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Illinois Economy

The United States has become a service economy and many states, Illinois included, generate most of their revenue through service industries.

Agriculture

In terms of revenue generated, Illinois' top five agricultural products are corn for grain, soybeans, hogs, cattle and calves, and dairy products.

Livestock

Hogs are the most important livestock product in the state, followed by beef cattle, milk, chickens and eggs.

Crops

Illinois is a leading farm income state with corn as its most important crop. Most of the crop is sold as grain and livestock feed but corn is also processed to produce corn syrup, starch and fuel alcohol.

Soybeans are the second most farm product, followed by hay, wheat, rye, oats and grain sorghum.

Apples are the most important fruit crop in Illinois. Other fruit crops are melons and peaches.

Vegetable crops, other than sweet corn, are asparagus, cabbage, lima beans and snap beans.

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Manufacturing

Manufacturers add value to raw products by creating manufactured items. For example, cotton cloth becomes more valuable than a boll of cotton through manufacturing processes.

Illinois is a leading manufacturing state with machinery (construction equipment, farm machinery, machine tools) ranking first in this sector.

The processed food sector ranks second among manufacturing industries with the chief products being baked goods, breakfast cereals, candy, sausage, and spices. Other processed foods include dairy, sauces and soft drinks

Chemical manufacturing (cleaning solutions, pharmaceuticals) ranks third. Other chemical products include industrial chemicals, paint, and resins.

Mining

Coal is the most important mined product of Illinois.

Petroleum, crushed stone, sand and gravel provide a substantial contribution to the mining sector.

Other mineral products are clays and tripoli, an abrasive silica.

Services

Service industries provide the largest portion of income to the Illinois economy.

Community, business and personal services (private health care, hotels, law firms, repair shops, accounting firms, advertising agencies, engineering companies, law firms) lead the way in the services industry.

Finance, insurance and real estate industries rank second with real estate producing the most income in this group. Chicago is considered the financial capital of the Midwest.

Ranking third is the wholesale (hardware) and retail (automobile dealerships, department stores, drugstores, food stores) industry.

Sources

Robert McColley and William D. Walters, Jr., "Illinois," World Book Online Americas Edition, http://www.worldbookonline.com/wbol/wbPage/na/ar/co/272380, August 14, 2001.

U.S. Department of Agriculture: National Agricultural Statistics Service, "Illinois State Agriculture Overview, 2004", 3 January 2006, <http://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Ag_Overview/AgOverview_IL.pdf> (12 January 2006)

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