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Chicago, Illinois is the largest city in the Midwest and the 3rd largest city in the United States. The population of Chicago's metropolitan area, which covers several counties, is over 9.7 million people. It is the world's twenty-second largest urban area by population. Chicago has been classified as an alpha world city for its worldwide economic influence.
Chicago incorporated as a city in 1837. It has always been one of the major transportation hubs in the United States as a railroad center and with Chicago O'Hare airport as one of the busiest airports in the world. The Union Stock Yards was once the largest meat packing facility in the world.
Summers in Chicago are hot and humid with average temperatures between 80 and 84 degrees F.
Chicago has the third largest gross metropolitan product in the nation and in 2008 was ranked the 16th richest city in the world by UBS AG. As the 2nd largest business district in America, it is the home of the Chicago Stock Exchange, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
Chicago is also the home of many major corporations such as Baxter International, Abbott Laboratories, Allstate Insurance, and Armour and Company.
Major professional sports teams in Chicago include the Cubs and White Sox (baseball), the Bears (football), and the Bulls (basketball).
Famous people from the Chicago area (almost too many to name) include Dick Butkus, Dwayne Wade, John Cusack, Hugh Hefner, Liz Phair, and Betty Ford.
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