Pre-Pandemic, Illinois Economy Outperformed Its Neighbors

Peter Bernstein, Vice President, 

GDP per capita in Illinois grew 4.1% in 2019, a faster rate than its neighboring states.  The stronger growth was not a one-year phenomenon, as shown in Figure 1 below.  From 2015 to 2018, Illinois’ per capita GDP increased at an annual average rate of 3.4%, the second-fastest growth rate (behind Michigan), of these states.      

The stronger growth has allowed Illinois to increase its economic edge over its neighbors.  In 2019, per capita GDP in Illinois was just over $70,000 – 15 to 30% more than that of the other Midwest states, as shown in Figure 2.  The Covid-19 pandemic will likely affect states differently and RCF will continue to monitor the data for Illinois and other states.