Exporting is critical to the economic health, competitiveness and prospects of our region and represents a significant portion of the state’s economy. By selling goods and services internationally, small and medium-sized companies in the region can boost revenues and support local job growth.

Recent research shows that:

Illinois exports have increased by $21.8 billion since 2009 (52.4 percent), outperforming the national average of 42.3 percent. [1]

Illinois exports totaled over $63.4 billion in 2015. [1]

More than 333,674 jobs were supported by goods exports from Illinois in 2015. [3]

More than 70 percent of the world’s purchasing power is located outside of the U.S.[1], and over 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the U.S.[2]

Direct exports accounted for nearly 10 percent of the Illinois Gross State Product (GSP)[1]

In 2015, Canada, Mexico, China, Germany, and Australia were the leading destinations for Chicago area goods exports: Canada was the state’s largest market with merchandise exports of $17.5 billion, followed by Mexico ($9.1 billion), China ($4.9 billion), Germany ($3.1 billion), and Australia ($2.6 billion). [3]

23,252 companies exported from Illinois in 2014, including 20,926 small and medium-sized companies with fewer than 500 employees; the number of small and medium-sized exporters is projected to increase due to global market demand.

[1] “Illinois in the International Marketplace,” Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, accessed on Feb. 23, 2017, https://www.illinois.gov/dceo/SmallBizAssistance/Export/TradeFlyers/IL-InternationalMarketFlyer_2016-17.pdf

[2] “Exporting Is Good For Your Bottom Line,” International Trade Association, accessed on July. 26, 2016 http://www.trade.gov/cs/factsheet.asp

[3] “Illinois Exports, Jobs, and Foreign Investment,” International Trade Association, accessed on February 2, 2017, http://www.trade.gov/mas/ian/statereports/states/il.pdf