Each state has one industry that contributes the most towards its gross domestic product (GDP). While many states in the U.S. are known for their profitable real estate sectors, there are many other smaller industries that can have an effect on the GDP. These include industries like insurance, farming and oil extraction.
As real estate is often the largest industry in each state, this list explores the biggest industry in each state excluding the real estate category. Here are the largest industries in states across the country.
Alabama: Ambulatory Services
Real estate is considered the largest industry in most states but after this sector, ambulatory services is the next largest industry. This sector is the largest contributor to the GDP of Alabama. With a total GDP contribution of $8.3 billion, this represents 5-percent of the state’s GDP.
The ambulatory services industry consists of dentists, physicians, and outpatient care. Since older people have a greater need for ambulatory services, states like Alabama that have a larger senior population also have more ambulatory service providers. 16 percent of the population in Alabama is above 65 years.
Alaska: Oil And Gas Extraction
Alaska has one of the biggest oil reserves in the U.S., making this the largest industry in the state. The total contribution of this sector to the GDP is $7.4 billion which is 15.9-percent of the total. However, the state’s dependence on its oil reserves is not always beneficial, especially during the collapse of the oil price in 2014.
This greatly affected the state’s economy. The extraction of gas dropped by 31-percent which led to a fall in the GDP by 8-percent. Nearly 3,777 people are employed in the oil and gas industry in Alaska.
California: Computer And Electronic Manufacturing
Real estate is the largest industry in California, but the second largest sector in the state is computer and electronic manufacturing. This industry involves the production of manufacturing equipment, semiconductors, and navigational equipment. Production has increased by 50 percent over the last 10 years.
This manufacturing industry contributes to 4.3-percent of the GDP, or $99 billion. The average salary for workers in the industry is $160,915 and there are 272,360 people employed in this sector. The GDP of this state makes California the fifth largest economy in the world.
Colorado: Oil And Gas Extraction
Colorado is home to 4-percent of the total oil reserves in the U.S. and this contributes to 4-percent of the state’s GDP. However, when the price of oil dropped in 2014 it affected oil extraction and the GDP of the state. This sector contributes nearly $11.4 billion, or 3.9-percent of the total GDP.
This number is a 10 percent reduction from previous years. However, despite the decrease in the price of oil, the GDP of Colorado increased by 1.4-percent. The total number of people employed in this sector is 8,928, with an average salary of $166,397.
Connecticut: Insurance Carriers
The largest industry in the state of Connecticut is insurance. However, the economic output of this sector has been in decline in the last few years. Despite this, insurance carriers continue to remain the dominant industry in the state. The total GDP contribution of this sector is $16.8 billion, or 7.4-percent of the total.
Companies like Aetna and Cigna which are some of the top insurance carriers in the country are headquartered in Connecticut. It earned this state the name “insurance capital of the world.” The total number of people employed in this sector is 56,813, with an average salary of $127,679.
Georgia: Broadcasting And Telecommunication
The largest industry in the state of Georgia is telecommunication and broadcasting. This excludes the internet but includes TV shows which have earned the state a lot of revenue due to the tax incentives that the state makers passed in 2007. The industry grew from $9.3 million to $2.7 billion over the last few years.
This industry has a total GDP contribution of $30.5 billion or 6.5 percent of the total. The number of people employed in this sector is 57,493 with an average salary of $94,357. Georgia is now one of the most popular locations for filming TV shows and movies.
Hawaii’s largest industry is the accommodation sector, which comes as no surprise because it is one of the most visited states in the U.S. They have more than 9.4 million visitors each year and have consecutively ranked number one for tourism. The accommodation sector includes hotels, houses, and camps.
The economic output of this sector has increased by 12. 8-percent over the last few years. The total contribution to the GDP by this industry is $3.9 billion or 5.3 percent. There are nearly 40,225 people working in the accommodation sector with an average salary of $48,129.
Farming is the largest economic sector in the state of Idaho and has a GDP contribution of $3 billion, or 4.8-percent, each year. Idaho is known for its production of potatoes along with other fruits and vegetables and grows one-third of the potatoes in the U.S. In addition to this, the state also grows barley, wheat, and sugar beet.
It is also the largest producer of cheese and has a large cattle operation. Most of the state’s produce is exported to places in Asia, Canada, and Mexico. The total number of people employed in this sector is 18,986, with an average salary of $33,599.
Indiana: Chemical Manufacturing
Chemical manufacturing is one of the largest industries in Indiana, with a total GDP contribution of $19.8 billion or 6.5-percent. The state is the home of chemical manufacturing in the U.S. and large companies in this sector are headquartered in the state. This includes the production of pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, and cleaning produces.
Companies like Calumet and Eli Lily are headquartered in Indiana. However, there has been a 4.5-percent decline in the production of chemicals in recent years which has affected the economic output of Indiana. There are currently 30,239 people employed in this sector, with an average salary of $110,182.
Like Idaho, which is the largest producer of potatoes in the U.S., the state of Kansas is also known for its farming industry. It is the largest sector in the state after real estate and has a total GDP contribution of $4.8 billion, or 3.5-percent of the total.
