Mapped: Visualizing the Top Export in Every Country
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Mapped: The Top Export in Every Country

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Mapped: The Top Export in Every Country

Mapped: The Top Export in Every Country

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Today, exports make up roughly 25% of total global production.

One of the common influences on these exports, unsurprisingly, is oil. In fact, petroleum is the top export across over 50 nations, and along with many other resource-driven materials makes up a sizable share of the global export market. Since 2000, the total value of all exported global trade of goods and services has tripled to $19.5 trillion.

This infographic from HowMuch.net shows the top export in every country by value, according to the most recent global data from 2018.

Top Exports, by Region

Let’s dive into some particular regions, to see how top exports can vary:

Editor’s note: for even larger versions of each regional infographic below, visit HowMuch.net. All export data is from 2018 and comes from CEPII, a leading French center of economic analysis.

North America

Top exports North America

In the U.S. petroleum outpaces all other exports, with crude oil accounting for 35% of total petroleum exports. Canada too, lists petroleum at the top.

CountryTop Export
CanadaPetroleum
GreenlandFish
MexicoCars
Saint Pierre and QuelonCrustaceans
U.S.Petroleum

With a market valued at $50.7 billion, Mexico’s top export is cars—making it the fourth largest exporter worldwide.

Africa

Top exports Africa

From Egypt to Senegal, Africa has a diverse spectrum of exports. Primarily, these are resource-driven, with the top five exports being petroleum, gold, diamonds, natural gas, and coal.

CountryTop Export
AlgeriaPetroleum
AngolaPetroleum
BeninCotton
Burkina FasoGold
BurundiGold
Cabo VerdeFish
CameroonPetroleum
Central African RepublicWood
ChadPetroleum
ComorosCloves
CongoPetroleum
Cote D'IvoireCocoa Beans
DijiboutiSheep and goats
DR CongoCopper
EgyptPetroleum
EritreaZinc
EthiopiaCoffee
GambiaNuts
GhanaGold
GuineaGold
Guinea-BissauNuts
Kenya Tea
LiberiaGold
LibyaPetroleum
MadagascarVanilla
MalawiTobacco
MaliGold
MauritaniaIron
MauritusFish
MoroccoCars
MozambiqueCloves
NigerGold
NigeriaPetroleum
RwandaGold
SenegalGold
SeychellesFish
Sierra Leone Titanium
SomaliaSheep and goats
South African Customs UnionGold
South SudanPetroleum
St. Helena Blood
SudanPetroleum
TanzanaGold
Togo Petroleum
TunisiaWires
UgandaGold
ZambiaCopper
ZimbabweGold

Meanwhile, Ethiopia’s top export is coffee, shipping nearly $1 billion alone in 2018. Similarly, off the east coast, Madagascar is the world’s largest producer of vanilla.

Asia

Top Exports Asia

While petroleum is also a dominant export across many countries in Asia, the region’s export landscape is a lot more tech-focused.

In South Korea, electronic circuits are the largest export. Samsung, headquartered in Seoul, is a major supplier to Apple for multiple electronic components. With one of the highest export ratios in Asia, 40% of South Korea’s economic output is derived from its export market.

Here are the top exports across other Asian countries.

CountryTop Export
AfghanistanGrapes
ArmeniaCopper
AzerbaijanPetroleum
BahrainPetroleum
BangladeshSuits
BhutanFerro-alloys
Br. Indian Ocean Terr.Fish
Brunei DarussalamPetroleum
CambodiaJerseys
ChinaTransmission apparatus
DPR KoreaWatches
GeorgiaCopper
Hong Kong SARGold
IndonesiaCoals
IranPetroleum
IraqPetroleum
IsraelDiamonds
JapanCars
JordanFertilizers
KazakhstanPetroleum
KuwaitPetroleum
KyrgyzstanGold
LaosElectrical energy
LebanonGold
Macao SARWatches
MalaysiaElectronic circuits
MaldivesFish
MongoliaCoals
MyanmarPetroleum
NepalYarn
OmanPetroleum
PakistanBed linen
PhilippinesElectronic circuits
QatarPetroleum
Saudi ArabiaPetroleum
SingaporeElectronic circuits
South KoreaElectronic circuits
Sri LankaTea
State of PalestineStones
SyriaOlive oil
TajikistanGold
ThailandMachinery
TurkmenistanPetroleum
TurkeyCars
UAEPetroleum
UzbekistanGold
VietnamTransmission apparatus
YemenPetroleum

