Chicago's Economy Bigger Than All But 20 Countries of the World

Despite slowdown, economic output in the Chicago area remains impressive

The economy of the Chicago metropolitan area—everything from the Wisconsin border to Naperville and Joliet—is bigger than the gross domestic output of all but the 20 biggest countries in the world.

So says a new report from the U.S. Conference of Mayors that took a look at the gross metropolitan product (GMP) and employment projections for the biggest metropolitan areas in the country. The report, prepared by data provider IHS Global, says the Chicago area economy would likely grow at 1.3 percent this year, trailing the national average and both New York and Los Angeles.

Nevertheless, economic output in the Chicago area remains impressive indeed. The three biggest U.S. metro regions—New York, Los Angeles and Chicago—produce more annually than countries such as Sweden, Norway, Poland, Belgium, Argentina and Taiwan.

At $571 billion annually, Chicago alone has a bigger economy than such places as Iran, South Africa, Austria and Thailand, just to name a few.

The Chicago region also produces more than 44 U.S. states. Only California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois and Pennsylvania are larger.

The Chicago region also produces a whopping 77.4 percent of the entire state of Illinois’ gross output.

The report also noted metropolitan areas play a critical role in our nation’s economy and ongoing recovery, responsible for 92.3 percent of the jobs added, 89.2 of growth in real GDP and virtually all of the nation’s population gains in 2012.

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