Illinois is the twenty-fifth largest state by area, with a population of 12,741,080 (U.S. Census Bureau, July 1, 2019). Throughout history, there have been important milestones that helped shape Illinois. Earliest settlements date back thousands of years with the prominent Native American tribes, such as Illinois, Potawatomi, and Fox. Illinois officially became part of the United States in 1818. During the Civil War, Illinois played a vital role in supplying 250,000 men to the Union Army.
Today, Illinois' economy has a GDP of $879 billion (Bureau of Economic Analysis, July 1, 2018), which is driven by service, manufacturing, exports, agriculture, and mining industries. Many of the leading Fortune 500 companies have their headquarters in Illinois, including Walgreens Boots Alliance, Boeing, and State Farm Insurance, to name a few.
The most recognized cities in Illinois are Chicago, Naperville, and Rockford.
Chicago is located in the northeast part of Illinois and has a population of 2,722,586. Chicago is home to Millennium Park, the Willis Tower, and Cloud Gate. Over the last ten years, Chicago's housing market has appreciated by 1.36% annually. When compared to the rest of the nation, Chicago's housing prices are slightly higher, with the median home price of $234,500 and a median rent of $1,029.
Naperville resides in northeast Illinois, about 33 miles west of Chicago, and has a population of 146,431. Naperville is home to The Morton Arboretum, Cantigny Park, and DuPage Children's Museum. Over the last ten years, Naperville's housing market has appreciated by 1.37% annually. When compared to the rest of the country, Naperville's housing prices are exceptionally high, with the median home price of $398,500 and a median rent of $1,415.
Rockford can be found in northern Illinois and has a population of 148,640. Rockford is home to Anderson Japanese Gardens, Rock Cut State Park, and Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens. Over the last ten years, Rockford's housing market has depreciated by 14.04%. When compared to the rest of the nation, Rockford's housing prices are significantly less, with the median home price of $89,500 and a median rent of $731.