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Mapped: The Top U.S. Exports by State



Map of the most common export in each U.S. state

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Mapped: The Top U.S. Exports by State

The U.S. exported over $1.3 trillion in goods in 2020, the second-highest amount worldwide.

While refined petroleum was the top export overall at $58.4 billion, aircraft exports were actually the highest across 14 states—more than any other form of export.

This infographic from OnDeck shows America’s top exports by state, using January 2022 data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

America’s Top Exports, by Category

As shown below, Florida, Kansas, and numerous other states all have aircraft (and related parts) as their top export.

Here is the top export category for each state, using 2020 figures.

StateTop Export
New HampshireAircraft
South CarolinaAircraft
South DakotaBrewing Dregs
West VirginiaCoal
ColoradoCow Meat
NebraskaCow Meat
New MexicoData Processing Parts
New YorkDiamonds
WyomingDisodium Carbonate
OregonElectrical Processors
VermontElectronic Circuits
HawaiiFerrous Scrap
MinnesotaLight Oils
North DakotaLight Oils
New JerseyPalladium
Rhode IslandPrecious Metal
TennesseeSurgical Instruments
North CarolinaVaccines and Antibodies

While the vast majority of the aerospace and defense industry consists of civil aerospace exports, America has also played a significant role in exports of military aircraft. Between 2000-2020, these were worth $99.6 billion, the highest in the world ahead of Russia’s $61.5 billion in military exports. This becomes less surprising when you consider that a new fighter jet can often come with a $100 million price tag.

But there were many different, and more interesting, exports. South Dakota’s top export is none other than brewing dregs, which is the sediment found in brewing beer. The largest importers of these dregs are Mexico, Vietnam, and South Korea. Often, dregs are sold to farmers for use in animal feed.

Meanwhile, the top export for Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Illinois is medicine, while North Carolina has vaccines and antibodies as a top export. In 2020, the U.S. exported over $46 billion in goods critical to combating COVID-19, the second-highest after China ($105 billion).

As the largest exporter of oil in America, Texas produces over 5 million barrels of oil each day, or 1.7 billion annually. Mississippi’s top export was also petroleum, while light oil was the top export in Minnesota and North Dakota. Overall, oil makes up roughly 10% of U.S. exports annually.

The Most Unique Exports, by State

While oil, medicine, and aircraft are the usual suspects for America’s top exports, here are the most idiosyncratic exports for each state. These are defined as those which are exported by the smallest number of other states.

Arkansas is the top exporter of rice in America, with the industry valued at $722 million. The rice industry in Arkansas began to grow substantially in the early 1900s, and expanded even more rapidly during World War I & II.

New York, on the other hand, exports more sculptures than any other state thanks to being the epicenter of the art world. The U.S. exported over $12 billion in art and antiques in 2019.

Lobster is the most unique export in Maine, known for its characteristically large claws. The north coast of Maine offers cool waters which lend themselves to more tender and sweeter lobster fare.

Finally, Massachusetts exports quahog pearls, known for their uneven texture and mosaic pattern, found across Cape Cod.

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This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.

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United States

Mapped: The 10 U.S. States With the Highest Cost of Living

Hawaii secured the top spot as the U.S. state with the highest cost of living, with an average annual expenditure of $55,491.



cropped map of US states with highest cost of living

The 10 U.S. States With the Highest Cost of Living

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Ever wondered where your dollar stretches the least in the U.S.?

States vary significantly when it comes to cost of living, which takes into account expected expenses for essentials like housing, food, and transportation.

In this graphic, we map out the top 10 U.S. states with the highest annual cost of living in 2024. The cost of living figures are based on data calculated by Forbes Advisor.

Calculating Cost of Living

To calculate the cost of living in each state, Forbes Advisor calculated annual expenses for housing, healthcare, taxes, food, and transportation.

Their data sources include C2ER, KFF, MIT Living Wage Calculator, and the U.S. Census Bureau. You can read more about their methodology here.

Hawaii is the State with the Highest Cost of Living

The sunny state of Hawaii is the most expensive state to live in, with an average annual cost of living of $55,491.

RankStateTotal Yearly Cost of Living
4New York$49,623
5New Jersey$49,511
U.S. Average$40,466

Despite having the highest cost of living ($55,491), Hawaii also has the lowest annual average salary ($61,420) among these 10 states.

This leaves residents with an annual disposable income of $5,929–the lowest out of all 50 states.

Some factors that contribute to Hawaii’s high cost of living are its high housing costs due to housing shortages and high income taxes.

Coastal Life Isn’t Cheap

Life on either coast isn’t cheap, either.

All four West Coast states make the top 10 list, while Northeastern states like New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey also make an appearance. New York City is consistently ranked as one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in.

About 40% of the U.S. population lives on the coast, but the coast only accounts for less than 10% of the country’s land mass.

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