America's Growth Cities
Diversified City With Big Shoulders
Chicago, Illinois is in the North Central region of the United States, at the foot of Lake Michigan, the southernmost of America’s five Great Lakes. It is the third largest city in the country, with a metro area population of almost 10 million. Its dramatic skyline attests to its being recognized as the birthplace of the skyscraper, the ongoing result of a rebuilding that began after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
The poet Carl Sandburg described Chicago as “Stormy, Husky, Brawling, City of the Big Shoulders”, which is appropriate for a city that transformed itself from frontier outpost to global metropolis in the span of two generations.
Live In America EB-5 believes that a factor for EB-5 investors to consider when assessing where to make their American home is that Chicago has one of the world’s largest, and most diversified, balanced economies. No single industry employs more than 14% of the workforce.
That said, however, Healthcare has an expansive infrastructure throughout Chicago, one that people travel to from the rest of the country. Following is a partial list of institutions within that structure, starting with two of the country’s premier medical centers:
- Northwestern Memorial Hospital
- University of Chicago Medical Center
- Prentice Women’s Hospital
- Children’s Hospital of Chicago
- University of Illinois College of Medicine
- Chicago Medical School
- Stritch School of Medicine
Medical Associations based in Chicago include:
- The American Medical Association
- American Dental Association
- American Osteopathic Association
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- American College of Surgeons
- American College of Clinical Pathology
- American Hospital Association
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield Headquarters
Technology startups are a growing sector in Chicago’s business sphere, whether it’s a company that has a seasoned entrepreneur at the helm, ready to make waves in an established big industry, or a rookie with a way to make work flow more smoothly in a high-pressure, complex situation. An example of the latter, which relates to the above, is ExplORer Surgical, a surgical workflow tool for creating better communication in the operating room.
Investment trading is an area where Chicago is already a leader, specifically in the matter of derivatives, those securities with a value that is based on underlying assets – stocks, bonds, currencies, commodities… The Chicago Mercantile Exchange, now the CME Group since its merger with the Chicago Board of Trade, trades options and futures contracts in “The Pit”, where open-outcry trading takes place between members, as it has since the 1800s, and also online, where volume reaches multi-millions of contracts a day.
Education is almost an industry itself in Chicago. In 2017, U.S. News & World Report again ranked the city’s top universities, which, in effect, is an ongoing list that shows the schools to be among the best “National Universities” in the United States. The schools, in order, are: The University of Chicago, Illinois Institute of Technology, Northwestern, Loyola University, DePaul University, Columbia College at Chicago and University of Illinois at Chicago. The city is also home to many post-graduate and specialty schools, for a wide variety of advanced degrees.
The Chicago Public Schools District contains 600 public elementary and high schools, including eleven selective enrollment high schools for academically advanced students (a program similar to New York City’s Nine Specialized Public High Schools). Students are chosen through Chicago’s “Choice System”, where students are tested and are then sorted according to their achievement levels into different schools (high performing, middle performing, low performing).
Northside College Preparatory High School is ranked Number One in the city and the state. It is located in Chicago’s North Park neighborhood, which was originally a Swedish community and was later adapted to by Orthodox Jews and Middle Eastern families. Northside’s demographic makeup is 42% white, 24% Asian, 23% Hispanic, 6% Black, and 5% Special Education students whose curricula are adapted for their needs. Over 99% of Northside’s graduating class goes on to college, with 24% gaining admission to America’s top universities.
The Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox are the city’s two Major League baseball teams. The Cubs had not participated in a World Series since 1945, and then came through to beat the Cleveland Indians in 2016. The Chicago Bears football team is in the husky and brawling tradition of Sandburg’s poem, having won nine National Football League Championships, including a Super Bowl. The Chicago Bulls basketball team was virtually unbeatable in the era of Michael Jordan, winning six NBA Championships in eight seasons, the team and fans ever on the lookout for the next Michael J. The Chicago Blackhawks hockey team, one of the “Original Six” that formed the National Hockey League in 1926, has six Stanley Cups to its credit.
Chicago is very much a theater town, the Goodman and Steppenwolf originating plays for Chicagoans to enjoy, and then sending them on the road for the rest of the country to do the same. There’s the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre at Navy Pier, and “Broadway in Chicago” offers Broadway-style entertainment at five theaters throughout the city.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra performs at Symphony Hall and is recognized as one of the world’s best. The Joffrey Ballet and the Chicago Festival Ballet are also up there in the rankings and perform at various venues, including the Harris Theater in Millennium Park. The Civic Light Opera House is home to the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Other live-music styles that are part of Chicago’s cultural heritage, and are played in clubs and bars in every part of the city, include Chicago Blues, Chicago Soul, and, of course, Chicago jazz.
There are many fine museums in Chicago, but The Art Institute of Chicago is considered one of the world’s finest and is in a realm of its own. Great works by all the masters are on display, for fine-art aficionados to appreciate or casual museum-goers to get hooked on.
Chicago’s waterfront in large part defines the city. Over a third of the population is concentrated in the lake-front neighborhoods, from Rogers Park in the north to South Shore in the South. The South Side neighborhood of Hyde Park is the home of former President Obama, and also contains the University of Chicago. Six-mile long Burnham Park, with its beaches and promenade for walkers and joggers, stretches along the waterfront of the South Side.
“The Loop” is an eight-block by five-block area that is encircled by elevated rail tracks and skyscrapers, where chic boutiques and some of Chicago’s best restaurants are located, and also the Goodman Theatre. Evenings don’t get much better than taking in a show there and then tucking into a nice sirloin at a great Chicago steak house.
Zillow lists the median price for a home in Chicago at $225,900. Prices escalate in the better suburbs.
Live In America EB-5 would be pleased to work with EB-5 investors in exploring the City With Big Shoulders for their new American home. An email to firstname.lastname@example.org will receive a quick response.
For informative write-ups on Chicago’s best suburbs,