Can You Name the Biggest Exports of Each American State?

By: Ian Fortey

Can You Name the Biggest Exports of Each American State?
Image: Busakorn Pongparnit/ Moment/ Getty Images

About This Quiz

Every state has to make their money somehow, and they all produce something that someone else wants or needs out there in the world. Some states can take advantage of an abundance of natural resources and mine things like coal, gold or even natural gas. Others rely on the world of industry and make their money exporting parts for cars and airplanes. Some work heavily with chemicals like sodium bicarbonate. Others just have a heck of a lot of beef on hand. There are fifty states, and each one has one thing they export more than anything else, often for a considerable amount of money. Whether they're going to Mexico, Canada, China or somewhere else, this stuff is in high demand. But what's the stuff? What is everyone exporting?

The exports of some states may seem obvious, but others maybe not so much. And it's worth remembering that the chief export in, say, 2012 may not be the chief export from a later year like 2018. The world moves pretty fast when it comes to making money. So do you think you know what each state in the Union exports? Take the quiz and find out!

Alabama What is the big export out of the state of Alabama?
Cars
The state of Alabama is big on car parts and automotive exports. In 2018 it was worth $2.7 billion to the state. When it comes to agriculture, there isn't much leaving the state, except for some chicken.
Top soil
Nickel
Shoes

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Question 02 Do you know what Alaska is exporting in big numbers?
Fish
Water
Zinc
Someone has to provide zinc for the world, right? It looks like Alaska fits the bill with $1.2 billion of it. Next in line is fish, and the state exports a heck of a lot of it, including cod, pollock and salmon, among others.
Gold

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Question 03 Arizona has a major export from what industry?
Cars
Sugar
Cactus pears
Aircraft
Arizona's big export is aircraft, and in 2018 it was worth $2.5 billion to the state. Next in line after aircraft was copper, which was worth just over $1 billion in total. Further down the list are things like molybdenum and insecticide.

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Question 04 Do you know which of these is the big moneymaker for Arkansas?
Computers
Aircraft
Aircraft is the main export for the state of Arkansas, and it's a pretty significant one worth nearly $1 billion to the state. Next in line after aircraft for Arkansas is $463 million worth of ammunition.
Silver
Air conditioners

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Question 05 What are they exporting in Wyoming?
Soda ash
Also known as sodium carbonate, soda ash is Wyoming's chief export. In fact, the state exports a ton of chemicals, including things like argon, bentonite, phosphoric acid and whatever ammonium dihydrogen orthophosphate is.
Beef
Fertilizer
Pork

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Question 06 Idaho is known for potatoes, but that's not their biggest export. What is?
Grain
Cooking oil
Plastic
Computer chips
Computer chips, specifically memory, are the main export for the state of Idaho. Oddly enough, while they do have a number of food products in their exports, including cheese, malt and whey, they don't export that many potatoes.

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Question 07 Everyone wants to go to California. What export keeps leaving the state?
Aircraft
California has a huge export economy worth over $178 billion in total. At the top of the heap is aircraft, worth $7.2 billion, followed by diamonds worth $5.4 billion and then, a few slots down the list, is almonds worth $3.3 billion.
Cars
Slate
Wood

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Question 08 Which of these is Colorado exporting the most of?
Diamonds
Chicken
Beef
If you're in the market for a nice, juicy steak, then Colorado can help you out with their beef exports. They also have a pretty respectable pork export industry going on and, if you're not hungry, they export $121 million in molybdenum as well.
Glass

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Question 09 Can you guess what the big export from Connecticut is?
Suede
Soda
Pork
Aircraft
Connecticut exported $7 billion worth of aircraft in 2018, making it hands down their biggest export. For a fun twist on the usual, their number-five export at $155 million is lasers. How futuristic!

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Question 10 Which export is the big one for Delaware?
Needles
Goat
Yew
Medicine
Medicine is Delaware's chief export, and it's worth $946 million to the state. In an unexpected twist, the state's number-six export is something you'd probably never predict — bananas. That can include dry, though, which is probably the case.

