The Chicago River runs through the city. Chicago was founded in 1770, and became an official city in 1837.
The city of Chicago itself currently has 2,873,790 inhabitants and the city limits extend over 606 km2. Its inhabitants are called Chicagoans. The city of Chicago is the third most populated city of the United States with a population of 8,711,000 inhabitants spread over 5,498 km2. The urban area of Chicago-Naperville-Joliet known as “Chicagoland” has 9,785,747 inhabitants and covers 28,163 km2, making it the fourth urban area of North America after Mexico, New York City and Los Angeles.
Chicago is the second largest industrial center of the United States; it belongs to the “Industrial Belt” (Manufacturing Belt), but the city is also one of the most important financial centers of the world.
Thanks to its unique location, the city is a major communication center of land but also for its international airport. It has gained a fine reputation with its cultural architecture of skyscrapers and attracts millions of visitors each year. Indeed, the Sears Tower was the highest skyscraper in the world if you include the antenna. This building was the highest in the world from 1974 to 1998. Chicago will soon have the highest skyscraper in the American continent with the Chicago Spire, now under construction, it is expected to peak at 610 meters high in 2010. The city has many higher education institutions, museums, theaters and a renowned symphony orchestra. It is the adopted city of the 44th president Barack Obama.