Home Economics Ranking The Highest-Grossing Industry In Every US State

Ranking The Highest-Grossing Industry In Every US State

Trista February 13, 2020
Computers and electronics manufacturing is the largest industry in Oregon. Pixabay.


Oregon follows a lot of other neighboring states when it comes to its largest industry – computers, and electronics manufacturing. Of course, this probably comes as no surprise to many people as it’s one of the most rapidly growing industries in the country.

Some people are surprised that Oregon follows its neighbor, the state of Washington, who has Amazon and Microsoft, depends just as much on the computer and electronics industry. This is because, while the companies are not as well-known, Oregon has its own electronics giants in the business.

Oregon tends to focus heavily on the economic output of the computer and electronics industry. In 2015, the GDP output reached a little over 17% and contributed $34.2 billion. The state employs over 37,000 people to work in the industry.

Florida is best known for Disney World in Orlando and the famous city of Miami. Pixabay.


It is probably no surprise to you that the largest industry in Florida is ambulatory health care services. Florida is known as a state where people go to retire.

It is common knowledge that the older you get, the more you need to see your doctor. Furthermore, it is not just a physician in the hospital that I am talking about. You also need to see the eye doctor, dentist, and so many other doctors more often to ensure that you are healthy, take care of any health problems, and continue to live your best life for as long as possible.

Because of the large elderly population, Florida contributes $39.3 billion to the GDP, and this has grown over the past several years. The state also employs over 908,000 people in the healthcare industry, as nearly 20% of Florida’s residents are 65 years and older.

The small state of Rhode Island heavily depends on hospitals, nursing, and residential facilities. Pixabay.

Rhode Island

The largest industry in Rhode Island is hospitals, nursing, and residential facilities.

With a state that is so small, the economy is smaller in comparison to other states. Therefore, when you note that the hospitals, nursing, and residential facilities only contribute about $2.7 billion to the state’s GDP, you shouldn’t be too surprised. This industry hasn’t always been the state’s largest. In fact, the real estate industry is close behind, and many people feel it might one day surprise the current largest industry.

The state depends on its hospitals, nursing, and residential facilities as it brings the economic output to over 5%. The state employs nearly 125,000 people in its various hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and other residential facilities. For such a small state, this employment number is a surprising factor.

Oil and gas extraction is the largest industry in Oklahoma. Pixabay.


This state’s largest industry, which is oil and gas extraction. For a state that only employs a little under 24,000 people to work in their largest industry, the amount of money oil and gas extraction brought in during 2015 reached $28 billion. While the workforce seems a bit small, this type of industry doesn’t need many hands on deck.

It is vital for the state always to safeguard its employees in this industry are cared for because the state depends on the sector incredibly. In 2015, the economic output reached 15.6%, which is one of the highest percentages of any state on this list. Even though gas prices declined, though they are also slowly on the rise, Oklahoma is in the top five states in the United States when it comes to its largest industry. The state produces so much oil that they are higher than many other states on this list – even if they are in the same industry.

A winter mill in Wisconsin. Pixabay.


Wisconsin makes its claim to fame through insurance. Back in 2015, the insurance industry made Wisconsin about $14 billion. With so much income, you would think that the sector is full of workers, but this is not the case: only 62,000 workers are employed in insurance positions. What may surprise you is that their second-leading industry is real estate. Like Michigan, the implementation of the Affordable Care Act has dramatically increased the revenue of their top money-making sector, in this case, insurance and not health care. Insurance coverage has risen significantly across the state, which has helped its economy boom within the last few years or so.

The insurance industry not only creates revenue through premiums and settlement claims but also by employing licensed professionals, paying taxes, and owning municipal bonds. Let’s look at some comparative numbers: in 2017, the insurance industry claimed to hire 82,000 workers as compared to 62,000 in 2015. Insurance companies were also responsible for $6.3 million in compensation back in 2017. Go back one more year to 2016, where Wisconsin asserted that the insurance sector generated $18.1 billion for the GSP or gross state product.

The famous Mississippi River as the sun goes down. Pixabay.


Like so many other states on this list, ambulatory health care is the state’s largest industry. Part of this is because it’s one of the biggest in nearly every state. Even for the states that have a different sector as its winning bid, ambulatory health care services are still high on the list.

One reason why this service is so abundant in Mississippi is that every sixth resident is on disability services. They receive assistance from the state in many ways, such as financial and outpatient rehabilitation. It is no secret that this is one of the highest shares of any state, but when you receive the care that Mississippi gives their residents, along with their a bit more relaxed guidelines, this doesn’t surprise you. While some people will see this as a note for Mississippi to stiffen their guidelines, the state sees it as one of the best ways to boost their economy.

Currently, the ambulatory health care system brings in about $4 million and employs over 94,000 people. When you look at the percentage of GDP output, Mississippi sits at 4.2%. These numbers continue to increase and do not show any signs of going down in the next few years. In fact, the state does whatever it can to give its best care to the residents.

