The rivalry between Chicago and downstate Illinois gets played up a lot, but what do we have to be competitive about? We’re all Illinoisans. Are we really that different? And if we can’t agree on where downstate Illinois actually begins, can we call it a real distinction?
According to the Encyclopedia of Chicago, the term “downstate” doesn’t have a specific definition in regards to Illinois:
For some Illinoisans, downstate begins at the southwest city limits of Chicago. Others would claim that any area north of I-80 is “outstate,” and that downstate does not really begin until one reaches Bloomington.