Downstate Illinois

Downstate Illinois

Downstate Illinois refers to all of Illinois outside of the Chicago metropolitan area. This term is flexible, but because it is generally meant to refer to everything outside the Chicago-area, some cities in Northern Illinois, such as Rockford[1][2][3] and DeKalb,[4][5][6] (which are north and west of Chicago, respectively), are considered to be "downstate".[7][8]

The term has been part of the Illinois vernacular for decades,[9] and is commonly used by the media.[10][11][12] The General Assembly (the state legislature for Illinois) regularly makes references to the term in the titles of bills it passes.[13]

Major Cities

Ten Largest Downstate Cities
Rank City Population County
1 Rockford 157,280 Winnebago
2 Springfield 118,033 Sangamon
3 Peoria 115,520 Peoria
4 Champaign 80,286 Champaign
5 Decatur 76,199 Macon
6 Bloomington 74,184 McLean
7 Normal 52,799 McLean
8 DeKalb 43,862 DeKalb
9 Moline 43,050 Rock Island
10 Belleville 41,285 St. Clair

Most of the state's largest cities (six of the top ten) are concentrated in and around the Chicago , but several mid-sized cities exist in the downstate area as well. Rockford is the region's largest.


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  7. ^ "Bradley University: Foster College of Business Administration". Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  8. ^ By Associated Press. "Illinois raises cap on charter schools - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star". Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  9. ^,2130941
  10. ^ "Chicago-K.C. corridor ready to roll - Chicago Tribune". 2010-08-23. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  11. ^ "Missionary Educator From Downstate Illinois Is Remembered In China - Chicago Tribune". 1998-11-06. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  12. ^ [1][dead link]
  13. ^ "Illinois General Assembly - list of bills with "Downstate" in the text". Retrieved 2011-07-11. 

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