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According to a 2011 MoneyRates article, Illinois ranks as the best place to make a living. At the time the article was written, the adjusted average income was $41,987 and wages seemed reasonably high, the state had a relatively low state income tax and a practical cost of living. This still holds true today. The last statistics released say Illinois unemployment rate is 8.6 percent.
Large employers based in the Land of Lincoln include Walgreens, Boeing, State Farm Insurance, Caterpillar, Kraft Foods and Abbott Laboratories. The main industries offering employment are cattle, mining, manufacturing and agriculture. Illinois has some of the richest, most productive soil in the world.
Crops grow well because of the ideal climate in this state. Hot summers help plants grow and cold winters help the soil replenish itself. Illinois also hosts a wide variety of weather throughout the year that includes winter storms, tornadoes, plus major heat and cold waves.
Illinois has three major geographical divisions: Northern, Central, and Southern. The Chicago metropolitan area dominates the Northern division. Central Illinois is characterized by mostly flat prairie, small towns and mid-size cities, and the state capitol, Springfield, is located here. The Southern area has a warmer climate than the other two divisions and a more rugged topography. You''ll find outdoor activities throughout the state.
With 73 state parks, 26 state wildlife areas, five national wildlife refuges and many more recreation areas, you can boat, bike, hunt, fish, geocache, rock climb, ski, snowmobile, swim and engage in just about any activity you can imagine. In Springfield you can tour Abraham Lincoln''s home at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site.
In Chicago, you''ll find all kinds of attractions to explore. For a one-stop experience full of interactive exhibits, step up to the Skydeck (open 365 days a year) of the Willis Tower, formerly the Sears Tower, and the tallest building in North America. Millennium Park, designed to be a new kind of town square, offers concerts, exhibitions and family activities within state-of-the-art landscaping. Shoppers won''t be disappointed when visiting the Magnificent Mile, a well-known prestigious district filled with boutiques and other trendy stores. Sports aficionados should definitely attend a Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field. Everyone should make a pilgrimage there at sometime in their life.
Other well-known professional sports teams also make their home in the Land of Lincoln. The Chicago White Sox (Major League Baseball), Chicago Bears (National Football League), Chicago Blackhawks (National Hockey Association) and their National Basketball Association team, the Chicago Bulls all call Chicago home. You can also watch pro athletes play soccer and fast-pitch softball.
Metropolis (Illinois), birthplace of Superman invites fans to visit. At the Super Museum, you can peruse the world''s largest privately owned Superman collection including original costumes, movie props, toys, games, action figures and more.
By: Michael Danzig