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 2,704,958 people and 795 constituent neighborhoods, Chicago is the largest community in Illinois. Chicago has an unusually large stock of pre-World War II architecture, making it one of the older and more historic cities.

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.

Chicago is neither predominantly blue-collar nor white-collar, instead having a mixed workforce of both blue-collar and white-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.

In Chicago, however, the average commute to work is quite long. On average, people spend 34.90 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.

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 population of Chicago is very well educated relative to most cities and towns in the nation, where the average community has 21.84% of its adult population holding a 4-year degree or higher: 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 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.