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

Ranking The Highest-Grossing Industry In Every US State

Trista February 13, 2020
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.


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