The U.S. States Most Vulnerable to a Trade War
Last year, nearly $4 trillion of U.S. economic productivity was the result of international trade.
However, with talk of a trade war heating up, there is a real possibility that the global trade landscape could shift dramatically over the coming months and years.
Any such shifts wouldn’t likely impact the country in a uniform and evenly distributed fashion – instead, any impending trade war would pose the largest direct risk to states that are dependent on buying and selling goods on international markets.
The States Most at Risk
Today’s visualization comes to us from HowMuch.net, and it shows every U.S. state and district organized by GDP size, as well as percentage of GDP resulting from international trade.
Here are the 10 states most reliant on international trade:
|Rank||State||GDP (2017)||Exports + Imports (2017)||Trade (% of GDP)|
|#1||Michigan||$515 billion||$200 billion||38.9%|
|#2||Louisiana||$243 billion||$94 billion||38.7%|
|#3||Kentucky||$204 billion||$78 billion||38.1%|
|#4||Tennessee||$345 billion||$112 billion||32.6%|
|#5||South Carolina||$219 billion||$70 billion||31.9%|
|#6||Texas||$1,692 billion||$527 billion||31.2%|
|#7||Indiana||$360 billion||$92 billion||25.7%|
|#8||Washington||$503 billion||$127 billion||25.3%|
|#9||New Jersey||$589 billion||$147 billion||25%|
|#10||Illinois||$818 billion||$201 billion||24.6%|
On a percentage basis, Michigan tops the list with 38.9% of the state’s GDP reliant on international trade.
The Lowest Risk States
On the flipside, here are the states or districts with less to lose in the event of a trade war.
|Rank||State (or District)||GDP (2017)||Exports + Imports (2017)||Trade (% of GDP)|
|#51||District of Columbia||$132 billion||$2 billion||1.5%|
|#50||Wyoming||$41 billion||$2 billion||5.0%|
|#49||South Dakota||$49 billion||$3 billion||5.1%|
|#48||Hawaii||$88 billion||$5 billion||5.4%|
|#47||New Mexico||$98 billion||$6 billion||6.0%|
|#46||Oklahoma||$190 billion||$15 billion||8.0%|
|#45||Colorado||$341 billion||$28 billion||8.1%|
|#44||Virginia||$511 billion||$46 billion||8.9%|
|#43||Nebraska||$119 billion||$11 billion||9.1%|
|#42||Maine||$61 billion||$6 billion||9.7%|
Washington, D.C. tops the list, with only 1.5% of its regional GDP tied to trade.
This makes sense since The District’s economy is mostly linked to the government, service, and tourism sectors. Nearby Virginia also has surprisingly little international trade, at just 8.9% of its economy.
Want to see more on international trade? See the numbers behind the world’s closest trade relationship in this infographic.
Ranked: The World’s Top Diamond Mining Countries, by Carats and Value
Who are the leaders in rough diamond production and how much is their diamond output worth?
Ranked: World Diamond Mining By Country, Carat, and Value
Only 22 countries in the world engage in rough diamond production—also known as uncut, raw or natural diamonds—mining for them from deposits within their territories.
This chart, by Sam Parker illustrates the leaders in rough diamond production by weight and value. It uses data from Kimberly Process (an international certification organization) along with estimates by Dr. Ashok Damarupurshad, a precious metals and diamond specialist in South Africa.
Rough Diamond Production, By Weight
Russia takes the top spot as the world’s largest rough diamond producer, mining close to 42 million carats in 2022, well ahead of its peers.
Russia’s large lead over second-place Botswana (24.8 million carats) and third-ranked Canada (16.2 million carats) indicates that the country’s diamond production is circumventing sanctions due to the difficulties in tracing a diamond’s origin.
Here’s a quick breakdown of rough diamond production in the world.
|5||🇿🇦 South Africa||9,660,233|
|10||🇸🇱 Sierra Leone||688,970|
|18||🇨🇮 Cote D'Ivoire||3,904|
|19||🇨🇬 Republic of Congo||3,534|
Note: South Africa’s figures are estimated.
As with most other resources, (oil, gold, uranium), rough diamond production is distributed unequally. The top 10 rough diamond producing countries by weight account for 99.2% of all rough diamonds mined in 2022.
Diamond Mining, by Country
However, higher carat mined doesn’t necessarily mean better value for the diamond. Other factors like the cut, color, and clarity also influence a diamond’s value.
Here’s a quick breakdown of diamond production by value (USD) in 2022.
|5||🇿🇦 South Africa||$1,538M|
|9||🇸🇱 Sierra Leone||$143M|
|19||🇨🇬 Republic of Congo||$0.20M|
|20||🇨🇮 Cote D'Ivoire||$0.16M|
Note: South Africa’s figures are estimated. Furthermore, numbers have been rounded and may not sum to the total.
Thus, even though Botswana only produced 59% of Russia’s diamond weight in 2022, it had a trade value of nearly $5 billion, approximately 1.5 times higher than Russia’s for the same year.
Another example is Angola, which is ranked 6th in diamond production, but 3rd in diamond value.
Both countries (as well as South Africa, Canada, and Namibia) produce gem-quality rough diamonds versus countries like Russia and the DRC whose diamonds are produced mainly for industrial use.
Which Regions Produce the Most Diamonds in 2022?
Unsurprisingly, Africa is the largest rough diamond producing region, accounting for 51% of output by weight, and 66% by value.
|Rank||Region||Share of Rough|
Diamond Production (%)
|Share of Rough
Diamond Value (%)
However diamond mining in Africa is a relatively recent phenomenon, fewer than 200 years old. Diamonds had been discovered—and prized—as far back as 2,000 years ago in India, later on spreading west to Egyptian pharaohs and the Roman Empire.
By the start of the 20th century, diamond production on a large scale took off: first in South Africa, and decades later in other African countries. In fact between 1889–1959, Africa produced 98% of the world’s diamonds.
And in the latter half of the 20th century, the term blood diamond evolved from diamonds mined in African conflict zones used to finance insurgency or crime.
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