Illinois ranked fourth in the nation (after California, Texas, and Ohio) as an industrial state in 1996, measured by industry’s contribution to the national income. In 1996 the production of industrial machinery, including construction and metalworking equipment, was the primary manufacture in Illinois, accounting for one-sixth of income from industry. Representative of the diversity in the state’s industrial activity, many manufacturing sectors contribute significantly to the income from industry. Leading industrial sectors in terms of value of production and employment are food products, especially grain, bakery items, and candy; chemicals, including pharmaceuticals and cleansers; fabricated metals, including products from stamping mills and a variety of metal fasteners such as screws and bolts; electronics, especially communication devices; printed materials, chiefly advertising for businesses and the publication of newspapers, periodicals, and books; and transportation equipment, particularly automobiles and automobile parts, aircraft parts, and motorcycles. Other important activities include the manufacture of rubber and plastic products, the refining of petroleum, and the production of paper and associated products.
Most manufacturing in Illinois is carried on in the Chicago area. In the city of Chicago and its surrounding suburban and satellite communities are produced huge quantities of electrical equipment, food products, machinery, and fabricated metals. Among the many other goods produced there are printed materials, chemicals, steel and other primary metals, transportation equipment, and instruments. Many manufacturing plants are located in the city proper or in such surrounding communities as Cicero, Aurora, Blue Island, Calumet City, Chicago Heights, Harvey, Joliet, and Melrose Park.
The Chicago area forms a continuous industrial and urban district with the adjoining Calumet region of Indiana. East Saint Louis, across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri, is another large industrial center in Illinois. Iron and steel, paints, and chemicals are the major products of the city. Nearby Alton produces explosives and other munitions, and Granite City is a center of iron and steel production.
Most other cities outside the Chicago and East Saint Louis areas manufacture one or more industrial products. Peoria manufactures construction machinery, wire and nails, metal buildings, and sprinklers. Rockford produces machinery, transportation equipment, and metal products. Agricultural machinery is manufactured at Moline and at Rock Island. Decatur, known as the nation’s soybean capital, specializes in soybean processing, grain milling, and other food-processing industries. "Illinois" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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