- Economy of Illinois
country = Illinois
width = 300px
caption = Chicago Broad of Trade building
gdp = $528 billion
per capita = $32,965
Agriculture Service sector Financial
gross external debt =
The economy of
Illinoisis highly diverse. The Chicagometropolitan area is home to many of the nation's largest companies, including Boeing, McDonalds, Motorola, and United Airlines. The Chicago area economy headquarters a wide variety of financial institutions, and is home to the largest futures exchangein the world, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
The 2004 total
gross state productfor Illinois was $528 billion, placing it fifth in the nation. The 2003 per capita income was $32,965. The state's industrial outputs include machinery, food processing, electrical equipment, chemical products, publishing, fabricated metal products, transportation equipment, petroleum and coal.
Most of the state of Illinois lies outside of the Chicago urban area and inside the North American
Corn Belt. Corn, soybeans, and other large-field cropsare grown extensively. These crops and their products account for much of the state's economic output outside of Chicago. Much of the field crop is remanufactured into feed for hogs and cattle. Dairy products and wheat are important secondary crops in specific segments of the state. Illinois produces more cheesethan the state of Wisconsin.
In addition, some Illinois farmers grow specialty crops such as
popcornand pumpkins. The state is the largest producer of pumpkins among the U.S. states. [ http://www.agr.state.il.us/newsrels/r1022041.html Illinois Department of Agriculture ] There is a large watermelongrowing area centered on Lincoln, Illinois. Illinois wineis a growing industry. In December 2006, the Shawnee Hills were named Illinois's first American Viticultural Area(AVA).cite news | title = Matter of taste: Area in southern Illinois gets Shawnee Hills designation | publisher = Springfield, Ill. "State Journal-Register" | date = 2006-12-14| page = 21]
Illinois's manufacturing sector grew out of its agricultural production. A key piece of infrastructure for several generations was the
Union Stock Yardsof Chicago, which from 1865 until 1971 penned and slaughtered millions of cattle and hogs into standardized cuts of beefand pork.
The centralized location of Illinois made it a key manufacturing hub, especially for
farm machineryand specialty motor vehicles. In Downstate Illinois, the John DeereCompany became one of the world's largest makers of farm machinery, and Caterpillarachieved similar dominance in its diversified line of off-road vehicles.
The Chicago area, meanwhile, began to produce significant quantities of telecommunications gear, electronics, steel, automobiles, and industrial products.
As of 2004, the leading manufacturing industries in Illinois, based upon value-added, were chemical manufacturing ($16.6 billion), food manufacturing ($14.4 billion), machinery manufacturing ($13.6 billion), fabricated metal products ($10.5 billion), plastics and rubber products ($6.8 billion), transportation equipment ($6.7 billion), and computer and electronic products ($6.4 billion). [Manufacturing in Illinois. Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. [http://www.commerce.state.il.us/NR/rdonlyres/CA702D14-2D58-4762-A240-BDB2044485A4/0/Manufacturing2006.pdf] ]
By the early 2000s, Illinois's economy had moved toward a dependence on high-value-added services such as financial trading,
higher education, logistics, and medicine. In some cases, these services clustered around institutions that hearkened back to Illinois's earlier economies. For example, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, a trading exchange for global derivatives, had begun its life as an agricultural futures market.
Wall Street Journalsummarized Illinois's economy in November 2006 with the comment that "Chicago has survived by repeatedly reinventing itself." Brat, Ilan, "Tale of a Warehouse", Wall Street Journal, Nov. 8, 2006, page A1.]
The Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois publishes a "flash-index" that aims to measure expected economic growth in Illinois. The indicators used are
corporate earnings, consumer spendingand personal income. These indicators are measured through tax receipts, adjusted for inflation. 100 is the base, so a number above 100 represents growthin the Illinois economy, and a number below 100 represents a shrinking economy. [http://www.igpa.uiuc.edu/programs/flashindex.asp IGPA Flash Index] Data from the index, from 6/1981 to the present, can be found [http://www.igpa.uiuc.edu/press/flashArchive.asp here] .
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