Why Illinois?

Welcome to the intersection of America— and the world. Where talent, innovation, transportation and infrastructure converge and where  many of the nation’s top businesses thrive.

Strategically located at the heart of the country, Illinois is the crossroads of commerce that puts businesses, people and goods within a four-hour flight of the entire North American market—not to mention the home to the world's most connected airport.

On top of that, Illinois companies benefit from a world-class transportation and logistics network, reliable, low-cost energy, abundant water and natural resources and a highly educated workforce supported by more than 247 higher education institutions.

Learn why over 30 Fortune 500 companies and more than 2,000 international industry leaders call Illinois home.

Why illinois image

Why Illinois

Key facts

Illinois is a premier destination for businesses to locate or expand. Its ecosystem provides opportunities for everyone, no matter size or sector. But don’t just take our word for it. See the facts.

760 Startups

launched from Illinois universities over the past five years. Illinois companies raised more than $10.3 billion in 2022 alone.

Home to over 30 Fortune 500 Headquarters

Including Abbott, ADM, Allstate, Baxter, Motorola Solutions, Exelon, John Deere, Kraft Heinz, McDonalds, Mondelez, State Farm, United, Walgreens. Just to name a few.

#2 Location in the Nation

for business expansion and creation in 2023 according to Site Selection magazine’s annual ranking.

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Economic Overview

Illinois’ economic strength begins with its ecosystem of like-minded pioneers and trailblazers. The 18th largest economy in the world, Illinois has grown and attracted some of the most innovative and iconic companies on the planet including Abbott, ADM, Allstate, Baxter, Motorola Solutions, Exelon, John Deere, Kraft Heinz, McDonalds, Mondelez, State Farm, United, Walgreens and more.

Among the state’s greatest assets are its talent pool of nearly 6.4 million people—about a third of whom hold a bachelor’s degree or higher—and one of the most connected transportation and logistics networks in the country. The state is also home to a supportive business environment that welcomes and fosters growth.

Illinois businesses span existing and emerging industries and create good-paying jobs for its residents.


Largest GDP
in the Nation


Largest Economy
in the World


Midwest state for business creation (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Skilled workforce

Illinois has a strong workforce ready to take on the challenges of tomorrow. The state’s labor force has nearly 6.4 million people. And, its nearly 250 higher education institutions fuel one of its greatest assets: its robust, skilled talent pool.

Illinois Office of Employment and Training

Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership

Illinois Board of Higher Education

Illinois Community College Board

Central Location & Infrastructure

Illinois offers unparalleled access to global markets. A hub for transportation, Illinois is home to five international airports, seven Class I railroads, the third largest interstate highway system in the country and the third largest inland port in the world.

The state’s central location puts businesses, people and goods within a four-hour flight of the entire North American market—not to mention non-stop service to more than 60 international destinations. Chicago’s O’Hare is ranked the WORLD’s most connected airport.

In addition, the state offers businesses top-notch digital infrastructure, reliable, low-cost energy and abundant water and natural resources.

Aerial view of chicago


Major Employers

Illinois is home to a network of global powerhouse companies—ready customers, suppliers and collaborators—across industries. The state is home to more than 1,900 major corporate headquarters and over 2,000 foreign businesses.

Schneider Electric Logo
Mondelez International Logo
Rivian Logo
Abbvie logo
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International Business Center

Illinois is committed to breaking down barriers for businesses looking to locate in the U.S. Home to more than 2,000 international companies, Illinois has proven to be a natural choice for global employers expanding in the North American market. With more than 80 consulates/consuls general, 90 sister cities, eight foreign trade zones and five international airports, Illinois allows international companies to reach their global customers, while also feeling at home.

Success Stories

Get to know companies that have grown in Illinois and how the state has contributed to their success.

Be at the Epicenter

Illinois is your clear choice.

smart robotic farmers in agriculture futuristic robot automation to work to spray chemical fertilizer or increase efficiency

Be In Illinois