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This Simple Visualization Compares the Economies of Every U.S. State

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This Simple Visualization Compares the Economies of Every U.S. State

This Simple Visualization Compares the Economies of Every U.S. State

Over the previous month, we’ve published simple Voronoi diagrams that visualize the economies of the world as well as $60 trillion of global debt.

This visualization today compares state economies by contribution to America’s GDP of $17.3 trillion (2014), while also grouping the states by geographical regions such as New England, Mideast, Great Lakes, Plains, Rocky Mountains, Far West, Southwest, and Southeast.

Most economic activity is concentrated in three regions: Far West (18.6%), Southeast (21.3%), and Mideast (18.2%). The states in these regions, which cover the majority of the coastline where most big cities are located, comprise nearly 60% of the U.S. total economic output. Compare this with sparsely populated regions such the Rocky Mountains, which contributes only 3.6% of economic output between five large states.

The largest individual state economies include California (13.3%), Texas (9.5%), and New York (8.1%). The smallest economy is held by Vermont (0.2%) with seven others contributing 0.3% of economic output: Maine, Rhode Island, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska.

How has the relationship between state economies changed over time? The publishers at HowMuch.net note:

“All states have increased their economic outputs between 2011 and 2014, but some have grown faster than others. In terms of regional influence, the Southeast economy has shrunk in relation to other regions by just 0.4% over the last four years, while the Southwest economy has grown by 0.8% relative to other regions. Texas increased the size of its economy by almost $300 billion, more than any other state, growing from 8.8% of the US economy in 2011 to 9.5% in 2014. This growth in Texas was fueled by mining and manufacturing. California grew by just under $300 billion, but only increased its share of the total economy by 0.1%.”

Original graphic by: HowMuch.net

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Top U.S. Food Imports by Origin Country

This infographic shows the top exporting countries for U.S. food imports, ranging from exotic fruits to meat, oils, spices, and more.

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Top U.S. food imports from countries

Top U.S. Food Imports by Origin Country

The U.S. is a major producer and exporter of food products, but did you know that it’s also one of the world’s largest food importers?

Due to seasonality and climate, some foods can’t be grown on home soil, at least enough to fulfill consumption demands. Indeed, many familiar grocery items come from other countries.

This infographic from Julie Peasley uses data from the Chatham House Resource Trade Database (CHRTD) to show where the U.S. gets its food from, highlighting the top exporting countries of various imported food items.

The Types of Imported Foods

The U.S. imported around $148 billion worth of agricultural products in 2020, and according to the USDA, this has since risen to $194 billion in 2022.

Around 50% of all U.S. agricultural imports are horticultural products like fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and more. Other large import categories include sugar and tropical products, meat, grains, and oilseeds.

With that context in mind, we break down each category and highlight the five foods with the largest single-origin import value.

Farm Fresh: Fruit and Vegetable Imports

U.S. fruit and vegetable imports have been on a steady rise since 2000. In fact, between 2011 and 2021, fruits and nuts imports made up 44% of domestic consumption, while 35% of vegetables consumed in the U.S. came from outside the country.

Mexico is by far the largest exporter of fruits and vegetables to the United States.

Fruit or VegetableLargest Exporting CountryU.S. Import Value (2020)
Tomatoes🇲🇽 Mexico$2.5B
Avocados🇲🇽 Mexico$2.1B
Peppers🇲🇽 Mexico$1.4B
Bananas🇬🇹 Guatemala$1.0B
Strawberries🇲🇽 Mexico$897M

The U.S. imported $2.5 billion worth of tomatoes from Mexico in 2020, representing 31% of international tomato trade. Avocados, native to central Mexico, were nearly as popular with $2.1 billion worth of imports.

Generally, the largest exporters of fruits and vegetables to the U.S. are North and South American countries, with products often coming from Guatemala, Chile, Peru, Costa Rica, and Brazil.

Beefed Up: Meat Imports

The U.S. is the world’s largest overall consumer of beef (or bovine meat), and the third-largest per capita consumer at nearly 37.9 kg (84 lbs) per person per year.

Therefore, despite being one of the top producers of beef, the country still imports a lot of it.

MeatLargest Exporting CountryU.S. Import Value (2020)
Bovine Cuts🇨🇦 Canada$1.4B
Bovine Cuts, Frozen🇳🇿 New Zealand$839M
Sheep Meat🇦🇺 Australia$643M
Swine Hams, Shoulders, and Cuts🇨🇦 Canada$559M
Bovine Cuts, Bone In🇲🇽 Mexico$449M

Precisely, The U.S. imported $8.7 billion worth of meat in 2020. Canada was the largest source of imported beef, with the U.S. accounting for more than 70% of all Canadian beef exports.

The sources of meat imports are more geographically diverse than fruits and vegetables, with billions of dollars of imports coming from New Zealand and Australia.

Making Waves: Seafood Imports

Despite plenty of coastlines, the U.S. imports 70–85% of all its seafood and accounted for 15% of global seafood imports in 2020 at $21.8 billion.

Frozen shrimp and prawns were the top seafood import, with $1.9 billion worth from India.

Fish and SeafoodLargest Exporting CountryU.S. Import Value (2020)
Shrimp and Prawns, Frozen🇮🇳 India$1.9B
Fish Fillet or Meat🇨🇱 Chile$1.4B
Fish Fillet or Meat, Frozen🇨🇳 China$884M
Lobsters🇨🇦 Canada$764M
Crabs, Frozen🇨🇦 Canada$719M

The largest source of U.S. seafood imports overall with $3.1 billion total was Canada, which leads in lobster, crab, and whole fish imports. It was followed by Chile at $2.1 billion, primarily for parts of fish (fillet or meat, fresh or chilled).

Other Foods: Oils, Grains, Coffee, and More

There are plenty of other types of foods and agricultural products that the U.S. relies on other countries for. Here are the largest single-origin U.S. food imports for the remaining categories:

FoodCategoryLargest Exporting CountryU.S. Import Value (2020)
Canola Oil, RefinedOils🇨🇦 Canada$1.4B
Coffee, Not RoastedStimulants/Spices🇨🇴 Colombia$1.0B
Cashews, ShelledNuts/Seeds/Beans🇻🇳 Vietnam$960M
Raw Sugar, RefinedSweetners🇲🇽 Mexico$723M
RiceCereals🇹🇭 Thailand$713M
CheeseDairy🇮🇹 Italy$310M

Some of the highest and potentially surprising exports? Imports of refined Canadian canola oil totaled $1.4 billion in 2020, while Vietnam exported a whopping $960 million worth of cashews to America.

A Global Plate: The Diversity of U.S. Food Imports

The amount and value of food imported to the U.S. highlights the diversity of consumer preferences and the importance of global food stocks, considering America is one of the world’s leading food producers.

With countries having to rely on others to satisfy demand for limited production supply or exotic foods, the interconnectedness of the global food system is both vital and delicate.

What’s clear is that the U.S. food plate is indeed a global one, with many foods taking remarkable journeys from farm to fork.

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