Chicago is the largest city in the U.S. state of Illinois, and with over 2.8 million people is the third largest city in the United States. Located on the southwestern shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago is the third-most densely populated major city in the U.S., and anchor to the world's 26th largest metropolitan area with over 9.5 million people across three states.
After a series of wars with the local American Natives, Chicago was founded in 1833, near a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed. The city of Chicago became a major transportation and telecommunications hub in North America. Today, the city of Chicago retains its status as a major hub, both for industry and infrastructure, with its O'Hare Airport as the second busiest airport in the world. In modern times, the city of Chicago has taken on additional dimension as a center for business and finance, and is listed as one of the world's top ten Global Financial Centers. The World Cities Study Group at Loughborough University rated Chicago as an alpha world city.
The city of Chicago attracts approximately 40 million visitors annually. Making use of its abundant resources, Chicago has a heritage for hosting major international, national, regional, and local events that include commerce, culture, entertainment, politics, and sports. In 2008, Chicago was chosen as one of the final four world city candidates to host the 2016 Summer Olympics and is the only American city on the list.
Globally recognized, Chicago has numerous nicknames. These sobriquets reflect the impressions and opinions about historical and contemporary Chicago. The best known of these are: "Chi-town"; the "Windy City" with reference to Chicago politicans and residents boasting about their city; "Second City," due to the city generally being the second most prestigious in the nation in terms of transportation, culture, and finance; and the "City of the Big Shoulders", referring to its numerous skyscrapers, which were invented in Chicago, and described as being husky and brawling.
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Chicago Currency: USD
Chicago Time Difference: UTC/GMT -6 hours