Serving as the state capital, Springfield, Illinois is located in Sangamon County and is the state's sixth most populated city and is the largest in central Illinois. According to the 2010 census, the state has a population of 116, 250. The city is located on mostly flat plains and experiences typical weather for middle latitude areas undergoing distinct seasons including cold winters and hot summers. The city offers a variety of housing with a large percentage of single-family homes followed by a significant percentage of condo and apartment complexes and sprinkling of other types of housing. A large percentage of the homes were built between 1970 and 1999, and the city has a small percentage of newer neighborhoods.
The city was originally inhabited by traders and trappers in 1818, and its first building was erected in 1820. The city was officially named Springfield in 1832, and it became a central location for innovation and prosperity in the industrial age leading to national recognition. President Abraham Lincoln spent a significant amount of time in the city and partially led to its recognition as the state capital. During the American Civil War, the city was a central hub for activity training northern troops and manufacturing goods. After the war, the city only continued to grow and became an essential railroad stop, and politics, farming and coal mining developed as the region's prominent industries. Today, these industries continue to be central to Springfield's economy in addition to the healthcare and education sectors.
In addition to its historical influence and remaining landmarks, the city has been highly recognized for its arts. Springfield has a deeply rooted literary history, and several authors have called the city home including Vachel Lindsay, John Hay, Edgar Lee Masters, Virginia Eiffert, William Maxwell, Robert Fitzgerald and William H. Herndon. These prominent figures continue to be recognized at the Illinois Center for the Book in addition to a highly respected and recognized library and museum. Additionally, the city is home to a number of performing arts venues including the Hoogland Center for the Arts, the Spring Theatre Centre, the Illinois Symphony, the Springfield Ballet Company and the Springfield Municipal Opera, which hosts a number of outdoor performances during the summer. The city is also a home to a number of minor league baseball teams, and residents enjoy attending games. The city offers a variety of public and private school options and is home to three nationally recognized universities. The city offers a rich history and a variety of cultural activities making it an ideal place to call home.