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2017 Market Overview

Chicago, Illinois

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Quick Facts

The largest city of the American Midwest, Chicago, Illinois, was founded in 1830 and quickly grew to become, as Carl Sandburg’s 1916 poem put it, “Hog Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation.” Established as a water transit hub, the city evolved into an industrial metropolis, processing and transporting the raw materials of its vast hinterland.

The name Chicago comes from a Miami Indian word for the wild leeks that grew on the bank of the short Chicago River. Over the centuries the Miami, Sauk, Fox and Potawatomi tribes all lived in the area. The 1673 Marquette and Jolliet expedition crossed the Great Portage between the Chicago River and the Illinois, 10 miles of flat, often waterlogged ground separating the two great water transit systems of North America, the Great Lakes and the Mississippi Valley.

Major Employers

In the Media

  • "Rated the #1 large US metro for Economic Diversity" - Moody’s Investor Services
  • "Chicago-area apartment rents rise again, trend not slowing down" - Chicago Sun-Times