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

View the high resolution of this infographic by clicking here.

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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All of the World’s Money and Markets in One Visualization (2022)

From the wealth held to billionaires to all debt in the global financial system, we look at the vast universe of money and markets in 2022.

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All of the World’s Money and Markets in One Visualization

The era of easy money is now officially over.

For 15 years, policymakers have tried to stimulate the global economy through money creation, zero interest-rate policies, and more recently, aggressive COVID fiscal stimulus.

With capital at near-zero costs over this stretch, investors started to place more value on cash flows in the distant future. Assets inflated and balance sheets expanded, and money inevitably chased more speculative assets like NFTs, crypto, or unproven venture-backed startups.

But the free money party has since ended, after persistent inflation prompted the sudden reversal of many of these policies. And as Warren Buffett says, it’s only when the tide goes out do you get to see “who’s been swimming naked.”

Measuring Money and Markets in 2022

Every time we publish this visualization, our common unit of measurement is a two-dimensional box with a value of $100 billion.

Even though you need many of these to convey the assets on the balance sheet of the U.S. Federal Reserve, or the private wealth held by the world’s billionaires, it’s quite amazing to think what actually fits within this tiny building block of measurement:

What fits in a $100 billion box?

Our little unit of measurement is enough to pay for the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, while also buying every team in the NHL and digging FTX out of its financial hole several times over.

Here’s an overview of all the items we have listed in this year’s visualization:

Asset categoryValueSourceNotes
SBF (Peak Net Worth)$26 billionBloombergNow sits at <$1B
Pro Sports Teams$340 billionForbesMajor pro teams in North America
Cryptocurrency$760 billionCoinMarketCapPeaked at $2.8T in 2021
Ukraine GDP$130 billionWorld BankComparable to GDP of Mississippi
Russia GDP$1.8 trillionWorld BankThe world's 11th largest economy
Annual Military Spending$2.1 trillionSIPRI2021 data
Physical currency$8.0 trillionBIS2020 data
Gold$11.5 trillionWorld Gold CouncilThere are 205,238 tonnes of gold in existence
Billionaires$12.7 trillionForbesSum of fortunes of all 2,668 billionaires
Central Bank Assets$28.0 trillionTrading EconomicsFed, BoJ, Bank of China, and Eurozone only
S&P 500$36.0 trillionSlickchartsNov 20, 2022
China GDP$17.7 trillionWorld Bank
U.S. GDP$23.0 trillionWorld Bank
Narrow Money Supply$49.0 trillionTrading EconomicsIncludes US, China, Euro Area, Japan only
Broad Money Supply $82.7 trillionTrading EconomicsIncludes US, China, Euro Area, Japan only
Global Equities$95.9 trillionWFELatest available 2022 data
Global Debt$300.1 trillionIIFQ2 2022
Global Real Estate$326.5 trillionSavills2020 data
Global Private Wealth$463.6 trillionCredit Suisse2022 report
Derivatives (Market)$12.4 trillionBIS
Derivatives (Notional)$600 trillionBIS

Has the Dust Settled Yet?

Through previous editions of our All the World’s Money and Markets visualization, we’ve created snapshots of the world’s assets and markets at different points in time.

For example, in our 2017 edition of this visualization, Apple’s market capitalization was only $807 billion, and all crypto assets combined for $173 billion. The global debt total was at $215 trillion.

Asset2017 edition2022 editionChange (%)
Apple market cap$807 billion$2.3 trillion+185%
Crypto$173 billion$760 billion+339%
Fed Balance Sheet$4.5 trillion$8.7 trillion+93%
Stock Markets$73 trillion$95.9 trillion+31%
Global Debt$215 trillion$300 trillion+40%

And in just five years, Apple nearly quadrupled in size (it peaked at $3 trillion in January 2022), and crypto also expanded into a multi-trillion dollar market until it was brought back to Earth through the 2022 crash and subsequent FTX implosion.

Meanwhile, global debt continues to accumulate—growing by $85 trillion in the five-year period.

With interest rates expected to continue to rise, companies making cost cuts, and policymakers reining in spending and borrowing, today is another unique snapshot in time.

Now that the easy money era is over, where do things go from here?

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Ranked: The World’s 100 Biggest Pension Funds

The world’s 100 largest pension funds are worth over $17 trillion in total. Which ones are the biggest, and where are they located?

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A preview image of some of the largest pension funds in the world. The Government Pension Investment Fund in Japan is the biggest at $1.7 trillion in assets.

Ranked: The World’s 100 Biggest Pension Funds

View the high-resolution of the infographic by clicking here.

