About Illinois

With more than 85,000 direct jobs, Illinois is one of the top states for the life sciences industry. Illinois is also one of the most balanced states between industry subsectors and hosts the second largest concentration of biopharma companies in the country.


The Life Science industry is a large contributor to the Illinois economy. The overall economic output of the industry was $98 billion. Economic output represents a broadest measure of economic activity. It represents the sales related to life sciences firms as well as the suppliers and service industry firms that benefit from the spending of life sciences employees. 

Regarding wages, the life sciences industry is also one of the highest paying industries. Illinois residents employed by life sciences companies earn 91% more than the average Illinois resident.. Illinois state and local taxes paid by the life sciences industry equal approximately 4.7% of all state and local taxes collected in Illinois.

The geographical distribution of the life sciences industry is also diverse, with companies located in counties throughout Illinois. Of the top five counties in Illinois, Lake County hosts the greatest number of biopharma companies, and Cook County is primarily distinguished by its high concentration of startup companies in the biopharma, device and food and nutrition fields. DuPage County, Rock Island County and Vermilion County round out the top five in Illinois with a significant presence of agricultural and industrial firms.

Illinois life sciences companies have received $1.6 billion in venture capital investments from 2014 through 2017. Illinois also boasts state programs to increase access to startup capital like the Illinois Angel Tax Credit Program.