Chicago, IL
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Living in Chicago


Chicago is an enormous city located in the state of Illinois. With a population of 2,720,546 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, Chicago isn’t mainly white- or blue-collar. Instead, the most prevalent occupations for people in Chicago are a mix of both white- and blue-collar jobs. Overall, Chicago is a city of sales and office workers, professionals, and service providers. There are especially a lot of people living in Chicago who work in office and administrative support (12.60%), sales jobs (10.33%), and management occupations (9.39%).

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.

One downside of living in Chicago is that it can take a long time to commute to work. In Chicago, the average commute to work is 34.64 minutes, which is quite a bit higher than the national average. On the other hand, local public transit is widely used in the city, so leaving the car at home and taking transit is often a viable alternative. In addition, it is also a pedestrian-friendly city. Many of Chicago’s neighborhoods are dense enough and have amenities close enough together that people find it feasible to get around on foot.

One of the benefits of being a big city like Chicago is having a public transportation system, but in Chicago the transit system is the mode of choice for lots of people getting to and from work every day. You will find many people using the bus for their daily commute, even though other transportation options exist. If you ask these commuters, many will tell you that not having to drive in the snarl of big city traffic is one of main reasons for leaving the car at home, or even not owning a car at all. With so many people taking the bus Chicago benefits from a reduction in air pollution and traffic.

The citizens of Chicago are very well educated compared to the average community in the nation: 35.55% of adults in Chicago have a bachelor's degree or even advanced degree.

The per capita income in Chicago in 2010 was $29,486, which is upper middle income relative to Illinois and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $117,944 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 29.09% of the city’s residents. Important ancestries of people in Chicago include German, Polish, Italian, and English.

In addition, Chicago has a lot of people living here who were born outside of the US (21.05%).

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