|City of Chicago|
|Etymology: Miami-Illinois: shikaakwa ("wild onion" or "wild garlic")|
Windy City, Chi-Town, City of Broad Shoulders, Second City
(for more, see full list)
Latin: Urbs in Horto (City in a Garden), I Will
Location within Cook and DuPage Counties
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Incorporated (town)||August 12, 1833|
|Incorporated (city)||March 4, 1837|
|Founded by||Jean Baptiste Point du Sable|
|Named for||Miami-Illinois: shikaakwa|
(wild onion or wild garlic)
|• Body||Chicago City Council|
|• Mayor||Lori Lightfoot (D)|
|• City Clerk||Anna Valencia (D)|
|• City Treasurer||Kurt Summers Jr. (D)|
|• City||234.14 sq mi (606.42 km2)|
|• Land||227.34 sq mi (588.81 km2)|
|• Water||6.80 sq mi (17.62 km2) 3.0%|
|• Urban||2,122.8 sq mi (5,498 km2)|
|• Metro||10,874 sq mi (28,160 km2)|
|594 ft (181 m)|
– near Blue Island
|1 ft (0.3 m)|
– at Lake Michigan
|578 ft (176 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Rank||3rd, U.S.|
|• Density||11,898.29/sq mi (4,593.95/km2)|
|• Metro||9,512,999 (3rd)|
|• CSA||9,882,634 (US: 3rd)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (Central)|
|ZIP Code Prefixes|
606xx, 607xx, 608xx
|Area codes||312/872 and 773/872|
|GNIS feature ID||0428803|
Chicago (// (listen), locally also //), officially the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Illinois, and the third most populous city in the United States. It has an estimated population of 2,705,994 (2018), it is also the most populous city in the Midwestern United States. Chicago is the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the United States, with a small portion of the northwest side of the city going into DuPage County near O'Hare Airport. Chicago is the main city of the Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland. At nearly 10 million people, the metropolitan area is the third most populous in the United States.
It is located on the shores of freshwater Lake Michigan, Chicago was made into a city in 1837 near a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed. It grew rapidly in the mid-19th century. After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which destroyed many square miles and left more than 100,000 homeless, the city made a huge effort to rebuild. The construction boom caused a massive population growth throughout the next decades, and by 1900, less than 30 years after the great fire, Chicago was the fifth-largest city in the world. Chicago became known for its urban planning and zoning standards, including new construction styles (including the Chicago School of architecture), the development of the City Beautiful Movement, and the steel-framed skyscraper. The first skyscraper in the world, the Home Insurance Building, was built here in 1885.
Chicago is an international center for finance, culture, commerce, industry, education, technology, telecommunications, and transportation. It is one of the largest markets of the world, creating 20% of all revenue in commodities and financial futures alone. The city's O'Hare International Airport is ranked as the world's fifth or sixth busiest airport and either first or second in the United States. The region also has the largest number of federal highways and is the nation's railroad hub. Chicago was listed as an alpha global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, and it ranked seventh in the entire world in the 2017 Global Cities Index. The Chicago area has generated $689 billion in 2018. In addition, the city has one of the world's most diversified and balanced economies. Chicago is home to several Fortune 500 companies, including Allstate, Boeing, Exelon, Kraft Heinz, McDonald's, Mondelez International, Sears, United Airlines Holdings, and Walgreens.
Chicago's 58 million domestic and international visitors in 2018 made it the second most visited city in the nation, as compared with New York City's 65 million visitors in 2018. The city was ranked first in the 2018 Time Out City Life Index, a global quality of life survey of 15,000 people in 32 cities.
Landmarks in the city include Millennium Park, Navy Pier, the Magnificent Mile, the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum Campus, the Willis (Sears) Tower, Grant Park, Chicago Riverwalk, the Museum of Science and Industry, and Lincoln Park Zoo. Of the area's many colleges and universities, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago are seen as "highest research" doctoral universities. Chicago has professional sports teams in each of the major professional leagues, including two Major League Baseball teams.
