Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Greene, Richard P.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Geography


Manufacturing industries--Illinois--Chicago Metropolitan area--History--20th century; Industrial location--Illinois--Chicago Metropolitan area--History--20th century


This paper examines the movement of manufacuring firms within a six county region around the City of Chicago between 1987 and 1992. During this period, a total of 1,785 manufacturing firms relocated, 13.1 percent of the 1987 total, for an average relocation rate of 2.62 percent per year. Firms were found to move an average of seven miles, with more moving shorter, and few moving longer distances. Central areas tended to lose firms while outlying areas gained. The dominant geographic trend was to the northwest. A power series polynomial regression was used to map the relocation trend. The best fit was provided by a quadratic surface, extending from north to south across the western portion of the study area, and roughly corresponding to the edge of the urbanized area. Firms within nearly all major industrial classes relocated, although the majority of relocations were within a small number of classes in the printing, fabricated metals, and industrial machinery sectors. The highest rates of relocation were found in the leather products, apparel, textiles, and miscellaneous manufacturing classes. The firms relocating tended to be increasing in both square footage and in employment.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [88]-92)


viii, 98 pages




Northern Illinois University

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