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Top 10 U.S. States for Manufacturing

Posted by IndustrySelect on Thursday, June 22, 2023

Top U.S. States for Manufacturing

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The U.S. manufacturing sector plays a central role in the economy, accounting for 20% of U.S. capital investment, 60% of the nation’s exports and 70% of business R&D. Overall, the sector’s market size, measured in terms of revenue is worth roughly $6 trillion, making it a major industry to do business with.

Some additional statistics on the power of the U.S. manufacturing market:

  • In 2021, manufacturing contributed $2.3 trillion to U.S. GDP, amounting to 12.0 % of total U.S. GDP. Including direct and indirect value added, manufacturing contributed an estimated 24 % of GDP.
  • The U.S. manufacturing sector is the second largest in the world, behind China, in terms of value added in constant 2015 dollars.
  • The U.S. manufacturing sector has a high reputation among consumers worldwide, ranking 10th among 49 countries in Statistica’s Made-in-Country Index and 8th in the Ipsos National Brands Index.

These statistics show that the U.S. manufacturing industry is a vital and influential force in the domestic and global markets. So which U.S. states are the biggest for manufacturing? This article will explore the nation’s top manufacturing states, measured by number of employees, based on MNI’s database of 400,000 U.S. manufacturing companies.

Top 10 U.S. Manufacturing States

StateNumber of Manufacturing JobsNumber of Manufacturing Companies
California1,385,97423,078
Texas1,088,58217,637
Ohio864,86714,907
Illinois735,08414,660
Michigan711,80712,238
Pennsylvania710,37213,511
New York378,34513,996
Indiana585,7898,188
Wisconsin574,4699,242
North Carolina554,7848,723

 U.S. Manufacturing Industry Databases

About the Top 10 U.S. Manufacturing States

1: California

With 23,078 manufacturers employing 1,385,974 manufacturing workers, California is the nation’s largest manufacturing state. A hotbed for innovation, electronics is California’s largest industrial sector, home to top companies such as Tesla, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and General Atomics. With its educated workforce and abundant capital, California continues to see growth in its electronics sector, while retaining strongholds in food processing and machinery.

According to the National Association of Manufacturers, California accounted for 10.36% of the total output and 7.57% of the workforce in the state’s manufacturing sector in 2020, with an output of $324.43 billion. California also leads the nation in exporting manufactured goods, with $134 billion worth of exports in 2020. 

Reach all of California’s 26,000+ industrial companies and 63,000 + executives with MNI’s California Manufacturing Industry Database.

2. Texas

It comes as no surprise that the Lone Star State holds a top spot in manufacturing. With 17,637 manufacturers employing 1,088,582 workers, Texas is a major state for manufacturing, with strongholds in industrial machinery, fabricated metals, and food processing. The top manufacturing companies in Texas range from defense contractors like Lockheed Martin and L3Harris, to electronics giants such as Apple NXP Semiconductors. Houston ranks as the state’s largest industrial city and also ranks as the top city in the United States for number of manufacturing jobs.

According to export.gov, Texas is the top exporting state in the U.S. for 21 years in a row, with $203.49 billion worth of manufactured goods exports in 2020.

For those looking to do business in Texas, the Texas Manufacturing Industry Database provides detailed profiles of Texas’ 23,000+ industria companies and 59,000+ executives.

3. Ohio

Home to 14,907 manufacturers and 864,867 workers, Ohio is third in the United States for manufacturing. The Buckeye State is strong in industrial machinery, fabricated metals, and transportation equipment. Ohio is also a major exporter. According to export.gov, Ohio is the ninth-largest state exporter of goods in the U.S., with $54.4 billion worth of manufactured goods exports in 2018.

In addition to the big Honda plant in Marysville, Ohio’s top manufacturing employers include GE Aviation Systems and Whirlpool. Access detailed profiles of Ohio’s 15,000+ manufacturing companies with MNI’s Ohio Manufacturing Industry Database.

4. Illinois

The Land of Lincoln is also the land of manufacturing, home to 14,660 manufacturers employing 735,084. Despite the state’s high business costs, Illinois remains a top destination for many companies seeking a skilled workforce and a focus on innovation. Over the past several years, the state has seen some major EV enterprises setting up shop, including Rivian’s growing electric vehicle manufacturing plant in Normal and Canada-based Lion Electric’s massive new EV plant planned for Joliet. Home to some major names in the automotive, food processing, and industrial machinery sectors Illinois’ top manufacturers include Ford, Caterpillar, and Tyson Foods.

