Illinois is the most populous state in the Midwest and the fifth most populous in the nation, with a large cosmopolitan population. It's balance of vast suburbs and the great metropolis of Chicago in the northeast, rural areas, small industrial cities, and renowned agricultural productivity in central and western Illinois give it a highly diverse economic base. It is this mixture of factory and farm, of urban and rural, that makes Illinois a microcosm of the United States.
Retirees in Illinois can choose among the significant art and cultural offerings in the large city of Chicago, or the more rural farmlands in the southern half of the state. Lake Michigan gives you the feel of being on the coast in the summer, while also getting to enjoy snowfall in the winter months.