Quiz: Can You Name the Biggest Exports of Each American State?: HowStuffWorks
Can You Name the Biggest Exports of Each American State?
By: Ian Fortey
7 Min Quiz
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!
What is the big export out of the state of Alabama?
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.
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Do you know what Alaska is exporting in big numbers?
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.
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Arizona has a major export from what industry?
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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Do you know which of these is the big moneymaker for Arkansas?
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.
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What are they exporting in Wyoming?
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.
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Idaho is known for potatoes, but that's not their biggest export. What is?
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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Everyone wants to go to California. What export keeps leaving the state?
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.
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Which of these is Colorado exporting the most of?
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.
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Can you guess what the big export from Connecticut is?
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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Which export is the big one for Delaware?
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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Florida is known for exporting what?
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.
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Which of these is Georgia exporting?
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.
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Hawaii's biggest export is which of these?
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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Do you now what they export from Illinois?
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.
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Indiana exports which of these items?
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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What does Iowa export more than anything else?
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?
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In Kansas, they export what more than anything else?
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.
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Kentucky's main export isn't chicken. What is it?
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.
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.
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What do you think of when you think of exports from Maine?
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.
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In the state of Maryland, which export is worth over one billion per year?
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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What are they exporting from Massachusetts?
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.
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Do you know what they export from Michigan?
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.
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Which of these is worth over $800 million to Minnesota?
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.
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Mississippi is known for exporting which of these?
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.
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St. Louis barbecue is not Missouri's chief export. What is?
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.
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Montana is making their cash by exporting what?
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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What's the chief export in the great state of Nebraska?
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.
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Nevada may import people to casinos but what do they export?
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.
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Which of these does New Hampshire send out into the world?
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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Do you know what New Jersey exports?
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.
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Do you know what's being exported from New Mexico?
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.
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How does New York make most of its export money?
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.
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What's North Carolina's main export?
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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How well do you know the exports of North Dakota?
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.
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Ohio exports which of these the most?
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.
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Which of these tops the list for Oklahoma's exports?
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.
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Which of these is the chief export from Oregon?
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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Pittsburgh may be steel town, but what does the whole state of Pennsylvania chiefly export?
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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Do you know what they're exporting from Rhode Island?
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.
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South Carolina exports which of these things?
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!
Do you know what the big export for South Dakota is?
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.
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.
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Everything is bigger in Texas. But what about their exports?
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.
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What's Utah's big export?
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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Which export is the big one for the state of Vermont?
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.
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Virginia's main export is which one of these?
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.
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What's getting exported from Washington state?
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.
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Do you know which of these they export from West Virginia?
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.
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Do you know what Wisconsin's main export is?
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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