In Afghanistan, grapes are the top export, valued at $237 million. Almost one-fifth of Afghanistan’s exports come from the grape industry.

Europe

top exports europe

Across the European continent, the automotive industry stands out as a primary driver of exports, with 14 countries having cars or vehicles as their most exported good.

In fact, in 2019, the European Union exported a total of 5.6 million motor vehicles. Of these, 28% were shipped to the U.S. and 16.5% to China.

CountryTop Export
AlbaniaFootwear
AndorraElectronic circults
AustriaCars
BelarusPetroleum
BelgiumCars
Bosnia HerzegovinaElectrical energy
BulgariaPetroleum
CroatiaPetroleum
CyprusPetroleum
Czech RepublicCars
DenmarkDrugs
EstoniaTransmission apparatus
FinlandPetroleum
FranceAirplanes
GermanyCars
Gibraltar Petroleum
GreecePetroleum
HungaryCars
IcelandAluminium
IrelandBlood
ItalyDrugs
LatviaWood
LithuaniaPetroleum
LuxembourgCars
MaltaPetroleum
MoldovaWires
MontenegroAluminium
NetherlandsPetroleum
NorwayPetroleum
PolandVehicles
PortugalCars
RomaniaVehicles
RussiaPetroleum
San MarinoMachines
SerbiaWires
SlovakiaCars
SloveniaCars
SpainCars
SwedenCars
SwitzerlandGold
TFYR of MacedoniaReaction initiators
U.K.Cars
UkraineSun-Flower Seed

The Balkan nation of Albania has footwear as its top export. Overall, nearly 80% of the nation’s GDP relies on goods and services exports.

France, on the other hand, has airplanes as its highest export while Italy and Denmark’s highest are drugs. Italy is the top producer of pharmaceuticals in Europe, an industry which employs 66,500 across the country. Globally, it makes up 2.8% of pharmaceutical sales.

Due to its cheap electricity prices, companies have flocked to Iceland to produce aluminum. Iceland’s dams, which generate power from glacial water, produce electricity as much as 30% cheaper than in America.

Latin America & the Caribbean Islands

top export latin america

Like other regions, petroleum stands out as a key export in countries across Latin America.

Take Venezuela. With the largest oil reserves in the world, its oil exports were valued at $90 billion annually ten years ago. Since the pandemic, however, earnings are projected to reach just a fraction of this total—only $2.3 billion this year.

Along with this, the U.S. has imposed sanctions on president Nicolás Maduro and Venezuela’s state oil company, PDVSA, causing oil exports to slump to their lowest point in nearly 80 years.

CountryTop Export
AnguillaEthyl alcohol
Antigua and BarbudaCruise ships
ArgentinaOil
ArubaAirplanes
BahamasCruise ships
BarbadosEthyl alcohol
BelizeCane sugar
BoliviaPetroleum
BonairePetroleum
BrazilSoya beans
British Virgin IslandsYachts
Cayman IslandsYachts
ChileCopper
ColombiaPetroleum
Costa RicaMedical instruments
CubaCigars
CuracaoPetroleum
DominicaMedical instruments
Dominican RepublicGold
EcuadorPetroleum
El SalvadorT-shirts
Falkland Is. (Malvinas)Molluscs
GrenadaNutmeg
GuatemalaBananas
GuyanaGold
HaitiT-shirts
HondurasT-shirts
JamaicaAluminium
MontserratSand
Neth. AntillesCars
NicaraguaT-shirts
PanamaPetroleum
ParaguaySoya beans
PeruCopper
Saint BarthelemyCosmetics
Saint Kitts and NevisTransmission apparatus
Saint LuciaPetroleum
Saint MaartenJewellery
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Petroleum
SurinameGold
Trinidad and TobagoPetroleum
Turks and Caicos Is.Petroleum
UruguayWood pulp
VenezuelaPetroleum