History[change | change source]
Chicago was founded in the early 1700s by Jean Baptiste Point du Sable. The city was founded to create a canal that allowed steamboats and sailing ships on the Great Lakes to connect to the Mississippi River. The city later became a trading center for food, crops, and fur. The city grew very fast because of how the river back then was clean and healthy to drink. In 1837, Chicago became a city. The city grew until the Great Chicago Fire happened in 1871. The fire lasted for almost a week. Almost half the city and its population were lost in the fire. After the fire Chicago grew faster than ever.
Also after the fire happened the city's economy grew and also more people migrated here from parts of the world. The immigrants include, Germans, Jews, Irish, Swedes, Poles, and Czechs. The immigrants made almost two-thirds of the city's population. In 1889, Jane Addams had built the first Hull house in Chicago for children and the poor. The city's public health became better, so that the city would be healthy. In 1893, the city hosted the World's Columbian Exposition. And later the University of Chicago was founded in 1892.
In 1919 the city later became known for its gangsters such as Al Capone, Dean O’Banion, Bugs Moran and Tony Accardo. Later the city also became known for one of the most infamous massacres, the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre when Al Capone ordered many gangsters to be shot on St. Valentine's Day in 1929. Shortly after that the city became known for John Dillinger, a bank robber who could rob an entire bank under two minutes. Dillinger was shot and killed at the Biograph Theatre in 1934.
During a Democratic party convention in 1933, the 44th Mayor of Chicago, Anton Cermak was shot and killed when a man tried to shoot at Franklin D. Roosevelt when Cermak blocked the bullet so that the President would not be hurt. Cermak died hours later. In 1955, Mayor Richard J. Daley became one of the most powerful and well known Democrats in the country. He also helped Martin Luther King and other activist share their thoughts and opinions without being arrested in Chicago.
In 1968, during the 1968 Democratic National Convention led to a massive protest and riots that happened where the convention was held. Richard J. Daley helped create the construction sites for the Willis Tower, O'Hare International Airport, the McCormick Place, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Jane Byrne helped Chicago to become one of the most popular tourist attractions in the United State s. She was the first female mayor of Chicago.
In 1983, Harold Washington became the first African American mayor of Chicago and helped clean all dangerous and poor neighborhoods in the city. He was later re-elected, but died of a heart attack. He would become the second mayor of Chicago to die from a heart attack while in office, the first was Richard J. Daley. Washington's second full term was finished by Eugene Sawyer, the second African American Mayor of Chicago.
In 1989, Richard M. Daley, the son of Richard J. Daley, became the mayor of Chicago. Daley was the longest serving Mayor of Chicago.
In 2012, the NATO Summit was held in Chicago and lasted for three days. The city would also host the 38th G8 summit, but was moved to Camp David because the city was already hosting the NATO summit in Chicago.
Culture[change | change source]
Chicago has a very well-known culture. Some of the many things Chicago is famous for are: Chicago-style hot dogs, Chicago-style (deep dish) pizza, Maxwell Street Polish Sausage, jazz music, and 1920s gangsters like Al Capone. Chicago is also known for interesting architecture like the Sears Tower, many museums, and many loyal sports fans.
Chicago was home to the Bijou Theater, the longest-running gay adult theater and sex club in the United States. It opened in 1970, and it permanently closed its doors in September 2015.
For many years, the Sears Tower was the tallest building in the world. It is the second tallest building in the United States.
Economy[change | change source]
Chicago is a major world financial center, with the second largest central business district in the United States. The city is the headquarters of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (the Seventh District of the Federal Reserve). The city is also home to major financial and futures exchanges, including the Chicago Stock Exchange, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (the "Merc"), which is owned, along with the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) by Chicago's CME Group. The CME Group, in addition, owns the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), the Commodities Exchange Inc. (COMEX) and the Dow Jones Indexes.
