The Illinois Pork Industry

The Illinois pork industry adds significant value to the agricultural economy and is a major contributor to the overall Illinois economy. Although the size and structure of the Illinois pork industry has changed over time, current levels of production continue to support jobs and generate earnings in the state economy. In 2021, the sales generated from hog marketings and pork processing supported a total economic contribution of $2.07 billion in personal income, $3.29 billion in value added, and more than 33,677 jobs in the Illinois economy.

Total Economic Contribution

All direct, indirect, and induced economic activity supported by the Illinois Pork Industry.


jobs supported by the pork industry


value added (GDP)


personal income generated

Hog Farms and Production

Illinois December 1 Hog Inventory and Share of U.S. Total

There are about 5.35 million hogs in Illinois. The size of the Illinois hog herd has varied over time but has trended upward from 4.15 million head in 2000 to 5.35 million head in 2021. As of December 2021, Illinois farms accounted for 7.2% of the total U.S. hog inventory.

The number of Illinois hog farms has increased in recent years. From 1997 to 2012, the number of farms raising hogs decreased from 7,385 to 2,045, but by 2017 farm numbers increased to 2,153.

IL Hog Farms and Hogs per Farm
IL Hog Inventory Distribution

Approximately 76% of Illinois hogs are on farms with 5,000 or more in inventory. 18 percent of Illinois’ hogs are on farms with 2,000 to 4,999 head, and six percent are on farms with less than 2,000 head.

Hog Production Costs and Returns

In 2021, hog sales (including market hogs, sows, and feeder pigs) totaled $1.91 billion. In addition to these farm-level effects, the pork industry supports other industries by purchasing inputs, supplies, and services. Based on long-run prices and aggregated production budgets for the Illinois pork industry, producing 9.74 million market hogs in Illinois generates over $1.30 billion in feed, labor, equipment, and other production-related expenditures.

Hog Production by the Numbers


number of farms with hogs


hogs marketed annually


cash receipts from hog sales

IL Estimated Share of Production Costs

Feed is the largest single expenditure category in pork production. With 9.74 million market hogs produced annually, feed costs for the Illinois industry exceed $717.5M. Other direct expenses, like energy and transportation, add $288.766M, employee compensation totals $133.15M, and facility-related expenses add $156.9M.

Jobs Supported by the Illinois Pork Industry

The direct, indirect, and induced activity generated by the Illinois pork industry in 2021 supported a total of 33,677 jobs and $2.067B in personal income. Illinois hog farms and pork processors directly employed 13,889 workers and paid $795.4 million in total wages. This includes 2,104 full-time-equivalent workers at the farm level and an estimated 11,432 employees in the hog slaughter and processing sectors.


The purchases of input supplies and services in the pork industry indirectly supported 11,174 jobs and $779.4 million in personal earnings for Illinois workers. Beyond this, the induced impacts stemming from employee spending included 8,614 additional jobs and $492.5 million in personal income earned. Many of these jobs were within the agriculture and manufacturing industries, as well as industries like trucking, finance, insurance, real estate, trade, and other service sectors.