It's rather simple really, there is the midwest and then there is Chicagoland. Neither are truely representative of each other. The name is just a term coined to refer to Chicago and it's suburbs. Chicagoland alone has a general infrastructure and economy that rivals some states and countries.

Includes the counties of: Cook, DuPage, Lake, Will, Kane and McHenry in Illinois. The Kenosha and Racine Wisconsin area usually gets grouped in along with the Gary and Hammond Indiana area. Home to around 8 million people, it's America's third largest metropolitan statistical area. Cook county alone has over 5 million people, which is the second largest populated county in the U.S.