Centrally located, Chicago is home to an unrivaled workforceeconomy, & quality of life. Perhaps that’s why The Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Chicago among the world’s top 10 most competitive cities for business.

Business Climate

Centrally located, Chicago provides easy access to the world. The city has 1,400 daily departures to more than 200 cities worldwide, and serves as a hub for six of the nation's seven Class I North American railroads, as well as six major U.S. Interstates.

Chicago is a leader in a number of key industries including: Business & Financial Services, Manufacturing, Information Technology, Health Services, and Transportation & Distribution, and is a global leader in options, futures, and derivatives trading.

This combination of market access and economic diversity provides the resources a company needs to flourish. Alongside Chicago's pro-business environment, support services, and unique opportunities for growth, the city also offers a vibrant mix of cultural, educational, and social amenities.

The World's Workforce

  • Culturally diverse private-sector labor force of over 4 million people 
  • At least 40 ethnic groups with a population greater than 10,000
  • 1,500 foreign-owned firms in Chicago area

Center of the World

  • At the center of one of the largest trading areas in the world: the east-west nexus joining the markets of Europe and Asia and the north-south nexus of NAFTA
  • Chicago's location, central time zone and non-stop passenger service means that you can fly to nearly any U.S. city and return on the same business day
  • Less than 10 hours from the major European business centers
  • A non-stop global gateway to more than 200 international and domestic business centers, with daily non-stops to Japan, Korea and China
  • Only U.S. gateway where six of the nation's seven Class I railroads interchange traffic - CREATE projects are underway to increase freight and passenger rail efficiency in Chicago
  • Nearly 150 intermodal facilities across the region – 54 in the city (more than half of area real estate is devoted to warehouse/distribution)
  • Leading advanced telecommunications infrastructure supports interconnected regional, national and international networks

As Big as a Country

  • More than $530 billion gross regional product (GRP), larger than countries like Sweden and Norway
  • 9.5 million people, 4.4 million employees, and over 270,000 businesses

Global and Diverse Economy

  • 400+ Major Corporate Headquarters
  • 29 S&P 500 companies*
  • 31 Fortune 500 HQs, including 8 in the City*
  • 16 FT Global 500 HQs*

(*includes Archer Daniels Midland HQs relocation, announced in December 2013)

The Good Life

  • Affordable cosmopolitan metropolis
  • 80 miles (129 km) of public shoreline and 88 vacation beaches 
  • Outstanding public, private and parochial schools
  • 25 Michelin-starred, including one 3-star restaurant; 10 James Beard Awards in the past 5 years; and 7 AAA 5-Diamond-rated restaurants
  • The only U.S. city with five Tony Award-winning theater companies
  • 33,000+ hotel rooms at properties including two of the world's Top 10 hotels