Perhaps due to the influence of the Chicago school of economics, the city also has markets trading unusual contracts such as emissions (on the Chicago Climate Exchange), and equity style indices (on the U.S. Futures Exchange). Chase Bank has its commercial and retail banking headquarters in Chicago's Chase Tower.
Media[change | change source]
Museums[change | change source]
There are many museums in Chicago. These include:
Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum - built in 1930, it is the oldest planetarium in the world
Art Institute of Chicago - has a large collection of American and Impressionist art
Field Museum of Natural History - has Sue, the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus fossil known
Museum of Science and Industry - has many exhibits including a real Boeing 727 jet plane which was given to the museum by United Airlines
Polish Museum of America - Museum haunted by famous piano player Ignacy Jan Paderewski, has large collection of Polish art in the biggest Polish city outside of Poland
Shedd Aquarium - at one time the world's largest aquarium. Has 19 million liters (5 million gallons) of water and 22,000 fish
Sports[change | change source]
Sports are a big part of the cultural life in Chicago. Chicago is home to 15 sports teams. All of the city's major sports teams play within the city limits.
Chicago is one of only three cities in the United States to have two Major League Baseball teams: the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Cubs. The White Sox play at the Guaranteed Rate Field and the Cubs play at Wrigley Field. The Chicago Cubs are one of the oldest teams in baseball. Many Chicago Cubs fans are extremely dedicated and loyal to their team, as well as extremely passionate and effusive. The White Sox won the World Series in 2005. The Cubs won the World Series in 2016.
Travel[change | change source]
Many people and things travel through Chicago to get to other places. Chicago has a complex network of trains and buses, which help people who live in Chicago travel across the city. Chicago's commuter train system is called the Metra. It runs within the city and also into the suburbs that are around Chicago. The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is a system of buses and elevated trains (called the 'L') that run inside the city and expand towards the outer suburbs.
O'Hare International Airport is a major center for air travel, the second-busiest after Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Chicago has another airport called Midway Airport. Many trains use Chicago as a place to change loads and to change directions. There is also a canal between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River called the Chicago River. The Chicago River is the only river to travel backwards.
The CTA has eight train lines. They are:
- Red Line running from Rogers Park near the Chicago suburb of Evanston towards Roseland.
- Blue Line running from the O'Hare International Airport towards Forest Park.
- Brown Line running in a loop from Albany Park towards the Loop and back.
- Green Line has two different service trains running from Forest Park or Oak Park towards the South Side running until West Englewood (Ashland/63rd) or Woodlawn (Cottage Grove/63rd).
- Orange Line running in a loop from the Midway International Airport towards the Loop and back.
- Purple Line running from the Chicago suburb of Wilmette towards Evanston. During rush hour, it runs from Wilmette to the Loop and back.
- Pink Line running from the Chicago suburb of Cicero all the way to the Loop and back.
- Yellow Line running only in the Chicago suburbs of Evanston towards Skokie. It is the shortest train line of the CTA only having three stops.
Weather[change | change source]
The English used in this section or section may not be easy for everybody to understand.
The city lies within the humid continental climate zone, and has four distinct seasons. Summers are hot and humid, with a July daily average of 75.8 °F (24.3 °C). In a normal summer, temperatures exceed 90 °F (32 °C) on 21 days. Winters are cold and snowy with many sunny days, and with a January daytime average of 31 °F (−1 °C). Spring and autumn are mild seasons with low humidity.
According to the National Weather Service, Chicago's highest official temperature reading of 105 °F (41 °C) was recorded on July 24, 1934, although it is unknown about the reading of 109 °F (43 °C) was also recorded at Midway Airport during that month. The lowest temperature of −27 °F (−33 °C) was recorded on January 20, 1985, at O'Hare Airport. The city can experience extreme winter cold waves and summer heat waves that may last for several consecutive days. There are also many mild winter and summer days. Thunderstorms are usually common during the spring and summer months; sometimes they may produce tornadoes which are more likely in the far suburban areas than the city itself. The heaviest snowfall record that Chicago had was in January 1999 when it snowed 18.6 inches (47.2 centimeters).
