It is in the north central U.S. and borders on Lake Michigan. Surrounding states are Wisconsin to the north, Iowa and Missouri to the west, Kentucky to the south, and Indiana to the east. Illinois also borders Michigan, but only via a water boundary in Lake Michigan.
Illinois' agricultural outputs are corn, soybeans, hogs, cattle, dairy products and wheat. Its industrial outputs are machinery, food processing, electrical equipment, chemical products, publishing, fabricated metal products, transportation equipment, petroleum and coal.
The 2000 population of Illinois was 12,419,293. At the northern edge of the state on Lake Michigan lies Chicago, the nation's third largest city. More than half of the population lives in and around Chicago, the leading industrial and transportation center in the region. The rest of the population lives in the smaller cities and on the farms that dot the state's gently rolling plains.