Regional Profiles – Mid West – Chicago, The Windy City


9.2 million (metropolitan area)

Top Industries

Manufacturing, Insurance (Allstate), Food Processing (Sara Lee, Kraft), Aviation (Boeing, United Airlines), Retail/Franchise (McDonalds, Walgreens), Electronics (Motorola), Healthcare (Abbott Labs), Printing/Publishing (Tribune Company, Playboy Enterprises), Education (Northwestern, U of Chicago)

Cost of Living

$346,000 median home price vs. $217,000 national average


Chicago, the third largest city in the U.S., is located along Lake Michigan, providing it the waterfront allure of a coastal city. The city was initially inhabited as a transportation hub because of its location between the eastern and western U.S. and access to railways and water routes. The Great Chicago Fire in the 1800’s led to the largest building boom in the history of the nation, resulting in one of the largest skylines in the world and a number of other architectural wonders.

Things to do

Visit Navy Pier along Lake Michigan, catch a Cubs game at Wrigley Field, shop till you drop on the ‘Magnificent Mile’, attend one of the many summer festivals in Chicago, enjoy broadway-style entertainment in one of many theatres, ride the architectural boat tour on the Chicago River, see an improv comedy show at the famous Second City Theatre, play volleyball along the skyline at North Beach, enjoy the view of the city and lake from Lakeshore path or Lincoln Park, enjoy the diverse cuisines and nightlife that Chicago has to offer.


Chicago’s major cultural institutions rank among the best in the world with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Civic Opera House, Art Institute of Chicago, Field Museum of Natural History, among many other museum and art venues. The ‘Magnificent Mile’ is in the heart of the city where you can enjoy great shopping and dining. Chicago also has a rich sports culture with professional teams such as the Bears, Cubs, and Bulls (where Michael Jordan’s dynasty will always live).

February 17, 2009
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