For Caribbean nations, unsurprisingly, many top exports in this region are linked to tourism.

Cruise ships stood out as a primary export in the Bahamas, while yachts were most significant in the Cayman Islands. However, due to the pandemic, many of these national economies are at heightened risk, with some economies across the region projected to contract 10% in 2020.

Oceania

Top Exports Australia

Finally, in Oceania, Australia had coal as it’s top export in 2018 (though it has since switched to iron ore in 2019), while New Zealand sends milk abroad.

For many of the smaller islands throughout the Pacific, it can be seen that fish, cruise ships, water, and yachts are key exports.

The Future of Trade

Now, COVID-19 and a host of other factors are changing the way the world trades. Unexpected shocks, trade wars, the carbon footprint, and labor standards are influencing firms to build more resilient supply chains.

According to The Economist, it’s estimated that over the next five years that 16-26% of exported goods production could shift locations.

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Made in America: Goods Exports by State

The U.S. exported $1.8 trillion worth of goods in 2021. This infographic looks at where that trade activity took place across the nation.

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Made in America: Goods Exports by State

After China, the U.S. is the next largest exporter of goods in the world, shipping out $1.8 trillion worth of goods in 2021—an increase of 23% over the previous year.

Of course, that massive number doesn’t tell the whole story. The U.S. economy is multifaceted, with varying levels of trade activity taking place all across the nation.

Using the latest data on international trade from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, we’ve visualized the value of America’s goods exports by state.

Top 10 Exporter States

Here are the top 10 American states that exported the highest dollar value worth of goods during 2021. Combined, these export-leading states represent 59.4% of the nation’s total exports.

RankStateTotal Exports Value% share
#1Texas$375.3 billion21.4%
#2California$175.1 billion10.0%
#3New York$84.9 billion 4.8%
#4Louisiana $76.8 billion4.4%
#5Illinois$65.9 billion3.8%
#6Michigan$55.5 billion3.2%
#7Florida$55.5 billion3.2%
#8Washington$53.6 billion3.1%
#9Ohio$50.4 billion2.9%
#10New Jersey$49.5 billion2.8%
Top 10 States$1.04 trillion59.4%

Texas has been the top exporting state in the U.S. for an incredible 20 years in a row.

Last year, Texas exported $375 billion worth of goods, which is more than California ($175 billion), New York ($85 billion), and Louisiana ($77 billion) combined. The state’s largest manufacturing export category is petroleum and coal products, but it’s also important to mention that Texas led the nation in tech exports for the ninth straight year.

California was the second highest exporter of goods in 2021 with a total value of $175 billion, an increase of 12% from the previous year. The state’s main export by value was computer and electronic product manufacturing, representing 17.8% of the total U.S. exports of that industry. California was also second among all states in exports of machinery manufacturing, accounting for 13.9% of the U.S. total.

What Type of Goods are Exported?

Here is a breakdown of the biggest U.S. export categories by value in 2021.

RankProduct GroupAnnual Export Value (2021)Share of Total Exports
1Mineral fuels including oil$239.8 billion13.7%
2Machinery including computers$209.3 billion11.9%
3Electrical machinery, equipment$185.4 billion10.6%
4Vehicles$122.2 billion7.0%
5Optical, technical, medical apparatus$91.7 billion5.2%
6Aircraft, spacecraft$89.1 billion5.1%
7Gems, precious metals $82.3 billion4.7%
8Pharmaceuticals$78 billion4.4%
9Plastics, plastic articles$74.3 billion4.2%
10Organic chemicals$42.9 billion2.4%

These top 10 export categories alone represent almost 70% of America’s total exports.