|Climate data for Chicago (Midway Airport), 1981–2010 normals,[a] extremes 1928–present|
|Record high °F (°C)||67
|Mean maximum °F (°C)||52.3
|Average high °F (°C)||31.5
|Daily mean °F (°C)||24.8
|Average low °F (°C)||18.2
|Mean minimum °F (°C)||−3.3
|Record low °F (°C)||−25
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||2.06
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||11.5
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||10.7||8.8||11.2||11.1||11.4||10.3||9.9||9.0||8.2||10.2||11.2||11.1||123.1|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||8.1||5.5||3.8||0.7||0||0||0||0||0||0.1||1.8||6.7||26.7|
|Source: NOAA, WRCC|
|Climate data for Chicago (O'Hare Int'l Airport), 1981–2010 normals,[a] extremes 1871 – present[b]|
|Record high °F (°C)||67
|Mean maximum °F (°C)||51.4
|Average high °F (°C)||31.0
|Daily mean °F (°C)||23.8
|Average low °F (°C)||16.5
|Mean minimum °F (°C)||−5.6
|Record low °F (°C)||−27
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||1.73
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||10.8
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||10.5||8.8||11.1||12.0||11.6||10.2||9.8||9.8||8.3||10.2||10.8||11.0||124.1|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||8.2||5.9||4.2||0.9||0||0||0||0||0||0.2||1.7||6.9||28.0|
|Average relative humidity (%)||72.2||71.6||69.7||64.9||64.1||65.6||68.5||70.7||71.1||68.6||72.5||75.5||69.6|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||135.8||136.2||187.0||215.3||281.9||311.4||318.4||283.0||226.6||193.2||113.3||106.3||2,508.4|
|Percent possible sunshine||46||46||51||54||62||68||69||66||60||56||38||37||56|
|Source: NOAA (relative humidity and sun 1961–1990)|
Winds[change | change source]
Although Chicago is known as the Windy City, it is in fact less windy than many other major American cities. Average wind speeds range from 8 miles per hour (13 km/h) in late summer to 12 miles per hour (19 km/h) in spring months. The "Windy City" moniker is believed to actually be a reference to the boostering politicians of Chicago from the 1800s. When Chicago hosted the World's Fair, citizens of Chicago started to brag about it. Because they bragged so much, the city of Chicago became known as "The Windy City. The phrase may have also been created by Chicago tourism boosters promoting the city, suggesting that the cool breezes from Lake Michigan make Chicago an ideal summer destination.
Community areas[change | change source]
The community areas in Chicago, as defined by the Social Science Research Committee at the University of Chicago, are 77 divisions of Chicago. They are officially recognized by the City of Chicago. These areas are well-defined and static. Census data are tied to the community areas, and they serve as the basis for a variety of urban planning initiatives on both the local and regional levels.
Central[change | change source]
|08||Near North Side|
|33||Near South Side|
North Side[change | change source]
West Side[change | change source]
|26||West Garfield Park|
|27||East Garfield Park|
|28||Near West Side|
|31||Lower West Side|
South Side[change | change source]
|69||Greater Grand Crossing|
Famous people from Chicago[change | change source]
Some famous people who lived in or are from Chicago.
- Barack Obama, Former President of the United Sates
- Michelle Obama, Former First Lady of the United States
- Rahm Emanuel, the 55th Mayor of the city.
- Ronald Reagan, former President of the United States.
- Hillary Clinton, First Lady of the United States and former Secretary of State.
- Oprah Winfrey, actress and host of Oprah.
- Chance the Rapper, Grammy Award-winning rap artist and philanthropist.
- Nancy Reagan, former First Lady of the United States.
- Walt Disney, creator of Walt Disney Pictures and Walt Disney Enterprises.
- Frank Lloyd Wright, famous architect (Guggenheim Museum, Robie House, Fallingwater), and writer.
- Bernie Sanders, United States senator of Vermont and activist.
- Jack Benny, actor and comedian.
- Richard Peck, novelist.
