The most profitable industry in every state

America's 50 states have unique cultures, landscapes and exports. The top industries in some states export less than $100 million worth of goods annually. In other states, the top export is worth tens of billions of dollars every year. For most Americans, where you live has a lot to do with which U.S. exports dominate your local economy. Here's the biggest exporter by industry, and a look at how these industries are performing in the U.S.

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The most profitable industry in each state
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The most profitable industry in each state

Alabama: Passenger Vehicle Goods

2016 Value: $3.54 billion

Home to the assembly plants of Hyundai, Honda and Mercedes, Alabama is one of the five biggest automotive states in the country.The top three exports in the state are all related to the auto industry, but passenger vehicle goods lead the way with 2016 exports topping $3.5 billion. That's more than 17 percent of all state exports.

See: The Most and Least Expensive States to Own a Car

Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Alaska: Zinc Ores and Concentrates

2016 Value: $846 million

Not only was Alaska named one of the best states to start a business, it has a thriving mining industry. In fact, much of Alaska — including many roads, railways, ports and major cities — was developed to serve the state's mining industry. Zinc is the primary driver of the industry, which accounts for more about 20 percent of all state exports. The price of zinc, which is used in sunscreen, cereal and galvanized steel, witnessed a massive surge in 2016.

Arizona: Civilian Aircraft, Engines and Parts

2016 Value: $2.25 billion

A $400 million increase in aircraft, engines and parts exports recently gave a huge boost to Arizona's $3.47 billion aerospace and defense industry. Civilian aircraft represents the lion's share of those exports. The state is home to more than 1,200 companies that serve the aviation industry.

REUTERS/Jeff Topping (UNITED STATES)

Arkansas: Civilian Aircraft, Engines and Parts

2016 Value: $1.08 billion

Not only does Arkansas have a thriving diamond-mining industry, it's also home to a $1 billion-plus civilian aircraft, engines and parts industry represents a full 19 percent of Arkansas exports.General aviation by itself generates more than $500 million for the Arkansas economy, and commercial airports provide $2 billion. There are around 180 companies in the state dedicated to the aviation and aerospace industries.

(DenisTangneyJr via Getty Images)

California: Civilian Aircraft, Engines and Parts

2016 Value: $7.34 billion

Home to the world-famous, multibillion-dollar corporation Apple and innumerable tech startups, you'd think California's biggest industry would be somehow related to computers or computer programs. But no, the $7.34 billion worth of civilian aircraft, engines and parts that California exported in 2016 represented 4.5 percent of the state's cumulative exports.That might seem like a small percentage, but consider this: The state's aerospace industry is bigger than Hollywood and the agriculture industry combined.

Related: The Most Valuable Public Company in Every State

(NNehring via Getty Images)

Colorado: Electronic Integrated Circuits

2016 Value: $390 million

With $390 million in exports in 2016, electronic integrated circuits barely beat out Colorado's massive beef industry as the state's dominant exporter. The industry represents 5.2 percent of the state's total exports. Israel is one of the biggest importers of circuits made in Colorado.

REUTERS/Steve Marcus (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY)

Connecticut: Civilian Aircraft, Engines and Parts

2016 Value: $5.87 billion

Aerospace has long been a major pillar of Connecticut's manufacturing sector. Today, the export of civilian aircraft, engines and parts is a nearly $5.9 billion industry. Although its value has declined since 2013, the industry still dominates Connecticut, accounting for more than 40 percent of the state's exports.

(Photo by Bob Falcetti/Getty Images)

Delaware: Medicaments

2016 Value: $964 million

Medicaments, which are substances used in several kinds of therapy, are Delaware's biggest export. 2016 was the first year that export value totaled less than $1 billion since at least 2013. The medical treatment industry now represents 21.7 percent of the state's total exports, down from more than 30 percent in 2014.

Did You Know? Healthcare Costs Are America’s No. 1 Financial Burden

(DenisTangneyJr via Getty Images)

Florida: Civilian Aircraft, Engines and Parts

2016 Value: $5.4 billion

Florida's massive aerospace industry includes $5.4 billion worth of civilian aircraft, engines and parts exports. The sector represents 10.4 percent of all exports that leave the state. That number has increased steadily from nearly eight percent in 2013.

Georgia: Civilian Aircraft, Engines and Parts

2016 Value: $5.9 billion

Georgia's $5.9 billion civilian aircraft, engines and parts industry represents a large majority of the state's $8.44 billion total aerospace exports. With more than 500 aerospace companies, the industry dominates the state. Civilian aircraft, engines and parts now represents a full 16.5 percent of the entire state's exports.