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Question 11 Florida is known for exporting what?
Aircraft
Florida's export industry is pretty diverse, but their number one is aircraft at $6.5 billion, which is pretty impressive. Elsewhere on the list is $645 million worth of perfume and $324 million worth of yachts.
Oranges
Shellfish
Molybdenum

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Question 12 Which of these is Georgia exporting?
Natural gas
Aircraft
Georgia's big export is aircraft, and it's worth $7.3 billion to the state. If you wander down their list of exports a bit, you'll see the state rakes in an impressive $307 million from carpets as well.
Coal
Nuts

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Question 13 Hawaii's biggest export is which of these?
Nuts
Seafood
Pork
Petroleum products
Surprisingly, it's petroleum products that are Hawaii's biggest export, even though it seems like it should be something more exotic. Number five on their list is a little more like what you might expect though — $24 million worth of shrimp and prawns.

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Question 14 Do you now what they export from Illinois?
Butane
Corn
Oil
Illinois' big export is $3.1 billion in oil. If you're looking for something a little left-of-center, you can go to Illinois' fourth biggest export. At $1.2 billion, the state exports a heck of a lot of dumpers designed for off-highway use.
Romaine lettuce

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Question 15 Indiana exports which of these items?
Raisins
Gravel
Rubber
Medicine
Indiana's chief export is medicine, about $2.6 billion worth of it. Indiana also exports a heck of a lot of insulin as well which, yes, is medicine, but is listed separately and is worth around $553 million.

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Question 16 What does Iowa export more than anything else?
Lucite
Corn
Iowa exports $1.4 billion worth of corn, which is just so much corn, isn't it? That's followed up by tractors, soybeans and a lot of pork meat. Then they round things out with some herbicide, because why not?
Glass
Nitrogen

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Question 17 In Kansas, they export what more than anything else?
Aircraft
Kansas exports a lot of aircraft, about $2.2 billion worth of it. Their next biggest export is beef, which comes in a pretty respectable $924 million in total. That's followed up with wheat at around $572 million.
Corn
Cereal
Rubber

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Question 18 Kentucky's main export isn't chicken. What is it?
Alcohol
Barrels
Aircraft
Aircraft is an absolutely huge export for the state of Kentucky and, in fact, it's worth a whopping $12.5 billion, at least in the year 2018. Unique to Kentucky is their number 12 export, which is purebred horses. They're worth $256 million.
Leather

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Question 19 Do you know what Louisiana exports?
Oil
Louisiana is oil country, believe it or not. Depending on the year, their main export may also be soybeans, but in 2017 through 2018, the beans had taken a backseat to petroleum products. PVC is their number nine export, incidentally.
Natural gas
Shellfish
Figs

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Question 20 What do you think of when you think of exports from Maine?
Lobster
Lobster is King in the state of Maine. In fact, it's worth about $386 million to the state, which is a heck of a lot of lobster. Number two is civilian aircraft and aircraft parts which seem to be exported from just about every single state.
Petroleum
Gold
Wool

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Question 21 In the state of Maryland, which export is worth over one billion per year?
Silver
Wheat
Pork
Natural gas
Maryland just got into natural gas, exporting as it wasn't even a thing for the state back in 2017. In 2018, however, it went from $0 all the way up to a staggering $1.1 billion, overtaking their previous top export, which was aircraft.

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Question 22 What are they exporting from Massachusetts?
Tobacco
Semi-conductor machinery
There was a time when gold was the main export from Massachusetts, but it's down to number three. These days it's machinery for making semi-conductors; that's their big export worth about $1.3 billion per year.
Coal
Iron

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Question 23 Do you know what they export from Michigan?
Water
Apples
Trucks
It makes sense that Michigan's main export is trucks, right? This is where Detroit is located and where automaking took root in America. The industry is worth billions, and that's just trucks. Factor in cars and assorted auto parts, and it's tens of billions.
Lucite