- George Pullman, engineer.
- Chris Farley, actor and comedian.
- Mike Gray, screenwriter, activist, and cinematographer.
- Kanye West, rapper, musician, and actor.
- Potter Palmer, architect and businessman.
- Daniel Burnham, architect.
- Carl Sandburg, poet.
- Richard J. Daley, the 48th Mayor of Chicago.
- Richard M. Daley, the 54th Mayor of Chicago.
- Emilie Autumn, singer and musician.
- James M. Buchanan, Nobel Prize-winning economist.
- Adrian Smith, architect (Burj Khalifa)
- Alex Karras, actor, wrestler, and football player (Webster).
- Harold Washington, the 51st Mayor of Chicago.
- Dwyane Wade, basketball player.
- Derrick Rose, basketball player.
- Ernie Banks, baseball player.
- Kathy Griffin, actress and comedian.
- Bonnie Hunt, actress and comedian.
- Fazlur Khan, architect (Willis Tower, John Hancock Center)
- Bruce Graham, architect (Willis Tower, John Hancock Center)
- John Cusack, actor and brother of Joan Cusack.
- Bob Bryar, singer and part of the musical group My Chemical Romance.
- Bob Balaban, actor, writer, director, and producer.
- Tom Bosley, actor who played Mr. C on Happy Days.
- Christopher Nolan, director who is known for as the director of The Dark Knight Trilogy.
- Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy Magazines.
- Bill Murray, actor and comedian.
- Harrison Ford, actor who played Indiana Jones.
- Roger Ebert, movie critic.
- Gene Siskel, movie critic.
- Jennifer Hudson, singer and actress.
- Kenneth Mars, actor and comedian.
- Bob Newhart, actor and comedian.
- Robin Williams, actor and comedian.
- Wendy Schaal, actor and comedian.
- Jane Addams, founder of the Hull House.
- Pat Sajak, host of Wheel of Fortune.
- Mike Douglas, actor and personality.
- Betty Ford, former First Lady of the United States, wife of Gerald Ford.
Law and Government[change | change source]
Chicago is the county seat of Cook County. The government of the City of Chicago is divided into executive and legislative branches. Civil and criminal law cases are heard in the Cook County Circuit Court of the State of Illinois court system, or in the Northern District of Illinois, in the federal system. In the former, the public prosecutor is the Illinois State's Attorney, in the latter, the United States Attorney.
Mayors of Chicago[change | change source]
The Mayor of Chicago is the chief executive, elected by general election for a term of four years, with no term limits. The mayor appoints commissioners and other officials who oversee the various departments. In addition to the mayor, Chicago's two other citywide elected officials are the clerk and the treasurer. The City Council is the legislative branch and is made up of 50 aldermen, one elected from each ward in the city. The council enacts local ordinances and approves the city budget. Government priorities and activities are established in a budget ordinance usually adopted each November. The council takes official action through the passage of ordinances and resolutions.
Crimes[change | change source]
Chicago had a murder rate of 14.5 per 100,000 residents in 2012. This pales in comparison to smaller cities, including New Orleans, Newark, and Detroit, which saw 53 murders per 100,000 residents in 2012. The total number of murders in the city peaked in 1974, with 970 murders when the city's population was over 3 million people (resulting in a murder rate of around 29 per 100,000), and came close to peaking again in 1992 with 943 murders, resulting in a murder rate of 34 per 100,000. Chicago, along with other major US cities, experienced a significant reduction in violent crime rates through the 1990s, eventually recording 448 homicides in 2004, the lowest total since 1965 (15.65 per 100,000.) Chicago's homicide tally remained steady throughout 2005, 2006, and 2007 with 449, 452, and 435 respectively.
Transportation[change | change source]
Chicago is a major transportation hub in the United States. It is an important component in global distribution, as it is the third largest inter-modal port in the world after Hong Kong and Singapore.
Expressways[change | change source]
The Kennedy Expressway and Dan Ryan Expressways are the busiest state maintained routes in not only the City of Chicago and its suburbs, but also the entire state of Illinois.
