About Chicago

Chicago 1901Chicago is the largest city in the state of Illinois, and is located along the southwestern shore of freshwater Lake Michigan. With over 2.8 million people, Chicago is the largest city in the Midwest. The Chicago metropolitan area (commonly referred to as Chicagoland) has a population of over 9.5 million people living in three U.S. states (Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana) and was the third largest U.S. metropolitan area in 2000. Chicago is 26th by population and 686th by population density among the world’s largest urban areas and the fourth largest city in North America.  The first known nonindigenous permanent settler in Chicago, Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable, a man of mixed African and European heritage born in Haiti, arrived in the 1770s, married a Potawatomi woman, and founded the area’s first trading post.

On August 12, 1833, the Town of Chicago was incorporated with a population of 350. The first boundaries of the new town were Kinzie, Desplaines, Madison, and State Streets, which included an area of about three-eighths of a square mile. Within seven years the town had a population of over 4,000. Chicago was granted a city charter by the State of Illinois on March 4, 1837.

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