As the fifth largest exporting state in the U.S. Ð and the largest in the Midwest Ð exports are a major part of the Illinois economy. In 2017, Illinois exported nearly $65 billion worth of goods, with international trade supporting more than 1.4 million jobs in the state.

Job Creation

  • In Illinois, 1,447,300 jobs (18.5%) are supported by trade, including 325,368 jobs supported by manufactured goods exports in 2016.1
  • In 2015, 22,510 companies exported goods from Illinois of which 90% were small- and medium-sized enterprises. In 2015, 324,900 people were employed by affiliates of companies at least 50% foreign-owned.2

Exports and Growth

  • Illinois exported $64.9 billion in goods to foreign markets in 2017. Illinois's largest markets in 2017 were:2
    • Canada ($17.5 billion)
    • Mexico ($9.8 billion)
    • China ($5.2 billion)
    • Germany ($3.3 billion)
    • Australia ($2.6 billion)
  • Agricultural exports are important to Illinois's' economy, totaling $8.3 billion in 2016, according to the USDA.3
  • Since 2013, the U.S. Export-Import Bank has financed $3 billion in exports from 247 companies in Illinois.4
  • Since 1971, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation has invested $2.1 billion in Illinois companies for overseas investment.5

Education and Research

  • In 2015-2016, 9,434 Illinois students studied abroad.6
  • During 2017, 52,225 international students were enrolled in Illinois colleges and universities and contributed $1.7 billion to the Illinois economy.6

Global Engagement

  • Since 1961, 8,962 Peace Corps volunteers from Illinois have served in dozens of countries overseas.7