Chicago, IL
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Chicago profile


Living in Chicago


Chicago is an enormous city located in the state of Illinois. With a population of 2,705,994 people and 795 constituent neighborhoods, Chicago is the largest community in Illinois. Chicago has a large stock of pre-World War II architecture, making it one of the older and more historic cities in the country.

Chicago real estate is some of the most expensive in Illinois, although Chicago house values don't compare to the most expensive real estate in the U.S.

Unlike some cities where white-collar or blue-collar occupations dominate the local economy, Chicago is neither predominantly one nor the other. Instead, it has a mixed workforce of both white- and blue-collar jobs. Overall, Chicago is a city of professionals, sales and office workers, and service providers. There are especially a lot of people living in Chicago who work in office and administrative support (12.05%), sales jobs (10.22%), and management occupations (10.05%).

Also of interest is that Chicago has more people living here who work in computers and math than 95% of the places in the US.

Chicago is one of the most attractive larger cities for people who are young, single, educated, and upwardly-mobile career starters. This makes it a good place to live for young singles in their 20s and 30s and who have undergraduate or graduate degrees and are starting their professional careers. Although Chicago is a large city, this demographic is significant enough that young professionals will find many others like themselves here, with really good opportunities for friendships, recreation, romance, and more.

In Chicago, however, the average commute to work is quite long. On average, people spend 35.12 minutes each day getting to work, which is significantly higher than the national average. One bright side is that local public transit is widely used, so it may be an option to avoid the headache of driving in the heavy traffic by leaving the car at home and taking transit. In addition, the city is also quite pedestrian-friendly, because many neighborhoods are very dense and have amenities close enough together that people find it feasible to get around on foot.

Chicago, like many big cities in America, has a public transportation system, but the citizens of Chicago are lucky because theirs is one of the most extensive and widely used. Many commuters choose to leave their cars at home and instead use the bus to get to and from work. In fact, for some people it is feasible to forgo car ownership entirely, avoiding the cost and headache of driving in heavy traffic. The benefits include reduced air pollution and load on the road network.

The education level of Chicago citizens is very high relative to the national average among all cities (21.84%): 37.47% of adults in Chicago have a bachelor's degree or even advanced degree.

The per capita income in Chicago in 2010 was $32,560, which is upper middle income relative to Illinois and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $130,240 for a family of four. However, Chicago contains both very wealthy and poor people as well.

Chicago is an extremely ethnically-diverse city. The people who call Chicago home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of Chicago residents report their race to be White, followed by Black or African-American. Chicago also has a sizeable Hispanic population (people of Hispanic origin can be of any race). People of Hispanic or Latino origin account for 29.01% of the city’s residents. Important ancestries of people in Chicago include Irish, German, Polish, Italian, and English.

Chicago also has a high percentage of its population that was born in another country: 20.71%.

The most common language spoken in Chicago is English. Other important languages spoken here include Spanish and Polish.