A Deep Dive into the Chicagoland Region’s Economic Strengths

CHICAGO, Sept. 27, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Today the World Business Chicago Research Center published an asset report detailing the economic viability of the  Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership (GCEP), now available at

The GCEP regional collective includes the City of Chicago and its seven neighboring counties: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will. The GCEP asset report provides a deep dive into the region’s myriad strengths, spotlighting eight critical categories, including human capital, infrastructure, innovation, and global influence, inclusive of urban, suburban, and rural settings. Additional information about the regional collective is available at

“With nearly 4.9 million professionals and the distinction of hosting the second highest number of Fortune 500 companies in the US, Chicagoland’s impressive $835B annual productivity cannot be understated. This report is not just a reflection but a celebration of its stature as both an economic powerhouse and an evolving super region,” commented Michael Fassnacht, President & CEO, World Business Chicago. “We invite site selectors, entrepreneurs, and corporations to navigate the asset report and identify how they can benefit from the immense opportunities within the Chicagoland ecosystem.”

Key highlights from the GCEP Asset Report :

  • Economic Scale & Accessibility: Ranked as the nation’s third-largest economy and within the top 20 global economies, the Chicagoland region surpasses many nations in its economic output. It boasts unparalleled access to vast labor, customer, and supply chain resources.
  • Economic Diversity & Resilience: Unlike metro areas dominated by a single industry, the Chicagoland region boasts the U.S.’s most diversified economy. This versatility safeguards against economic downturns and places the region favorably for global market trends and resilience against U.S. and global economic downturns.
  • Manufacturing Leadership: With a strong footing in 13 out of 21 manufacturing sub-sectors, Chicagoland stands as the nation’s most diverse manufacturing hub. This diversity drives innovation, attracts investments, and ensures stability even amidst economic fluctuations.
  • Innovation Ecosystem: The blend of established industries, startups, universities, and top-tier research institutions underscores Chicagoland’s unique tech identity, fostering a culture of collaboration and technological advancement.
  • Affordability & Global Connectivity: The region offers world-class business infrastructure and a globally connected environment at competitive costs, with real estate and living expenses more affordable than many major coastal metros.

“The GCEP Asset Report is not merely informational—it’s a declaration of our region’s rich economic legacy and promising future,” remarked Hannah Loftus, Director, Research, World Business Chicago. “Whether it’s retaining stalwarts like S&C Electric or nurturing ties with innovative companies like Upside Foods, this map encapsulates the Chicagoland region’s economic viability.”

Venture into the GCEP Asset Report’s intricate details at Here, too, you will find a video detailing the first six-months of the region’s united effort to drive economic development.

“The GCEP Asset Report is an invaluable compass that points site selectors and businesses looking to expand and grow to the variety of opportunities available within our region. It’s not just a tool—it’s an invitation to be part of our region’s goal to become a super region,” says Greg Bedalov, President and CEO, Choose DuPage.

Both World Business Chicago and the Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership share a vision to guide the Chicagoland region towards embracing our varied economic strengths and cultivating an environment conducive for collaborative growth and shared economic prosperity.

About World Business Chicago:

World Business Chicago, the city’s economic development agency and lead of the Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership (GCEP), announced in January 2023, is committed to fostering inclusive economic growth and creating jobs in Chicago and the surrounding region. The GCEP brings together stakeholders from the city, Cook County, and six regional counties to develop a unified strategy for economic growth and development. Through this partnership, World Business Chicago collaborates with public and private sector partners to leverage the strengths of the region, driving initiatives that stimulate economic vitality, support local businesses, and attract investment to the region. For more information about World Business Chicago’s initiatives, programs, and the GCEP, visit