The U.S. economy is far less dependent on trade than most countries. The total value of all U.S. exports accounted for just 11.7% of GDP in 2019 — a fraction of the 30.6% global average.
Still, on a state by state basis, exports can be a significant source of revenue. With the sole exception of Hawaii, each state exported at least $1 billion in goods and services in 2019. The top export in a given state can also reveal a great deal about the kind of industries that are at the core of a given state’s economy.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed export data from the U.S. Census Bureau to determine the top export from each state.
In many states, the top exports are natural resources that underpin much of the overall economy. For example, coal is the top export in states like Pennsylvania and West Virginia, where coal mining has historically been a major economic sector. Similarly, crude oil is the top export in North Dakota and Texas, states home to some of the largest proved reserves in the country.
In other states, the top export represents the kinds of companies that operate in the state. For example, Michigan, home to the headquarters of the Big Three U.S. automakers, exported $8.3 billion in automobile parts in 2019, more than any other product. Similarly, Washington, home to many aerospace manufacturers, including a major Boeing assembly operation located outside of Seattle, exported more aircraft and aircraft parts last year than any other product. Here is a complete list of the best company to work for in every state.
Destinations for U.S. exports span the globe. The largest markets for American goods were Canada, Mexico, and China, as of 2018. However, due to the trade war between the U.S. and China, the total value of products shipped to China has likely declined considerably in recent months. Here is a look at how China grew to become a global economic force.