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Question 24 Which of these is worth over $800 million to Minnesota?
Argon gas
Microchips
Needles
Minnesota exports medical supplies and not just any medical supples but needles. Lots and lots of needles. It's a nearly $1 billion industry in the state somehow meaning if you use needles ever, they probably came from Minnesota.
Palladium ore

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Question 25 Mississippi is known for exporting which of these?
Refined oil
Refined oil is the chief export of Mississippi right now, but their number-two is a weirdly unpredictable one. It's titanium dioxide, which is used as a white food pigment. Down at number four is cotton, if you want to know where to find some.
Cooking oil
Black pepper
Aircraft

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Question 26 St. Louis barbecue is not Missouri's chief export. What is?
Wheat
Trucks
While Missouri does export things like corn and soybeans, its big export is trucks. After that, it gets into civilian aircraft and motorcycles, so basically, the transportation industry dominates across the state.
Microchips
Gallium

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Question 27 Montana is making their cash by exporting what?
Garlic
Leather
Beef
Cigarettes
Oh, Montana. What is going on over there? The state's chief export is cigarettes, and weirdly enough, it's actually on an upswing rather than down as you'd suppose. They exported more cigarettes in 2018 than in any of the three previous years.

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Question 28 What's the chief export in the great state of Nebraska?
Corn
Beef
Nebraska is a big beef state and exports over $1 billion per year if you combine the value of both fresh and frozen beef. In third place behind the beef is soybeans, in case you were wondering what else is going on in Nebraska.
Pork
Chicken

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Question 29 Nevada may import people to casinos but what do they export?
Gaming machines
Gold
It seems oddly poetic that the main export from the state of Nevada is gold. In fact, the state exported nearly $5 billion worth of it in 2018 and over $6 billion in 2017. They also export gaming machines worth over $700 million per year.
Phones
Honey

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Question 30 Which of these does New Hampshire send out into the world?
Beet sugar
Topsoil
Romaine lettuce
Aircraft parts
New Hampshire is one of many states heavily into the aircraft industry, and aircraft parts are their main export. Medicine is their number two while their third-biggest, worth over $200 million, is printer and copier parts.

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Question 31 Do you know what New Jersey exports?
Palladium
For a time, oil was one of the biggest exports from New Jersey, but these days they're making a killing off of palladium. It's one of those rare metals that's used in electronic parts and is extremely valuable. New Jersey's exports are worth over $1 billion.
Denim
Alcohol
Fish

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Question 32 Do you know what's being exported from New Mexico?
Salt
Iron
Computer processors
New Mexico is big in electronics, and computer processors are what they export the most of. Unlike most states, New Mexico has very little in the way of agriculture in its overall exports. They do export a tiny bit of milk, cheese and nuts, however.
Beef

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Question 33 How does New York make most of its export money?
Diamond jewelry
The jewelry industry is massive in New York. Their main export is diamond jewelry to the tune of about $13.3 billion in 2018. There's also $5.6 billion in other jewelry, $1.5 billion in gems that aren't diamonds and then, out of left field, over $8 billion worth of art.
Leather
Gold
Seafood

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Question 34 What's North Carolina's main export?
Shale
Pine
Phones
Aircraft
Another of the massive aircraft industry states, North Carolina's biggest export is civilian aircraft and related parts. The second biggest export in the state is medicine and vaccines.

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Question 35 How well do you know the exports of North Dakota?
Soda
Wheat
Crude oil
North Dakota's chief export comes in the form of crude oil worth about $2.8 billion to the state annually. Their number three export? Front-end loaders, of which they export $255 million worth per year. Nice.
Microchips

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Question 36 Ohio exports which of these the most?
Pork
Sorghum
Aircraft
Civilian aircraft are worth over $5 billion per year to the state of Ohio. A distant second is cars, and that's followed up pretty closely by soybeans. Know what number 22 is? Sanitary products like diapers.
Millet

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Question 37 Which of these tops the list for Oklahoma's exports?
Aircraft
Aircraft is the main export for the state of Oklahoma. That's the chief export for a lot of states, but a little further down the list, you'll find things like cotton as well as pork, both fresh and frozen.
Nickel
Saltpeter
Ethanol

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Question 38 Which of these is the chief export from Oregon?
Zinc
Gold
Limestone
Computer processors
Like a number of other states, Oregon is big in electronics, and computer processors are their main export. They also export a lot of wheat as well as tractors and removable insoles for shoes.