Despite economic uncertainty, pension funds saw relatively strong growth in 2021. The world’s 100 biggest pension funds are worth over $17 trillion in total, an increase of 8.5% over the previous year.

This graphic uses data from the Thinking Ahead Institute to rank the world’s biggest pension funds, and where they are located.

What is a Pension Fund?

A pension fund is a fund that is designed to provide retirement income. This ranking covers four different types:

  • Sovereign funds: Funds controlled directly by the state. This ranking only includes sovereign funds that are established by national authorities.
  • Public sector funds: Funds that cover public sector workers, such as government employees and teachers, in provincial or state sponsored plans.
  • Private independent funds: Funds controlled by private sector organizations that are authorized to manage pension plans from different employers.
  • Corporate funds: Funds that cover workers in company sponsored pension plans.

Among the largest funds, public sector funds are the most common.

The Largest Pension Funds, Ranked

Here are the top 100 pension funds, organized from largest to smallest.

RankFundMarketTotal Assets
1Government Pension Investment Fund🇯🇵 Japan$1.7T
2Government Pension Fund🇳🇴 Norway$1.4T
3National Pension🇰🇷 South Korea$798.0B
4Federal Retirement Thrift🇺🇸 U.S.$774.2B
5ABP🇳🇱 Netherlands$630.4B
6California Public Employees🇺🇸 U.S.$496.8B
7Canada Pension🇨🇦 Canada$426.7B
8National Social Security🇨🇳 China$406.8B
9Central Provident Fund🇸🇬 Singapore$375.0B
10PFZW🇳🇱 Netherlands$315.5B
11California State Teachers🇺🇸 U.S.$313.9B
12New York State Common🇺🇸 U.S.$267.8B
13New York City Retirement🇺🇸 U.S.$266.7B
14Local Government Officials🇯🇵 Japan$248.6B
15Employees Provident Fund🇲🇾 Malaysia$242.6B
16Florida State Board🇺🇸 U.S.$213.8B
17Texas Teachers🇺🇸 U.S.$196.7B
18Ontario Teachers🇨🇦 Canada$191.1B
19National Wealth Fund🇷🇺 Russia$180.7B
20AustralianSuper🇦🇺 Australia$169.1B
21Labor Pension Fund🇹🇼 Taiwan$168.9B
22Washington State Board🇺🇸 U.S.$161.5B
23Public Institute for Social Security🇰🇼 Kuwait$160.0B
24ATP🇩🇰 Denmark$155.4B
25Wisconsin Investment Board🇺🇸 U.S.$147.9B
26Future Fund🇦🇺 Australia$147.9B
27Boeing🇺🇸 U.S.$147.2B
28Employees' Provident🇮🇳 India$145.0B
29New York State Teachers🇺🇸 U.S.$144.4B
30North Carolina🇺🇸 U.S.$137.1B
31Alecta🇸🇪 Sweden$136.7B
32GEPF🇿🇦 South Africa$129.1B
33California University🇺🇸 U.S.$125.3B
34Bayerische Versorgungskammer🇩🇪 Germany$122.0B
35Ohio Public Employees🇺🇸 U.S.$121.6B
36AT&T🇺🇸 U.S.$119.5B
37Public Service Pension Plan🇨🇦 Canada$117.9B
38National Federation of Mutual Aid🇯🇵 Japan$117.1B
39Metaal/tech. Bedrijven🇳🇱 Netherlands$115.8B
40IBM🇺🇸 U.S.$115.4B
41Universities Superannuation🇬🇧 UK$111.2B
42Virginia Retirement🇺🇸 U.S.$110.0B
43Pension Fund Association🇯🇵 Japan$109.8B
44Raytheon Technologies🇺🇸 U.S.$108.9B
45Michigan Retirement🇺🇸 U.S.$108.0B
46Aware Super🇦🇺 Australia$107.5B
47New Jersey🇺🇸 U.S.$104.5B
48Minnesota State Board🇺🇸 U.S.$102.9B
49PFA Pension🇩🇰 Denmark$102.7B
50Kaiser🇺🇸 U.S.$101.0B
51Georgia Teachers🇺🇸 U.S.$100.9B
52Oregon Public Employees🇺🇸 U.S.$100.4B
53Massachusetts PRIM🇺🇸 U.S.$98.5B
54Qsuper🇦🇺 Australia$96.5B
55General Motors🇺🇸 U.S.$96.1B
56Ontario Municipal Employees🇨🇦 Canada$95.7B
57Ohio State Teachers🇺🇸 U.S.$95.1B
58AP Fonden 7🇸🇪 Sweden$94.4B
59Healthcare of Ontario🇨🇦 Canada$90.5B
60General Electric🇺🇸 U.S.$90.5B
61Employees' Pension Fund🇮🇳 India$89.5B
62Bouwnijverheid🇳🇱 Netherlands$88.5B
63UPS🇺🇸 U.S.$86.8B
64United Nations Joint Staff🇺🇸 U.S.$86.2B
65Lockheed Martin🇺🇸 U.S.$85.7B
66Quebec Pension🇨🇦 Canada$81.4B
67National Public Service🇯🇵 Japan$79.9B
68Tennessee Consolidated🇺🇸 U.S.$79.0B
69Royal Bank of Scotland Group🇬🇧 UK$78.3B
70Bank of America🇺🇸 U.S.$76.3B
71BT Group🇬🇧 UK$74.3B
72Keva🇫🇮 Finland$73.3B
73Ford🇺🇸 U.S.$72.8B
74PME🇳🇱 Netherlands$72.7B
75Los Angeles County Employees🇺🇸 U.S.$72.7B
76Quebec Government & Public🇨🇦 Canada$72.4B
77UniSuper🇦🇺 Australia$72.1B
78Northrop Grumman🇺🇸 U.S.$72.0B
79Pennsylvania School Employees🇺🇸 U.S.$70.4B
80Lloyds Banking Group🇬🇧 UK$69.7B
81Ilmarinen🇫🇮 Finland$69.1B
82Colorado Employees🇺🇸 U.S.$68.6B
83Maryland State Retirement🇺🇸 U.S.$68.5B
84AMF Pension🇸🇪 Sweden$67.3B
85Varma🇫🇮 Finland$67.1B
86Wells Fargo🇺🇸 U.S.$66.0B
87Sunsuper🇦🇺 Australia$66.0B
88Verizon🇺🇸 U.S.$64.1B
89Illinois Teachers🇺🇸 U.S.$64.0B
90J.P. Morgan Chase🇺🇸 U.S.$62.8B
91Electricity Supply Pension🇬🇧 UK$62.5B
92FedEx🇺🇸 U.S.$60.7B
93Nevada Public Employees🇺🇸 U.S.$58.8B
94B.C. Municipal🇨🇦 Canada$58.7B
95AP Fonden 4🇸🇪 Sweden$57.7B
96Missouri Schools & Education🇺🇸 U.S.$57.0B
97AP Fonden 3🇸🇪 Sweden$55.9B
98Social Insurance Funds🇻🇳 Vietnam$55.7B
99Organization for Workers🇯🇵 Japan$55.6B
100Illinois Municipal🇺🇸 U.S.$54.9B

