Illinois: Facts and Figures

As the fifth largest exporting state in the U.S. -- and the largest in the Midwest -- exports are a major part of the Illinois economy. In 2019, Illinois exported more than $53 billion worth of goods, with international trade supporting more than 1.5 million jobs in the state.

Job Creation

  • In Illinois, 1,591,200 jobs were supported by international trade in 2018, representing 20.00% of all jobs in the state.1,2
  • In 2019, 23,133 companies exported goods from Illinois of which 89% were small- and medium-sized enterprises. In 2018, 375,200 people were employed by affiliates of companies at least 50% foreign-owned.3,4

Exports and Growth

  • Illinois exported $53.5 billion in goods to foreign markets in 2020, a 10% decline compared to 2019 driven by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy.5
    • Canada ($13.3 billion)
    • Mexico ($7.3 billion)
    • Germany ($3.5 billion)
    • Australia ($3.4 billion)
    • China ($3.0 billion)
  • Agricultural exports are important to Illinois's' economy, totaling $7.8 billion in 2019, according to the USDA.6
  • Since 2014, the U.S. Export-Import Bank has financed $2 billion in exports from 229 companies in Illinois.7
  • Since 1971, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation - which has been modernized into the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) - has invested $2.1 billion in Illinois companies for overseas investment.8
  • Since 1992, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency has helped facilitate $2.5 billion in exports from Illinois companies, supporting an estimated 14,200 jobs in the state.9

Education and Research

  • In 2018-2019, 10,547 Illinois students studied abroad.10
  • During 2020, 51,966 international students were enrolled in Illinois colleges and universities and contributed $1.7 billion to the Illinois economy.10

Global Engagement

  • Since 1961, 9,274 Peace Corps volunteers from Illinois have served in dozens of countries overseas.11