NAR Region VII Local Market Assessments: Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin


Illinois is the crossroads of the U.S., providing easy access to the North American market and non-stop air services to more
than 50 international markets. Its industrial and agricultural productivity mix supports Illinois’ rank as the largest exporting
state in the Midwest and the fifth largest exporting state in the U.S. This productivity results in more than 1.6 million jobs
supported by international trade. In March 2023, Site Selection Magazine released its annual corporate expansion and
relocation rankings, naming Illinois #2 for corporate projects and Chicago the Top Metro for the tenth consecutive year.

While Chicago is the state’s commercial and industrial center, global real estate business opportunities exist statewide.
All but seven of the state’s 102 counties are home to at least one foreign-owned business. Further, roughly 1.8 million residents
were born outside the United States, resulting in ethnic enclaves statewide and residential and commercial business
opportunities for REALTORS®.

Pie chart: Top Sources of Foreign Direct Investment in Illinois


In 2023, Forbes ranked Indiana as the best state to start a business. Its combination of low taxes, affordable cost of living and
holistic approach to workforce development makes Indiana an attractive destination for companies seeking to locate or
expand in the United States.

Indiana has a diverse industrial base active in steel refining, toolmaking, metalworking, petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals.
Contrary to the declining trend in many states, the state’s manufacturing output has grown steadily in recent years.
Today, it leads the nation in manufacturing job creation—more than 200,000 associated with foreign direct investment. The
state’s fast-growing tech industry, which supported over 87,000 jobs and contributed $16.4 billion to the Indiana economy in
2021, is exceptionally positioned for global leadership.

Pie chart: Top Sources of Foreign Direct Investment in Indiana


Wisconsin’s strategic location and infrastructure supporting access to ports on Lake Michigan, Lake Superior and the
Mississippi River accommodate shipping to and from the Atlantic Ocean and global destinations. Its tax incentives and low
cost of doing business make the state attractive to foreign investors seeking a U.S. base of operations or a place to expand.

Widely known as an agricultural leader, Wisconsin excels in critical industries like advanced manufacturing, biohealth,
energy, water technology and food and beverage. Compared to large coastal markets, Wisconsin offers an excellent and
highly affordable quality of life, attracting a growing number of immigrants.

Pie chart: Top Sources of Foreign Direct Investment in Wisconsin

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