Disability services bring a lot of money to the state of South Carolina. Pixabay.

South Carolina

Ambulatory health care service is the largest industry for the state of South Carolina. Like other states who depend on this healthcare, South Carolina saw extensive growth over the last several years. Part of this is because of the increase with the disability services the state offers to thousands of its residents. The other part focuses on the aging population, with baby boomers increasing health care services needs across the state.

With a 7.5% expanded growth during 2015 alone, the contribution of the ambulatory health care services industry brought in $7.1 billion. The output reached 4% with employment in the industry, reaching over 167,000 people. Today, these numbers continue to grow as the ambulatory health care services industry continues to prove that it is number one in the state.

The total share of the 65 and up the population in the United States is a little over 14%. For South Carolina, the total population that is 65 and older is over 17%. With baby boomers reaching this age, the industry does not look like it will start to decline any time soon. In fact, the state is doing everything they can to make sure there are enough employees for everyone’s medical needs.

A lake scene in New Hampshire. Pixabay.

New Hampshire

Insurance is the biggest for the state of New Hampshire. At the same time, this industry is a bit different for New Hampshire than most other states. For one, it brings in a smaller amount of economic growth and security in comparison to many other states. While part of this is the state’s economic size, the other part is that the industry is merely growing at a slower rate.

In 2015, the insurance business contributed $3.6 billion, with the GDP output at 5.3%. With the percentage so high, it is proof that the state depends on its insurance industry to contribute heavily to the state’s economy. While the number of employees is only a little over 14,000, they receive one of the best salaries in the country. While most states pay an average of $81,000, New Hampshire pays closer to $87,000 a year.

Bank vaults are a famous sight in South Dakota as they are part of the largest industry. Pixabay.

South Dakota

Federal Reserve banks and credit services are the most significant industry in South Dakota because of the banking giant the state has. Not only does South Dakota lay claim to Capital One headquarters, but other offices have recently moved to this state, such as Wells Fargo and Citibank. Because of this, the 2015 contribution from the industry reached $4.1 billion. While this isn’t as large as other Federal Reserve banks and credit services industry states, for the size of South Dakota, it is impressive.

Another impressive number is that the Federal Reserve banks and credit services GDP output for 2015 reached nearly 10%, which proves that the state is heavily dependent on this industry. However, for so many large corporations, the number of employees in this industry is only a little under 17,000 people. But, as the Federal Reserve banks and credit services sector continues to grow, many believe that the number of employees will as well.

West Virginia landscape. Pixabay.

West Virginia

West Virginia’s claim to fame is mining, except for oil and gas. This particular industry is quite small compared to what we have seen before: West Virginia’s mining operations gross around $5 billion every year and only employs 17,000 individuals. While this may not seem like much, this single industry accounts for almost 8% of all GDP output. This means that 8% of the money the State makes in a year comes from mining alone.

Being the world’s fourth-largest energy-producing State, it is no wonder that mining produces so much wealth. One of the most significant natural resources that West Virginia extracts from the Earth is coal. You will not find a more massive coal producer east of the Mississippi River. It is not all good news for West Virginia’s economy; energy prices have fallen over the past few years, which has negatively impacted the growth and wealth of this industry.

In 2011, mining (except for oil and gas) produced a GDP of $8 billion; this is almost a 40% decrease in just four years. Coal production took a massive hit from 2008 to 2016, shifting from 166 million tons produced to a mere 85 million tons. Due to this, the State saw mine closures from border to border.

Port Arthur in Texas. Pixabay.


While most people see Texas as the “cowboy” state, many other people see Texas as one of the largest oil and gas extraction states in the United States. In 2015, the industry contributed $160.4 billion, which is one of the most substantial contributions on this list for any type of industry. With such a high input, the output GDP reached 10.7%, which shows a strong dependence on the oil and gas extraction distribution.

Unlike a few other states, the oil and gas extraction industry in Texas employs thousands of people. In fact, they nearly have 100,000 employees. Most people believe that the state will soon go over 100,000 employees because there is incredible demand in the field, even with the decline and slow increase in gas prices. This belief comes because Texas beat the last large slump of gas prices near the end of 2014. In 2015, the industry grew over 13% and added jobs instead of taking them away.

One of the main reasons the industry continues to climb in Texas, even when it is declining in other states, is because this state is the most abundant petroleum and natural gas-producing state in terms of GDP. Because of the tremendous need, Texas continues to stand on top and contribute over $150 billion annually.


“Interesting Stats About Ambulatory Health Care Services In Alabama.” Safegraph.

“Welcome to AAASC.” AAASC: Alabama Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers.

“Largest Industry in Each State.” Samuel Stebbins and Michael B. Sauter, Yahoo! Finance. August 2017.

“50 States Facts and Trivia.” 50 States.