The Chicago Southland is a region comprising the south and southwest suburbs of the City of Chicago in the U.S. state of Illinois. Home to roughly 2.5 million residents, this region has been known as the Southland by the local populace and regional media for over 20 years. Despite this relatively recent term, some older native Southlanders and current local advertisements colloquially refer to the Southland as the Southside, meaning on the southern side/border of Chicago as extended into the suburbs since some of them previously lived on Chicago's Southside but moved to the suburbs during post WWII white flight.
There is great racial and economic diversity in the Southland, with low and middle income areas to the north and higher income areas farther south and west.
The southland is home to much of the region's Black suburban population, with the overwhelming majority residing along Interstate 57, east to the Bishop Ford Expressway and the Indiana state border. The south suburbs are also home to the highest black homeownership rates in the country, with five of its communities ranked in the top ten in 2018.
The region is also home to a high Polish, Lithuanian, Palestinian, Irish, Dutch, German, and Mexican population.
The possibility of an airport in Peotone has been discussed since 1968, with official planning beginning in 1984. However, due to concerns that this would negatively impact the environment, the project has yet to be completed. As late as 2014, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn expressed intention to continue with the project, despite slowdown from the FAA.
Generally, crime in the Southland tends to be slightly higher than the other suburban regions of Chicago. Most of the violent crime occurs in the south suburbs, such as Harvey, which in 2019, recorded 23 homicides, the most of any suburb in Cook County.
There are a variety of community colleges and universities in the Chicago Southland including: