Special Report

Top Selling Products From Each State

Random Access Memory (DDR RAM), Memory Chips
Source: Thinkstock

46. Virginia
> Largest export: Memory chips
> 2015 memory chips value: $716.8 million
> Pct. change in memory chips export value (2014-2015): -8.1%
> Memory chips as share of total state exports: 4.0%

In some states, including Virginia, the largest export is the result of the presence of a company or companies. Computer chip manufacturing company Micron has a major facility in Manassas, Virginia. The plant produces a memory chip commonly used in cell phones, computers, and servers. In its fiscal 2015, the company reported $16.2 billion in total revenue, much of which included international sales. Virginia exported $716.8 million worth of memory chips in 2015, the most of any any product.

Airplane over Seattle, Washington
Source: Thinkstock

47. Washington
> Largest export: Airplanes and airplane parts
> 2015 airplanes and airplane parts value: $51.47 billion
> Pct. change in airplanes and airplane parts export value (2014-2015): 5.7%
> Airplanes and airplane parts as share of total state exports: 59.6%

With $51.47 billion worth of airplanes and airplane part exported in 2015, Washington is by far the leading aircraft manufacturer in the United States. Washington produces an estimated 1,400 aircraft each year, including 95% of all commercial airplanes built in North America. The state is the final point of assembly for Boeings 737, 747, 767, 777, and a majority of 787 Dreamliner planes. It will also be the future production site of the SpaceX satellite system. The aerospace product and parts manufacturing industry currently employs 187,632 Washington residents throughout the state, a figure that is projected to grow in the near future.

West Virginia Coal Company Terminal, Mining
Source: Thinkstock

48. West Virginia
> Largest export: Coal
> 2015 coal value: $1.72 billion
> Pct. change in coal export value (2014-2015): -44.7%
> Coal as share of total state exports: 30.0%

A central part of the state’s economy for more than 100 years, West Virginia exports more coal than any other state. Though the bulk of coal extracted in the state stays in country, West Virginia exported more than $1.7 billion worth in 2015 alone.

More than a third of West Virginia’s exports, including coal, end up in Canada or China. While both countries use coal for energy production, coal accounts for more than three-quarters of China’s energy mix, making it the world’s biggest coal consumer. Canada, on the other hand, has been reducing its coal consumption, citing environmental concerns. Decreasing demand likely contributed to a roughly 45% decrease in coal exports out of West Virginia in 2015.

Computer classroom
Source: Thinkstock

49. Wisconsin
> Largest export: Computers
> 2015 computers value: $430.2 million
> Pct. change in computers export value (2014-2015): 18.9%
> Computers as share of total state exports: 1.9%

Wisconsin has a diverse export economy, and no one product accounts for more than 2% of the state’s total export revenue. Wisconsin exported $430 million worth of computers in 2015, the most of any product. As Wisconsin’s computers exports grew by 18.9% last year, computers overtook tractors to become the state’s top-exported product. In addition to computers, Wisconsin’s other valuable exports include hormones, automobile parts, and airplane parts.

Close-up of baking soda on spoon.
Source: Thinkstock

50. Wyoming
> Largest export: Disodium carbonate
> 2015 disodium carbonate value: $833.4 million
> Pct. change in disodium carbonate export value (2014-2015): -6.5%
> Disodium carbonate as share of total state exports: 71.0%

Known more commonly as sodium carbonate, disodium carbonate is by far Wyoming’s most valuable export. Accounting for 71% of the state’s total export value, sodium carbonate represents a bigger share of the state’s exports than any single product in any state.

Trona, a compound of disodium carbonate, can be processed and turned into baking soda. Wyoming has the world’s largest known reserve of the mineral, and the state mined 17 million tons of it in 2015 alone. Church & Dwight, the company behind baking soda maker Arm & Hammer, opened a plant in Green River, Wyoming in the 1960s because of the state’s disodium carbonate resources.