Is Chicago a State or a City?

Aerial view of Chicago

What State Is Chicago In?

Chicago has made a huge impact on American culture, from its signature Art Deco architecture to its world-class cuisine. And with such a big personality, some out-of-towners wonder “Hey, is Chicago a state or a city?” Even though Chicago encompasses a sprawling grid of neighborhoods, it is actually a city in Cook County, Illinois. Learn more about what makes the economy of Chicago unique among midwest cities, and then plan your visit to see the iconic Chicago skyline from the Willis Tower!

What is the Population of Chicago?

One simple reason for the bustling economy of Chicago is its large population! Approximately three million people live in Chicago, which makes it not just the largest city in the state but the third-largest in the entire country! Plus, it is among the top metropolises in the United States. Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions about Chicago:

  • What country is Chicago in? The city of Chicago is located in the United States of America, and it draws in tourists and business travelers from all over the world.
  • Is Chicago a state or a city? The city of Chicago is located in Illinois. However, the greater Chicagoland area extends well into southeastern Wisconsin and northwestern Indiana.
  • What is the capital of Chicago? Chicago is not a state, but a city—so it has no capital. And while you might reasonably expect that Chicago is the capital of Illinois, that honor actually goes to the city of Springfield!

What’s the Best Way to Experience Chicago?

The economy of Chicago is unlike anything you’ll encounter in the midwest, so it should come as no surprise that it contains worlds of sights and sounds to explore. If you’re new to the area, we recommend doing a little research in advance to help you get the most out of every second of your visit.

  • Whether you want to snap photos in front of the Bean or check out a local taqueria, there are tons of different ways to get around town. Try the elevated subway system, known as the L, or grab a Divvy bike on a sunny day. These low-cost options will make you feel like a local!
  • If you want to catch an unbeatable view of the city skyline, head to the Willis Tower. This is the third tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere, and it’s home to a glass viewing platform known as the Skydeck. The Ledge at Skydeck Chicago offers 360-degree views up to 50 miles extending into four different states.
  • Can’t make it out to the city just yet? Check out the Chicago Virtual Tour to preview the Windy City before your next big trip!

What Is Chicago’s GDP?

When you add up the value of all goods and services produced in a region—and then subtract the value of the goods and services required for production—what you get is Gross Domestic Product, or GDP. This amount is a useful way to measure the size of a city’s economy. 

How does the economy of Chicago compare to the rest of the country? Going by the numbers to determine whether Chicago is a state or city won’t get you very far, since the Chicago GDP is actually larger than that of most states! The Chicago GDP totaled $764,583 in 2022. Compare that to the GDP for the state of Georgia in 2022, which was $762,096.

GDP is also measured as the average income earned per person. Per capita, the Chicago GDP was $61,170 in 2017. More than a few Fortune 500 companies are based here in the Windy City, and a wide range of industries play a major role in the economy of Chicago—including publishing, manufacturing, insurance, transportation, and financial trading.

Plan Your Visit to Skydeck Chicago Today!

Now that you know a little more about the midwest’s most famous city, why not experience the breathtaking sights and dynamic economy of Chicago for yourself? No trip to the city is complete without a visit to the Willis Tower, so be sure to contact us at Skydeck with any questions. From advanced tickets to customized Welcome Wall messages, the team at Skydeck is ready to make sure that your visit is unforgettable.