Transit systems[change | change source]
The English used in this section or section may not be easy for everybody to understand.
The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) coordinates the operation of the three service boards: CTA, Metra, and Pace.
- The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) handles public transportation in the city of Chicago and a few adjacent suburbs outside of the Chicago city limits. The CTA operates an extensive network of buses and a rapid transit elevated and subway system known as the 'L' (for "elevated"), with lines designated by colors. These rapid transit lines also serve both Midway and O'Hare Airports. The CTA's rail lines consist of the Red Line, Blue Line, Green Line, Orange Line, Brown Line, Purple Line, Pink Line, and Yellow Line. Both the Red and Blue lines offer 24‑hour service which makes Chicago one of a handful of cities around the world (and one of two in the United States, the other being New York City) to offer rail service 24 hours a day, every day of the year, within the city's limits.
- Metra, the nation's second-most used passenger regional rail network, operates an 11-line commuter rail service in Chicago and throughout the Chicago suburbs. The Metra Electric Line shares its trackage with Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District's South Shore Line, which provides commuter service between South Bend and Chicago.
- Pace provides bus and paratransit service in over 200 surrounding suburbs with some extensions into the city as well. A 2005 study found that one quarter of commuters used public transit.
Greyhound Lines provides inter-city bus service to and from the city, and Chicago is also the hub for the Midwest network of Megabus.
Amtrak long distance services originate from Union Station. Chicago is one of the largest hubs of passenger rail service in the nation. The services terminate in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., New York City, Indianapolis, New Oreleans, Portland, Seattle, Milwaukee, Quincy, St. Louis, Carbondale, Boston, Grand Rapids, Port Huron, Pontiac, Los Angeles, and San Antonio. An attempt was made in the early 20th century to link Chicago with New York City via the Chicago – New York Electric Air Line Railroad. Parts of this were built, but it was ultimately never completed.
Movies[change | change source]
Chicago appeared in many movies such as The Blues Brothers; Ferris Bueller's Day Off; Child's Play, Home Alone; The Fugitive; The Untouchables, I, Robot; Wanted; Batman Begins; The Dark Knight; Transformers: Dark of the Moon; Man of Steel; Widows and Rampage.
Sister cities[change | change source]
- Warsaw (Poland) 1960
- Milan (Italy) 1973
- Osaka (Japan) 1973
- Casablanca (Morocco) 1982
- Shanghai (China) 1985
- Shenyang (China) 1985
- Gothenburg (Sweden) 1987
- Accra (Ghana) 1989
- Prague (Czech Republic) 1990
- Kyiv (Ukraine) 1991
- Mexico City (Mexico) 1991
- Toronto (Canada) 1991
- Birmingham (United Kingdom) 1993
- Vilnius (Lithuania) 1993
- Hamburg (Germany) 1994
- Petah Tikva (Israel) 1994
- Athens (Greece) 1997
- Durban (South Africa) 1997
- Galway (Ireland) 1997
- Moscow (Russia) 1997
- Lucerne (Switzerland) 1998
- Delhi (India) 2001
- Amman (Jordan) 2004
- São Paulo (Brazil) 2004
- Belgrade (Serbia) 2005
- Lahore (Pakistan) 2007
- Busan (South Korea) 2007
- Bogotá (Colombia) 2009
- Paris (France) 1996
Notes[change | change source]
- Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the expected highest and lowest temperature readings at any point during the year or given month) calculated based on data at said location from 1981 to 2010.
- Official records for Chicago were kept at various locations in downtown from January 1871 to 31 December 1925, University of Chicago from 1 January 1926 to 30 June 1942, Midway Airport from 1 July 1942 to 16 January 1980, and at O'Hare Airport since 17 January 1980.
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- "Illinois Department of Transportation". Dot.il.gov. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- "New Yorkers are top transit users", by Les Christie,CNNmoney.com, 2007-6-29. Retrieved 2009-9-21.
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