Known as the “Second City,” Chicago is a bustling center of commerce and business. Until the end of the 20th century, Chicago indeed was the second most populated city in the USA after New York. When Los Angeles at last surpassed Chicago, the nickname “Second City” stuck even though the city now occupied third place in terms of population.
Nevertheless, Chicago is one of the most important cities in North America. Incorporated in the year 1837, its position near a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi watershed stimulated incredible development during the mid- to late-19th century.
Today, Chicago is one of the most important hubs for commerce, finance, industry, technology, telecommunication, and transportation in the world. Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport is the most frequented airport in the globally. It has more US highways and road freight than anywhere else. The Globalization and World Cities Research Network listed Chicago as an “Alpha Global City.” As of 2012 Chicago’s gross metropolitan product of $571 billion is the third largest in the USA.