Kansas is the largest producer of wheat and grains in the U.S. The state is also the largest exporter of beef and veal after Texas and Nebraska. The total number of people employed in this sector is 10,978, with an average salary of $38,857.
Louisiana: Petroleum And Coal Manufacturing
Real estate is the largest industry in the state of Louisiana but the second-largest sector is petroleum and coal manufacturing. It has contributed $15.7 billion towards the state’s GDP, or 7.5-percent. There are approximately 18 oil refineries in the U.S. that produce 3.3 million barrels of crude oil each day.
This oil is exported to other countries by Louisiana Offshore Oil Port. This is the largest entry point for exporting crude oil. The total number of people employed in the petroleum and coal manufacturing industry is 11,787, with an average salary of $123,292.
Maine: Hospital, Nursing, And Residential Care Facilities
The largest sector in the state of Maine is the hospital industry. This includes nursing homes and residential care facilities. These account for $3.2 billion, or 6.2-percent, of the total GDP.
One of the reasons for the size of this industry can be attributed to a large number of elderly people that live in the state. The median age in Maine is 44.5 which is the highest in the country, and in addition to this, 19.3-percent of the state is above 65 years old. The total number of people employed by the hospital industry is 56,069, with an average salary of $46,605.
Nevada is one of the most visited states in the U.S., making tourism an important part of their economy. In the past year alone, 42.2 million people visited Nevada. This accommodation sector includes hotels, RV camps, and hostels. Tourism has a total contribution of $13.6 billion, or 10.5-percent, towards the state’s GDP.
This accounts for a 10th of the state’s GDP while tourism only accounts for 0.8-percent of the country’s GDP. The total amount of travel-related spending in the state was $65.8 billion. There are a total of 192,296 people employed by the tourism sector in Nevada, with an average salary of $38,865.
New Jersey: Ambulatory Health Care Services
New Jersey has a diverse economy but the greatest contributor to the state’s GDP is ambulatory healthcare services (in addition to real estate). This includes physicians and diagnostic labs. It has resulted in an economic output of $21.1 billion.
This industry has grown by 15-percent over the last few years which has increased the state’s GDP by 5.5-percent. The total number of people employed in the industry is 226,697 with an average salary of $60,049.
New York: Monetary Authorities
New York’s largest industry is its banking sector. The state is home to many large banks like JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley. This sector has generated an economic output of $76.5 billion. This value is higher than the economies of states like Hawaii and Delaware.
New York has a GDP that is over $1 trillion and is home to various industries although banking only accounts for 6-percent of the GDP. The total number of people employed in this industry is 163,004, with an average salary of $139,249.
North Carolina- Chemical Manufacturing
Although there has been a decline in the chemical manufacturing industry in North Carolina, it continues to remain the dominant industry in the state. The total output of this industry fell by 7.4-percent in the last year and by 22.6-percent in the last five years. Still, after real estate, it is the largest sector in the state.
The chemical manufacturing sector has a total GDP contribution of $22.4 billion, or 5-percent. A large number of major chemical, plastic, and manufacturing companies are headquartered in North Carolina.
Oklahoma: Oil And Gas Extraction
Oklahoma’s biggest industry is oil and gas extraction, and the economy of the state depends on its oil reserves for growth. This industry generates $23.4 billion, or 14-percent of the GDP each year. This is the second-largest sector in the U.S. apart from real estate, making up a total of 6-percent of the national GDP.
There has been an upward trend in oil extraction in Oklahoma in recent years as the number of reserves has doubled between 2007 and 2016. The total number of people employed in the oil extraction industry is 20,919, with an average salary of $125,702.
Oregon: Computer And Electronic ProductMmanufacturing
While real estate is the largest industry in most states, Oregon’s largest sector is its computer and electronic manufacturing. This is a major contributor to the state’s economic output, with a total GDP contribution of $33.2 billion or 16-percent of the total GDP.
In the United States, computer manufacturing only makes up 1.9-percent of the total GDP. Companies like IBM, Intel, and Xerox are headquartered in Oregon, along with numerous other wireless technology businesses. The total number of people employed in the computer manufacturing sector in the state is 38,079, with an average salary of $13,658.
South Dakota: Monetary Authorities
The largest industry in South Dakota is monetary authorities, after the real estate sector. The total economic output is $3.9 billion, or 9.4-percent of the state’s GDP while it only makes up 2.1-percent of the national GDP. One reason for the many large banks in the state was the recession in the 1980s.
In response to this, lawmakers removed regulatory caps and lowered interest rates for financial institutions. Banks like Citibank and Wells Fargo have offices in South Dakota and have increased the state’s employment rates. The total number of workers in this industry is 16,600 people, with an average salary of $56,682.
Texas: Oil And Gas Extraction
One-third of all the oil reserves in the U.S. are located in Texas, making it the largest industry in this state. It is also home to 25 of the largest oil reserves in the entire country. The extraction of oil and gas generated an economic output of $137.2 billion, or 9.3-percent of the total GDP. This number is larger than the entire GDP of states like Vermont, Wyoming, and Montana.
Texas is dependent on its oil reserves and struggled when the price of oil fell in 2014, which resulted in a decline of 15.7-percent in the economy. The total number of people employed in this industry is 93,333 with an average salary of $184,952.