The Chicago Megalopolis

The Chicago megalopolis extends about 75 miles in each direction from the city limits. It includes municipalities and villages that have developed over time along Lake Michigan, near the canal leading to the Mississippi River or along railroad lines connecting Chicago to points on the east, west, north or gulf coast.

DuPage County, Illinois

Originally part of Cook County, DuPage County has transformed itself from a primarily agricultural economy to one diverse in many different types of commerce. Today, DuPage County’s per capita income is the highest in the Midwest. DuPage County is the second most populous county in Illinois. According to the 2020 U.S. Census, there were 932,000 residents. Its county seat is Wheaton and its largest city is Naperville. DuPage County is the home of Wheaton College and Elmhurst University.

DeKalb County, Illinois

DeKalb County is the home of Northern Illinois University.  As of the U. S. Census of 2020, there were 104,000 people residing in the county. The county seat is Sycamore.

Grundy County, Illinois

Grundy County was established in 1841 and remains largely agricultural. As of the U. S. Census of 2020, there were 52,533 people residing in the county.
Its largest city is Morris.

Iroquois County, Illinois

As of the U. S. Census of 2020, there were 26,800 people residing in this county with an economy that is largely agriculturally based.  The county seat is Watseka.

Kane County, Illinois

Kane County was established in 1836. According to the 2020 U.S. Census, it has a population of 516,000.  Its county seat is Geneva, and its largest city is Aurora.

Kendall County, Illinois

Kendall County is a county located about 40 miles southwest of Chicago. It was established in 1841. According to the 2020 census, it has a population of 131,000. The county seat is Yorkville.

Lake County, Illinois

Lake County is located on the shore of Lake Michigan.  According to the 2020 census, it has a population of 714,000 in a beautiful suburban setting.  Its county seat is Waukegan and enjoys easy access to Chicago via rail and expressway.

LaSalle County, Illinois

As of the U. S. Census of 2020, there were 109,000 people residing in the county. The county seat is Ottawa.

Livingston County, Illinois

As of the U. S. Census of 2020, there were 26,800 people residing in the county. The county seat is Pontiac.

Kankakee County, Illinois

Kankakee has a population of 107,000 according to the 2020 U.S. Census. With 676 square miles, the setting is largely rural. The county seat is Kankakee.

McHenry County, Illinois

McHenry County sits in a suburban / semi-rural setting and is located about 40 miles northwest of Chicago. According to the 2020 U.S. Census, it has a population of 310,000. The county seat is Woodstock where the movie “Groundhog Day” was filmed.

Will County, Illinois

Will County is located 28 miles south and southwest of Chicago. According to the 2020 U.S. Census, it has a population of 696,000. The county seat is Joliet. Will county is a  major rail transportation and warehouse hub. Will County is the home of Lewis University.

Jasper County, Indiana

As of the U. S. Census of 2020, there were 33,000 people residing in the county. The county seat is Rensselaer.

Lake County, Indiana

Lake County is a located immediately southeast of Chicago, on the shores of Lake Michigan.  In 2020, its population was 498,000, making it Indiana’s second-most populous county. The county seat is Crown Point. The county contains a mix of urban, suburban, and rural areas. The major industry is steel manufacturing.

LaPorte County, Indiana

LaPorte County is located on the Lake Michigan shore. As of the 2020 U.S. Census,  the population was 112,000 The county seat is the city of LaPorte. Its largest municipality is Michigan City.

Marshall County, Indiana

Marshall County, named for U.S. Chief Justice John Marshall, is located southeast of Chicago. As of the 2020 U.S. Census, the population was 46,000. The county seat is the city of Plymouth and the setting is mainly agricultural.

Newton County, Indiana

As of the U. S. Census of 2020, there were 13,800 people residing in the county which is rural. The county seat is Kentland.

Porter County, Indiana

Porter County is also located on the Lake Michigan shoreline. As of the 2020 Census, the population was 173,000. The county seat is Valparaiso. It’s main industry is steel making. Porter County is the site of the Indiana Dunes, an area of ecological significance. Porter County is the home of Valparaiso University.

Starke County, Indiana

Starke County was founded in 1850 and continues to be mainly agricultural. As of the 2020 U.S. Census, the population was 23,300. The county seat is the town of Knox.

St. Joseph County, Indiana

Mainly rural with some significant levels of manufacturing, as of the 2020 U.S. Census, the population was 272,000 The county seat is the city of South Bend. It is the home of the University of Notre Dame.

Kenosha County, Wisconsin

Kenosha County, on the shore of Lake Michigan is a mix of rural and suburban. As of the 2020  U.S. Census,  the population was 169,000 The county seat is the city of Kenosha.

Milwaukee County, Wisconsin

Milwaukee County contains the great city of Milwaukee which is home to an incredible economy based upon manufacturing. As of the 2020 U.S. Census, the population was 939,400. It is the home of Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.

Racine County, Wisconsin

Racine County,  located on Lake Michigan, has an economy based mainly upon manufacturing. As of the 2020 U.S. Census, the population was 197,000.

Walworth County, Wisconsin

Walworth County is a mix of rural and suburban. As of the 2020 U.S. Census, the population was 106,000.

Waukesha County, Wisconsin

Waukesha County is located west of Milwaukee. It is mainly suburban and as of the 2020 U.S. Census, the population was 406,000.