Illinois became the first state to open a trade office in China in 1974. Since then, China has been a critical trade and investment partner for Illinois. In 2019, China was Illinois’ 5th largest export market and #1 largest import market. Significant investments from Chinese investors and companies have arrived in Illinois over the years attracted by the state’s strengths in financial industry, agriculture, manufacturing, and infrastructure. The education and cultural exchanges between China and Illinois are also significant to the state’s economy. The many excellent education institutions in Illinois have a long history of welcoming Chinese students and continue to be leaders in Chinese student enrollment today. A new point of pride for Chinese-Americans in Illinois is that it is the first state in the U.S. to mandate a unit of Asian American history in its public school curriculum in 2021.


$5.1 billion from Illinois to China in 2020.

$2.8 billion in service exports from Illinois to China in 2019.

Illinois Top 3 Goods Exports
Top 3 Service Exports Illinois
Arrow Illinois

Jobs & Education

Top 3 Chinese Firms Illinois

Illinois’s exports to China supported 44,700 jobs in 2019.

Illinois University with Chinese Enrollment

33.5% of international students in IL are Chinese (IIE, Open Doors 2021)


State Partnership Illinois
Sister Cities Illinois


Why China Matters

Why China matters to the Heartland Join USHCA and our partners in exploring Why China Matters to the Heartland. Learn how each Heartland state benefits from its relationship with China economically, educationally and culturally. Event Date: January 25th, 2022 10:00

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1.Illinois department of commerce: [trade/investment/tourism data]

2. Data base for US-China FDI data

3. Education

4. Sister cities (in Chinese)

5. Population data: US 2020 census data

Chinese population = 23% * Asian population

6. Jobs related to US-China trade


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