Quad City Economy

The economy in the Quad Cities area is a mix of the industries which have always driven the region’s economy and emerging fields and technologies which represent the future of the area’s economic health. The industries which have provided area jobs for generations include agriculture and the farm implement manufacturing which made the Quad Cities the Farm Implement Capital of the World for most of the Twentieth Century. The companies that built tractors, combines, plows, and other farming machinery for several decades were once household names when most of the country’s population lived in rural areas. Many people had to look no further than right outside their windows to see farm machinery made in the Quad Cities by:

  • John Deere
  • Farmall
  • Case
  • International Harvester
  • Caterpillar

Of these former titans of Quad Cities manufacturing, only John Deere remains in the area. A combination of factors in the 1980s caused all but Deere to shut down operations in the area and move the remaining jobs elsewhere.

Just traveling a mile or two from the Quads in any direction during the summer months will provide the same sights which have continued for generations. Although fewer farmers rely solely on farming to make a living these days, broad fields of corn and soybeans still dominate the countryside and contribute to the Quad cities economy.

Today, the Quad Cities area still has a solid manufacturing sector with smaller companies making parts for John Deere and other large companies. The Rock Island Arsenal also continues to be a major source of revenue for the area’s economy contributing an estimated $1 billion annually to the Quad City economy.

But much of the area’s recent economic growth has come from jobs in service industries provided by small area companies in a variety of different fields. Large health care companies also provide thousands of area jobs along with companies such as Oscar Mayer, Ralston Purina, ALCOA, and others that have had plants in the Quad Cities for decades.

The economic outlook for the Quad Cities area is quite good as the area has one of the lowest costs of living in the United States and experts predict slow but steady economic growth for the foreseeable future. If you’re thinking of relocating to the Quad Cities area, browse the links on this site at your leisure to look for the area’s best selection of Quad City real estate listings.