Strong, Diversified Economy

Chicago’s industry mix most closely matches the nation's, with no single industry employing more than 12% of the workforce.

Chicago has one of the world’s largest and most diversified economies, with more than four million employees and generating an annual gross regional product (GRP) of over $609 billion. 

The city is an efficient economic powerhouse, home to more than 400 major corporate headquarters, including 36 in the Fortune 500.

Among the most diverse economies in the nation, Chicago is a key player in every sector from risk management innovation to manufacturing to information technology to health services.

Most Diversified Economy in the U.S.

Source: Moody’s Analytics (2017), WBC (2018)

Top Metro for New & Expanding Companies

Site Selection magazine has recognized the Chicago area as having more new or expanded corporate facilities than any other for four years in a row: 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.


Metro for corporate investment in the U.S.

Trading Post

The most distinctive aspect of Chicago’s financial services community is also among its oldest. The city’s derivatives exchange community, which started with commodity futures trading at the Chicago Board of Trade in 1848, established the city as a global financial center.

To this day, even though the trading of derivatives is conducted on an ever-expanding international scale, Chicago arguably remains the geographic center of global derivatives trading – in terms of markets, scale and talent. 


Chicago accounts for one fifth (20%) of the world’s global derivatives trading market; 2X New York (10%) and matching all European exchanges combined (20%)

Chicago-based exchanges generated 4.9 billion in annual global derivatives trading volume with a notional value of more than one quadrillion in 2017

Chicago-based Options Clearing Corporation clears all US options contracts – 4.3 billion in 2017 (the third highest volume on record)

Chicago futures and options exchanges collectively dominate exchange-based derivatives trading, with more than half of exchange-based derivatives trading in North America

 $609.2B Economy Rivals Nations

Source: World Bank (2016), Moody’s (2016)

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