(Jens_Lambert_Photography via Getty Images)

Hawaii: Helicopters

2016 Value: $408 million

Although less than half a billion dollars might not seem like a major industry, Hawaii's helicopter export sector is booming. It did exactly zero dollars worth of business in 2013. That number jumped to $94 million in 2014 and then $258 million in 2015. In 2016, it was the state's biggest export, jumping up by more than 58 percent.

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Hawaii: Helicopters

2016 Value: $408 million

Although less than half a billion dollars might not seem like a major industry, Hawaii's helicopter export sector is booming. It did exactly zero dollars worth of business in 2013. That number jumped to $94 million in 2014 and then $258 million in 2015. In 2016, it was the state's biggest export, jumping up by more than 58 percent.

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Hawaii: Helicopters

2016 Value: $408 million

Although less than half a billion dollars might not seem like a major industry, Hawaii's helicopter export sector is booming. It did exactly zero dollars worth of business in 2013. That number jumped to $94 million in 2014 and then $258 million in 2015. In 2016, it was the state's biggest export, jumping up by more than 58 percent.

Idaho: Electronic Integrated Circuits

2016 Value: $800 million

Although Idaho's $800 million electronic integrated circuit export value is the state's leading sector, it's been in decline in recent years. Its 2016 value was comparable to the previous year, but as recently as 2013, the industry was worth nearly $2 billion. Today, it claims a much smaller 16.4 percent share of the state's exports. 

Illinois: Light Oil, Petroleum, Bitumen and Biodiesel

2016 Value: $2.84 billion

Oil is a booming industry in Illinois, a state that is home to roughly 32,100 oil and gas wells. Most oil exploration in the state takes place in the Illinois Basin. In 2016, the industry claimed a 4.7 percent share of exports statewide, barely edging out soybeans.

Indiana: Medicaments

2016 Value: $3.65 billion

Indiana is one of the worst states for your money this year, and it's top industry has suffered, too. Although measured doses of retail medicaments dominate the export landscape of Indiana, numbers droped in 2016. That year was the first time exports fell to less than $4 billion since at least 2013. The sector's share of state exports has fallen every year for four years in a row, and now claims a 10.5 percent share of state exports.

(RudyBalasko via Getty Images)

Iowa: Corn (Maize)

2016 Value: $1.21 billion

Iowa cornfields span 13 million acres of land that produced 140 billion pounds of corn in 2015. Iowa, which grows more corn than most countries, is the nation's leading corn producer. Corn, other than seed corn, represents an even 10 percent of the state's exports.

REUTERS/Adrees Latif (UNITED STATES - Tags: AGRICULTURE BUSINESS COMMODITIES ENVIRONMENT)

Kansas: Civilian Aircraft, Engines and Parts

2016 Value: $1.84 billion

The Kansas aerospace industry boasts an 18 percent share of the state's total exports. Aviation manufacturers Spirit Aerosystems and Cessna Aircraft are the No. 1 and No. 3 employers in the state. The value of aviation exports more than doubled that of the next most valuable sector in 2015 and 2016.

See: The Koch Brothers and Other Rich Entrepreneurs Across the U.S. 

REUTERS/ Dave Kaup DK

Kentucky: Civilian Aircraft, Engines and Parts

2016 Value: $10.8 billion

Kentucky's massive $10.8 billion civilian aircraft, engines and parts industry represents nearly 37 percent of the state's exports. The state is home to 75 industry-related facilities that employ 17,000 people. Aerospace exports in general have grown by 183 percent in the last five years.

(benkrut via Getty Images)

Louisiana: Soybeans

2016 Value: $10.98 billion

Louisiana exported nearly $11 billion worth of soybeans in 2016, grabbing a 22.5 percent share of the entire state's exports. That is up by more than 20 percent over the previous year. Last year, the industry was hit by excessive rain that cost it $276 million.

(Photo by Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Maine: Lobster

2016 Value: $382 million

2016 was a record-setting year for Maine's legendary lobster industry. Fisheries hauled in 130 million pounds of the crustaceans, more than any other year. New dealer networks and marketing strategies helped the industry reach a value of over $533 million, which is also a record.

REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES - Tags: MARITIME FOOD BUSINESS ANIMALS)

Maryland: Pharmacological Diagnostic Lab Services

2016 Value: $400 million

The export of lab services in Maryland was valued at $400 million in 2016. That's a steady, year-over-year increase since 2013, when exports were valued at $295 million. Today, the sector represents 4.3 percent of statewide exports.

