Petroleum is the most common import in all of America and the most popular import in 12 states. Let’s see what the other top US exports and imports are on a state by state level.
In 2020, the United States exported goods worth over $1.3 trillion, ranking second globally.
The top export overall was refined petroleum, worth $58.4 billion, but as Dorothy Neufeld of Visual Capitalist explains below, aircraft exports were really the biggest across 14 states, outpacing all other exports.
Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau from January 2022, this infographic from OnDeck displays the top exports from each state in the United States.
America’s Top Exports, by Category
As seen in the chart below, the top export for Florida, Kansas, and a number of other states is aircraft (and associated parts).
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Using data from 2020, below are the top export categories for each state.
America has contributed significantly to the export of military aircraft, even though the vast majority of the aerospace and defense industry’s exports are of civil aircraft. These had a value of $99.6 billion between 2000 and 2020, which was higher than Russia’s $61.5 billion in military exports. This is less shocking when you realize that a brand-new fighter jet may cost upwards of $100 million.
However, there were numerous other, more intriguing, exports. Brewing dregs, or the sediment left over after making beer, is South Dakota’s leading export. Mexico, Vietnam, and South Korea are the top importers of these dregs. Dregs are frequently sold to farmers to be used as animal feed.
Meanwhile, North Carolina’s main export is vaccinations and antibodies, while Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Illinois’ top export is medicine. The United States sold commodities essential to fighting COVID-19 worth about $46 billion in 2020, ranking second only to China ($105 billion).
Texas produces more than 5 million barrels of oil per day, or 1.7 billion yearly, making it the top oil exporter in the United States. Petroleum was also Mississippi’s largest export, while light oil was Minnesota’s and North Dakota’s top export. Approximately 10% of all U.S. exports are made up of oil.
The Most Unique Exports, by State
While the typical candidates for America’s top exports are oil, pharmaceuticals, and aircraft, here are the peculiar exports for each state. These are those that are exported by the least amount of other states.
Arkansas is the nation’s biggest exporter of rice, with a $722 million market. The Arkansas rice business started expanding significantly in the early 1900s and grew even faster during World Wars I and II.
As the capital of the art world, New York, on the other hand, exports more sculptures than any other state. In 2019, the U.S. exported artwork and antiques worth over $12 billion.
The most distinctive export from Maine is lobster, which is distinguished by its enormous claws. The chilly seas along Maine’s north shore are ideal for lobster, making it more flavorful and delicate.
Finally, Massachusetts exports quahog pearls, which are found all around Cape Cod and are distinguished by their uneven texture and mosaic design.
The Top U.S. Imports by State
What items are imported most frequently throughout different regions of America, though, wonders Carmen Ang of Visual Capitalist. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau from January 2022, this OnDeck graphic displays the top import in each U.S. state.
The Most Popular Categories of U.S. Imports
Petroleum is the most common import in all of America and the most popular import in 12 states. About 72% of petroleum imports in 2021 were crude oil, which was subsequently domestically refined to produce fuels including gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel.
The majority of that petroleum imports came from Canada, while only about 11% came from OPEC nations and 8% came from Russia. The latter number will undoubtedly decrease in 2022 as a result of the import embargo on Russian goods that the Biden administration put in place in response to the crisis between Russia and Ukraine.
Vehicles and pharmaceuticals tied for second place in terms of imports behind petroleum, with each being the most common import in six different states.
Nucleic acids, which were the most popular imports in Florida and Nebraska, are somewhat related to medicine. In biological processes like messenger RNA (mRNA) translation and protein synthesis, nucleic acids are utilised as natural polymers. Several COVID-19 vaccines, including those made by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, should be noted as being mRNA vaccines.
The Most Unique U.S. Imports
OnDeck identifies the most distinctive import in each U.S. state in addition to highlighting the most popular imports in each state, as shown in the graphic below.
The category of items that were imported by the fewest other states is what OnDeck refers to as each state’s “most unique” import.
Florida’s most distinctive import was salmon. This makes sense given that some of the largest seafood wholesalers in the nation are based in the Sunshine State, including Tampa Bay Fisheries and North Star Seafood (owned by Sysco).
Another illustration is Delaware’s substantial pineapple imports, which amount to about $60.2 million in pineapples annually. Dole Plc (formerly the Dole Food Company), the world’s largest producer of fruits and vegetables, is to blame this time. The company’s main office was in Delaware until 2021, and pineapple imports are still delivered to the Port of Wilmington in the capital of the state.