The biggest grower among this list is mineral fuels, up by 59% from last year. Pharmaceuticals saw the second biggest one-year increase (45%).

Top 10 U.S. Exports by Country of Destination

So who is buying “Made in America” products?

Unsurprisingly, neighboring countries Canada (17.5%) and Mexico (15.8%) are the two biggest buyers of American goods. Together, they purchase one-third of American exports.

RankDestination CountryShare of U.S. Goods Exports
1🇨🇦 Canada17.5%
2🇲🇽 Mexico15.8%
3🇨🇳 China8.6%
4🇯🇵 Japan4.3%
5🇰🇷 South Korea3.7%
6🇩🇪 Germany3.7%
7🇬🇧 United Kingdom3.5%
8 🇳🇱 Netherlands3.1%
9🇧🇷 Brazil2.7%
10🇮🇳 India2.3%

Three Asian countries round out the top five list: China (8.6%), Japan (4.3%), and South Korea (3.7%). Together, the top five countries account for around half of all goods exports.

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Visualizing Global Income Distribution Over 200 Years

How has global income distribution changed over history? Below, we show three distinct periods since the Industrial Revolution.

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Global Income Distribution

Visualizing Global Income Distribution Over 200 Years

Has the world become more unequal?

With COVID-19 disrupting societies and lower-income countries in particular, social and economic progress made over the last decade is in danger of being reversed. And with rising living costs and inflation across much of the world, experts warn that global income inequality has been exacerbated.

But the good news is that absolute incomes across many poorer countries have significantly risen over the last century of time. And though work remains, poverty levels have fallen dramatically in spite of stark inequality.

To analyze historical trends in global income distribution, this infographic from Our World in Data looks at three periods over the last two centuries. It uses economic data from 1800, 1975, and 2015 compiled by Hans and Ola Rosling.

Methodology

For global income estimates, data was gathered by country across three key variables:

  • Population
  • GDP per capita
  • Gini coefficient, which measures income inequality by statistical distribution

Daily incomes were measured in a hypothetical “international-$” currency, equal to what a U.S. dollar would buy in America in 2011, to allow for comparable incomes across time periods and countries.

Historical Patterns in Global Income Distribution

In 1800, over 80% of the world lived in what we consider extreme poverty today.

At the time, only a small number of countries—predominantly Western European countries, Australia, Canada and the U.S.—saw meaningful economic growth. In fact, research suggests that between 1 CE and 1800 CE the majority of places around the world saw miniscule economic growth (only 0.04% annually).

By 1975, global income distribution became bimodal. Most citizens in developing countries lived below the poverty line, while most in developed countries lived above it, with incomes nearly 10 times higher on average. Post-WWII growth was unusually rapid across developed countries.

Fast forward just 40 years to 2015 and world income distribution changed again. As incomes rose faster in poorer countries than developed ones, many people were lifted out of poverty. Between 1975 and 2015, poverty declined faster than at any other time. Still, steep inequality persisted.

A Tale of Different Economic Outputs

Even as global income distribution has started to even out, economic output has trended in the opposite direction.

As the above interactive chart shows, GDP per capita was much more equal across regions in the 19th century, when it sat around $1,100 per capita on a global basis. Despite many people living below the poverty line during these times, the world also had less wealth to go around.

Today, the global average GDP per capita sits at close to $15,212 or about 14 times higher, but it is not as equally distributed.

At the highest end of the spectrum are Western and European countries. Strong economic growth, greater industrial output, and sufficient legal institutions have helped underpin higher GDP per capita numbers. Meanwhile, countries with the lowest average incomes have not seen the same levels of growth.

This highlights that poverty, and economic prosperity, is heavily influenced by where one lives.

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