Chicago is the third largest city in the United States. The Chicago-Naperville-Joliet metropolitan area is also the third largest metropolitan area in the United States. As with other large metropolitan areas, the Chicago metropolitan area has a tremendous concentration of wealth and commerce. The Chicago metropolitan area is home to over thirty-five Fortune 1000 company headquarters. There are approximately 100 corporate headquarters located in and around Chicago.
Chicago is one of eleven U.S. global cities, also known as world cities or world-class cities, according to the Globalization and World Cities Study Group & Network. It is ranked as an "Alpha World City". Chicago is one of only three US "Alpha" world cities (the others being Los Angeles and New York). According to Wikipedia, "A... world city... is a city that has a direct and tangible effect on global affairs through socioeconomic, cultural, and/or political means."
Chicago is very centrally located making it an ideal distribution and shipping hub. 50% of all of North American industry is within a one day truck drive of Chicago, and 75% all North American consumers are less than two days away from Chicago. For these reasons, 45% of all available industrial real estate is devoted to warehousing and distribution. According to World Business Chicago, Chicago is the number one distribution center (number one in truck, intermodal, rail, and air distribution) in the United States.
Major industries in the Chicago metropolitan area include:
- Advanced telecommunications
- Business services
- Financial services
- Food processing
- Printing and publishing
- Transportation and distribution
Chicago is also home to four major financial and futures exchanges, including the Chicago Stock Exchange, the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (Merc), as well as the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (the Seventh District of the Federal Reserve).
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Chicago ranks ninth on the list of US cities who receive the most annual funding from the NIH.
Some major companies of note in and around Chicago include:
- Abbott Laboratories
- Ace Hardware
- AC Nielsen
- Baxter International
- Chicago Board of Trade
- Chicago Mercantile Exchange
- Chicago Stock Exchange
- Citadel Investment Group
- Crate and Barrel
- Discover Card (a subsidiary of Morgan Stanley)
- Encyclopaedia Britannica
- Kraft Foods
- McDonald's Corporation
- Playboy Enterprises
- Quaker Oats
- R.R. Donnelley & Sons
- Sara Lee
- Sears Holdings
- Tootsie Roll Industries
- Underwriters Laboratories
- United Airlines
- US Robotics
- Zenith Electronics Corporation
Some of the major business organizations in and around Chicago include:
- The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
- The Chicago Minority Business Development Council
- The Women's Business Development Center