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 2,716,450 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 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 (12.40%), sales jobs (10.30%), and management occupations (9.69%).

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.

One downside of living in Chicago, however, is that residents on average have to contend with a long commute, spending on average 34.90 minutes every day commuting to work. It is, however, a pedestrian-friendly city. Many of its neighborhoods are dense enough and have amenities close enough together that people find it feasible to get around on foot. In addition, local public transit is widely used. For those who would prefer to avoid driving entirely and leave their car at home, it may be an option to use the transit instead.

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 education level of Chicago citizens is very high relative to the national average among all cities (21.84%): 36.55% of adults in Chicago have a bachelor's degree or even advanced degree.

The per capita income in Chicago in 2010 was $30,847, which is upper middle income relative to Illinois and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $123,388 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 29.13% of the city’s residents. Important ancestries of people in Chicago include Irish, German, Polish, Italian, and English.

In addition, Chicago has a lot of people living here who were born outside of the US (20.86%).

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