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Chicago is the largest city in both Illinois and the Midwest
, and the third most populous city in the United States, with over 2.8 million people living within the city limits. Its metropolitan area, commonly named "Chicagoland", is the 26th most populous in the world, home to an estimated 9.7 million people spread across the U.S. states of Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana. Chicago is primarily located within Cook County, with the exception of a small northwestern portion of the city at O'Hare International Airport that is located within DuPage County.
Chicago was founded in 1833, near a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed. The Potawatomi were forcibly removed from their land following the Treaty of Chicago. The city became a major transportation and telecommunications hub in North America. Today, the city retains its status as a major hub, both for industry and infrastructure, with O'Hare International Airport being the second busiest airport in the world. In 2008, the city hosted 45.6 million domestic and overseas visitors.
In modern times, the city has taken on an additional dimension as a center for business and finance and is listed as one of the world's top ten Global Financial Centers. Chicago is a stronghold of the Democratic Party and has been home to many influential politicians, including the current President of the United States, Barack Obama. The World Cities Study Group at Loughborough University rated Chicago as an "alpha world city" due to Chicago's important role in the global economic system.
Globally recognized,Chicago has numerous nicknames, which reflect the impressions and opinions about historical and contemporary Chicago. The best known include: "Chi-town", "Windy City", "Second City",and the "City of Big Shoulders". Chicago has also been called "the most American of big cities