Detailed profiles of Illinois’ 23,000+ industrial companies and 55,000+ executives are available with MNI’s Illinois Manufacturing Industry Database.

5. Michigan

Ranking fifth in the nation for manufacturing jobs, the state of Michigan is home to 12,328 manufacturers employing 711,807. Michigan’s top manufacturing companies are representative of the state’s stronghold in the automotive industry, home to the Big Three automakers and a growing number of semiconductor and EV battery suppliers as the shift to electric vehicles accelerates.

Access manufacturers in this powerful state with the Michigan Manufacturing Industry Database.

6. Pennsylvania

Following closely on Michigan's heels, Pennsylvania ranks sixth in the nation for its manufacturing workforce, home to 13,511 companies and 710,372 workers. The state is powerful in industrial machinery manufacturing and food processing, but also ranks high in the pharmaceutical and defense industries. Pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur, Boeing Defense, and Westinghouse Electric are among Pennsylvania’s largest manufacturing companies.

Looking to do business with Pennsylvania manufacturers? Access all of the state’s industrial companies with the Pennsylvania Manufacturing Industry Database.

7. New York

The state of New York ranks as the nation’s seventh-largest state in terms of manufacturing jobs, home to 13,996 manufacturing plants employing 678,345. Over half (56%) are located in the New York City metropolitan area, while Western New York accounts for another 25%. The state is strong in pharmaceutical manufacturing, printing and publishing, and electronics, with New York’s top manufacturing companies including big names such as Pfizer, IBM, Lockheed Martin and L3Harris Technologies.

Make New York your market with the New York Manufacturing Industry Database.

8. Indiana

With its business-friendly climate and solid infrastructure, Indiana is a major manufacturing state. Although the state accounts for the fewest number of manufacturing companies in our top 10 list with 8,188 companies, the state ranks eighth in the nation for jobs, home to 585,789 workers. Hoosier manufacturers export products around the world, with a quarter of the state’s factories distributing their products internationally. Strong in the automotive, industrial machinery, and pharmaceutical industries, Eli Lily & Co., Toyota, and Subaru, are among Indiana’s largest manufacturing companies.

Access 8,400+ Hoosier manufacturers and 25,000+ executives with the Indiana Manufacturing Industry Database.

9. Wisconsin

With 9,242 manufacturers employing 574,469 Wisconsin ranks ninth in the nation for manufacturing employment. With a skilled workforce and strong focus on innovation, the state has drawn some major enterprises to its borders. Over the past year we saw Dawn Equipment, which makes conservation tillage implements, opening a second factory at the former Caterpillar plant in South Milwaukee, while Serta Simmons Bedding announced plans to expand manufacturing in Janesville. The state maintains a stronghold in industrial machinery and food processing, with 18% of its industrial workforce employed in industrial machinery and 13% in food processing.

Make Wisconsin your market with the Wisconsin Manufacturing Industry Database.

10. North Carolina

Rounding out our list of top 10 manufacturing states in the U.S. is North Carolina, with 8,723 manufacturing companies employing 554,784. The state boasts a skilled labor force and abundance of shovel ready sites, and the state’s top manufacturing companies reflect its strength in everything from food processing and pharmaceuticals to the automotive industry. Over the past few years, North Carolina has won some major new enterprises, including EV maker VinFast, which chose North Carolina for its first U.S. automotive facility, FUJIFULM’s new massive $2 billion large-scale cell culture manufacturing plant, and Toyota’s major battery manufacturing facility planned for the Greensboro-Randolph area.

Access detailed profiles of manufacturers in the state with the North Carolina Manufacturing Industry Database.

About This Data

Data for the top ten manufacturing states in the U.S. was collected by MNI, compiler and publisher of industrial data since 1912. MNI’s 80-person research team pinpoints every industrial establishment in the U.S. Each company is contacted multiple times annually to ensure its information remains up-to-date and complete. See a sample profile or explore this infographic on how we collect our data. MNI is the nation’s top source of industrial information, providing comprehensive data for sales, marketing, prospecting, purchasing and sourcing. 

Further Reading: Top 10 Manufacturing Cities in the U.S.

Article Sources: 
https://www.mni.net
https://www.nist.gov/el/applied-economics-office/manufacturing/total-us-manufacturing/manufacturing-economy/total-us
https://www.bea.gov/data/gdp/gdp-industry
https://www.statista.com/statistics/191972/value-added-by-us-manufacturing-as-a-percentage-of-gdp-since-2007

Editor's note: This article is updated with new facts, statistics and rankings annually. 

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