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Question 39 Pittsburgh may be steel town, but what does the whole state of Pennsylvania chiefly export?
Slate
Silver
Wrought iron
Coal
Coal is king in the state of Pennsylvania, and in 2018 it was worth $2.8 billion for the state. In second place, however, is vaccines, which were worth a total of $1.2 billion, so there's definitely a contrast in that state.

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Question 40 Do you know what they're exporting from Rhode Island?
Scrap iron
Scrap iron is the main export for the state of Rhode Island, and it's worth $252 million, so that's a heck of a lot of scrap right there. Nearly all of the top 10 exports from the state are scrap or waste metals and residues of some kind.
Clams
Peat moss
PVC

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Question 41 South Carolina exports which of these things?
Cooking oil
Aircraft
The main export for South Carolina is aircraft. In 2018 it was worth $7.9 billion to the state. If you head down their list of exports to #15, you'll find $235 million worth of chicken cuts and edible offal including liver. Yum!
Nuts
Fish

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Question 42 Do you know what the big export for South Dakota is?
Saffron
Wood pulp
Nutmeg
Brewing waste
South Dakota exports $104 million worth of brewing waste, or at least it did in 2018. Soy products are another big export for the state, along with ethyl alcohol and pork. So basically, there's a party going on in South Dakota.

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Question 43 What's being exported from Tennessee?
Adhesives
Boats
Medical equipment
Tennessee is big in medical equipment, and in 2018 they exported $2.3 billion worth of it, so that's impressive. Down at 25 on their list for exports is an oddly specific car part — steering wheels: $238 million in steering wheels.
Engine parts

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Question 44 Everything is bigger in Texas. But what about their exports?
Propane
Sheetrock
Crude oil
Texas doesn't just export crude oil they export a lot of crude oil. In 2018 they exported over $38 billion worth, plus $28 billion in refined oil. If you thought Texas was cattle country, it may be, but it doesn't even rank in the top 25 of their exports.
Beef

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Question 45 What's Utah's big export?
Helium
Propane
Medicine
Gold
Utah is gold country! They exported $6.1 billion in gold back in 2018. The rest of their exports are pretty diverse and include things like computer memory, food, airbags and aircraft. Lots going on in Utah.

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Question 46 Which export is the big one for the state of Vermont?
Maple syrup
Computer processors
Vermont's big export is computer processors, and they put out over $1 billion of them in the year 2018. If the state does export much maple syrup, it doesn't make enough money to rank in the top 25 for the state.
Chocolate
Soap

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Question 47 Virginia's main export is which one of these?
Figs
Pork
Coal
Virginia's main export in 2018 was coal, and was worth $1.1 billion. Computer memory, soybeans, tractors and aircraft round out the top five exports for the whole state. Somewhere further down the list is antibiotics.
Leather

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Question 48 What's getting exported from Washington state?
Aircraft
The state of Washington makes much of its export money from aircraft. It's not a small amount, either. It's $41.7 billion worth. Their number two export takes a massive drop to $3.7 billion and is corn.
Chicken
Gravel
Tulips

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Question 49 Do you know which of these they export from West Virginia?
Coal
By a wide margin, the biggest export for the state of West Virginia is coal. In 2018 it was worth $4.4 billion in the state. The rest of their exports are a weird range of things, including nickel plates, isoprene rubber, oak wood and artificial joints.
Electronics
Palladium
Gallium

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Question 50 Do you know what Wisconsin's main export is?
Lettuce
Raincoats
Milk
Aircraft
Wisconsin doesn't export cheese as you might think, but it does export aircraft. Much weirder than that is number 11 on their list, which is blood, either human or animal, worth a total of $221 million.

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