U.S. fund data are as of Sep. 30, 2021, and non-U.S. fund data are as of Dec. 31, 2021. There are some exceptions as noted in the graphic footnotes.

Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) is the largest in the ranking for the 21st year in a row. For a time, the fund was the largest holder of domestic stocks in Japan, though the Bank of Japan has since taken that title. Given its enormous size, investors closely follow the GPIF’s actions. For instance, the fund made headlines for deciding to start investing in startups, because the move could entice other pensions to make similar investments.

America is home to 47 funds on the list, including the largest public sector fund: the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), overseen by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board. Because of its large financial influence, both political parties have been accused of using it as a political tool. Democrats have pushed to divest assets in fossil fuel companies, while Republicans have proposed blocking investment in Chinese-owned companies.

Russia’s National Wealth Fund comes in at number 19 on the list. The fund is designed to support the public pension system and help balance the budget as needed. With Russia’s economy facing difficulties amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the government has also used it as a rainy day fund. For instance, Russia has set aside $23 billion from the fund to replace foreign aircraft with domestic models, because Western sanctions have made it difficult to source replacement parts for foreign planes.

The Future of Pension Funds

The biggest pension funds can have a large influence in the market because of their size. Of course, they are also responsible for providing retirement income to millions of people. Pension funds face a variety of challenges in order to reach their goals:

  • Geopolitical conflict creates volatility and uncertainty
  • High inflation and low interest rates (relative to long-term averages) limit return potential
  • Aging populations mean more withdrawals and less fund contributions

Some pension funds are turning to alternative assets, such as private equity, in pursuit of more diversification and higher returns. Of course, these investments can also carry more risk.

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, number 18 on the list, invested $95 million in the now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX. The plan made the investment through its venture growth platform, to “gain small-scale exposure to an emerging area in the financial technology sector.”

In this case, the investment’s failure is expected to have a minimal impact given it only made up 0.05% of the plan’s net assets. However, it does highlight the challenges pension funds face to generate sufficient returns in a variety of macroeconomic environments.

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