Great Lakes report


Taken in its broadest sense, the Great Lakes region of North America is a binational Canadian–American region centered around the Great Lakes that includes portions of eight US states (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin) and the Canadian province of Ontario.

For our purposes here we are examining only a slice of the US region, with five states in the mix. These are Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Th America 2050 project identified 11 megaregions of the US, including the Great Lakes Megalopolis, which is a major slice of the area’s economy. 

According to the Brookings Institution, if it stood alone as a country, the economy of the Great Lakes region, which includes most of the megalopolis, would be one of the largest economic units in the world with a gross regional product roughly equal to Japan’s. The five Great Lakes contain one-fifth of the world’s surface fresh water and have a combined shoreline of 10,210 miles (17,017 km). About 200 million tons of cargo are shipped through the Great Lakes each year.

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