World’s largest manufacturer

Published June 6, 2009

What country is the world’s largest manufacturer by a huge margin? If you have a kid, you would think it must be China — I don’t know the last time I saw I toy (or anything else, really) that wasn’t made there.


Accounting for more than 20% of the world’s total manufacturing output is the United States.

Japan is a distant second at just over 13%. Then China (12%), and Germany (8.2%). Then, well, everyone else. (Data come from the Dept. of Labor and the United Nations.)



(Click to enlarge, as usual.)


So what do we make? Aircraft (Lockheed Martin, Boeing), missiles, space-related equipment, autos and auto parts, farming equipment (can you say “John Deere”?), gas turbines for power plants (GE), computer chips (Intel), and a heck of a lot more. We don’t make as much consumer goods, but we sure as heck make the things that make those goods possible.

So when you hear someone whining about us not making things anymore, keep reality in mind.

  1. Steven Rumbalski says:

    It would be interesting to see how much of its manufacturing the U.S. consumes at home and how much it sells abroad. My guess is that U.S. manufacturing is propped up by massive domestic appetite.

  2. Andrew says:

    I don’t know if “propped up” is the right term. If we’re buying what we make, what’s the problem? That’s commerce!

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