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The Windy City and Birthplace of Derivatives
Chicago is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Illinois, and the third most populous city in the United States, following New York and Los Angeles. With an estimated population of 2,693,976 in 2019, it is also the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the fifth most populous city in North America.
Located on the shores of freshwater Lake Michigan, Chicago was incorporated as a city in 1837 near a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed and grew rapidly in the mid-19th century.
Chicago is an international hub for finance, culture, commerce, industry, education, technology, telecommunications, and transportation. It is the site of the creation of the first standardized futures contracts, issued by the Chicago Board of Trade, which today is part of the largest and most diverse derivatives market in the world, generating 20% of all volume in commodities and financial futures alone. The Chicago area has one of the highest gross domestic products (GDP) in the world, generating $689 billion in 2018. The economy of Chicago is diverse, with no single industry employing more than 14% of the workforce. It is home to several Fortune 500 companies, including Allstate, Boeing, Caterpillar, Exelon, Kraft Heinz, McDonald's, Mondelez International, Sears, United Airlines Holdings, US Foods, and Walgreens.