Illinois Cities

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If you’re thinking about relocating to Illinois, the Prairie State, you’ll have numerous cities and opportunities from which to choose.

Let’s take a look at the biggest cities in Illinois ranked in terms of the highest population:


The biggest city in the entire Midwest, Chicago is a bustling city that boasts a population of 2,695,598. Known as an industrial metropolis, the Windy City attracts immigrants from Asia, Latin America, and other places around the globe. According to, Chicago is a city with strong roots in the export system. This center of trade fully utilizes both its water transit system and airports to support local commerce.

The city of Chicago’s Western Avenue is the world’s longest continuous street, at a length of 23.5 miles, Buzzfeed said. Rich in culture, Chicago’s Art Institute houses the second largest acquisition of Impressionist paintings in the world, only second to the Louvre in Paris.


The city of Aurora rests on the outer edge of the Greater Chicago area, and it contains the second largest number of residents in Illinois with a population of 197,899. Aurora has experienced an immense amount of growth since the 1960s. Originally just including Kane County, the city limits of Aurora have since expanded into three surrounding counties. During the time between 2000 and 2003, Aurora was ranked the 34th fastest-growing city in the country by the United States Census Bureau. According to Aurora, Aurora, “The City of Lights”, has served as the location for several Hollywood films including Wayne’s World and Public Enemies, starring Johnny Depp.


Located on the banks of the Rock River in Northern Illinois, Rockford is Illinois’ third most populous city with 152,871 residents. Strategically located between Chicago and Galena, it is a city that is able to provide a significant industrial contribution to the state. The Rockford Visitor’s Bureau said it is known as a large manufacturing hub for heavy machinery and tools, and has also been named as the second leading center of furniture construction in the entire country.


Joliet is a populous southwest Chicago suburb with 147,433 residents. There are a number of popular attractions in Joliet’s City Center where you will find Harrah’s Casino, Hollywood Casino, and Silver Cross Field. According to Joliet WX Radio, Joliet’s most notable point of interest is the Rialto Square Theatre, which has been featured in several films such as Stir of Echoes. Named “The Jewel of Joliet”, the Rialto has been listed as one of the 10 most beautiful theatres in the world.


Also a Chicago suburb, the city of Naperville has a population of 141,853. The City of Naperville‘s website said it is most well-known for its extensive list of awards it has won from different sources, including being named the “Number One City in America with the Least Socioecomonic Stress” by American City Business Journals. In 2014, it was ranked the “Fourth Safest City in America” by 24/7 Wall Street.

The Naperville website also reported in 2006 that the city was named the second best place to live in the country by Money magazine. The affluent city of Naperville was also named the wealthiest city in the Midwest and the 11th in the entire nation.

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