Illinois is proud to be home to many established business ecosystems. The below
are just highlights of the diverse cluster of industries that have high growth potential
and continue to see significant investments in our state:
Agribusiness and Food Processing
With approximately 1,500 different types of soil and over 72,000 farms that average
358 acres each, Illinois is so fruitful that almost 90% of Illinois agricultural land can
be used to raise crops.
Therefore it is no wonder that Illinois leads the pack in agribusiness, and that the
state is a front-runner in soybean processing, meat packing, and dairy
manufacturing. The state is the nation’s second leading exporter of soybeans and
feed grains, and Illinois exported $8.2 billion worth of agricultural commodities to
other countries in 2014.
Food processing is also a cornerstone of Illinois’ economy as the leading
manufacturing activity. It contributes more than $13 billion to the value of raw
agricultural products. The 2,500 food manufacturing companies in the state employ
more than 82,500 Illinoisans, making it the leading private employer in Illinois.
Manufacturers in Illinois make the products that enhance the lives of people across
the USA and around the globe, from elevators and agricultural equipment to
automotive components, power tools and electronics. Altogether, the 19,500
manufacturing operations in Illinois employ 578,000 workers. The value of their
output topped $101 billion in 2015, fifth among all states, and accounted for 13% of
the gross state product.
Some of the world's best-known brands have major manufacturing operations in
Illinois, including Caterpillar, Case New Holland, Deere & Co. and KONE
Our central location makes Illinois a transportation hub for crude oil and natural gas
moving throughout North America, with eight crude oil pipelines, eight petroleum
product pipelines, 18 interstate natural gas pipelines, two natural gas market
centers, and two petroleum ports.
Illinois is also the third largest producer of ethanol with a production capacity
exceeding 1.6 billion gallons per year. Illinois ranked first in the nation in 2016 in
both generating capacity and net electricity generation from nuclear power. Nuclear
power plants in Illinois generated 12% of the nation’s nuclear power.
Life Sciences and Biotech
Within the Midwest there are more than 16,800 biotechnology establishments
employing more than 377,000. In a recent study conducted by the iBIO, Illinois has
demonstrated an average annual growth of 13.3%, the strongest revenue growth
experienced in the study. The success is largely due to the rise in research and
development expenditures and the ability to secure early-stage funding within the
Business and Professional Services
As the sixth largest state in the nation, and home to the third largest city in the
country, demand for business and professional services is high in Illinois. This target
industry created more than $75 billion in output over the course of 2015, with no
indication of slowing down