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES HEALTH)

Massachusetts: Waste and Scrap Gold

2016 Value: $1.53 billion

A recent gold rush in Massachusetts pushed exports of the precious metal to more than $1.5 billion. That's quite a jump from $23 million in 2013. Since then, the industry has grown dramatically, earning the sector a 5.9 percent share of statewide exports, an increase of 110.8 percent.

REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENVIRONMENT ENERGY)

Michigan: Motor Vehicle and Transportation Goods

2016 Value: $4.7 billion

Although home to one of the worst cities to own investment property, plus sky-high car ownership costs, the auto industry is a thriving business in Michigan. 

The export of transportation goods — like spark plugs, ignition switches and engines — is Michigan's biggest export. The state is so thoroughly dominated by the automotive industry, however, that nine of the next 10 biggest exports are also related to vehicles.The state's largest markets are Canada, Mexico, China, Germany and Japan. 

REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

Minnesota: Medical Needles and Catheters

2016 Value: $809 million

Minnesota is home to hundreds of companies that manufacture a vast array of medical devices. Across the state, roughly 30,000 people work in the industry. That puts Minnesota second to only Michigan in terms of people employed in the medical devices industry.

(KERRY SHERIDAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Mississippi: Petroleum, Oil and Bitumen

2016 Value: $1.93 billion

Despite it being Mississippi's top export, oil value in the state has plummeted from more than $3 billion in 2013 to less than $2 billion in 2016. Experts blame the downturn on the sinking price of global crude oil. The statewide percentage share of exports fell to 18.3 percent in 2016, down from more than a quarter of all exports in 2014.

An ailing economy, however, is just one problem for this state. Mississippi also has high unemployment rates and low wages.

(Brian Lawdermilk/MCT via Getty Images)

Missouri: Motor Vehicle and Transportation Goods

2016 Value: $1.54 billion

The export of motor vehicle and transportation goods from Missouri is a big business that appears to be getting bigger. The industry was responsible for more than $1.5 billion in exports in 2016. That represented 11 percent of all state exports, which is an increase of 33.3 percent over the previous year.

(Photo by Ed Zurga/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Montana: Tobacco Cigarettes

2016 Value: $176 million

Cigarettes are still the world's most popular tobacco product, representing about 90 percent of all global tobacco sales. In Montana, exports have climbed steadily, jumping from $34 million in 2013 to $176 million in 2016. Today, cigarette exports claim a 13.1 percent share of the state's exports. That's a jump of 47.5 percent over the previous year, and nearly twice the value of the next most valuable export.

(PA Wire/PA Images)

Nebraska: Beef

2016 Value: $487 million

According to the Nebraska Beef Council, beef is the largest industry in Nebraska, and "the engine that powers the state’s economy." As the most prominent component of Nebraskan agriculture, beef exports reached $487 million in 2016. That's a 7.7 percent share of all state exports. 

REUTERS/Lane Hickenbottom (UNITED STATES - Tags: ANIMALS FOOD SOCIETY)

Nevada: Unwrought Nonmonetary Gold

2016 Value: $4.59 billion

Nevada's massive nonmonetary gold industry dwarfs all other industries in the state. In 2016, the sector represented 47 percent of all exports in Nevada. When all varieties are included, precious metals represent about half of the state's exports. 

(Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

New Hampshire: Civilian Aircraft, Engines and Parts

2016 Value: $235 million

New Hampshire's $235 million export of civilian aircraft, engines and parts in 2016 represented a massive leap over the prior year's total of $76 million. In 2016, the industry took a 5.7 percent share of the state's exports, an incredible 209.8 percent growth from 2015.

(Photo by Darren McCollester/Newsmakers)

New Jersey: Petroleum Oil and Bitumen

2016 Value: $1.77 billion

Although New Jersey does not produce crude oil, the state is home to three major refineries. Prominent pipeline systems run through the state, including the country's largest, which runs from the Gulf Coast and terminates in the Garden State. The value of the state's oil exports have dropped by nearly $2 billion since 2013.

Don't Miss: 10 States With the Best and Worst Credit Scores

Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

New Mexico: Electronic Processors and Controllers

2016 Value: $868 million

New Mexico exported $868 million worth of electronic processors and controllers in 2016, which represented a decline from the nearly $1.1 billion in exports the industry tallied the previous year. Between 2015 and 2016, the industry's share in the state's exports dropped nearly 20 percent.

REUTERS/Pichi Chuang

New York: Nonindustrial Worked Diamonds

2016 Value: $12.44 billion

More than 90 percent of all diamonds that enter the U.S. move through New York City. New York State, however, is home to a massive industry dedicated to moving diamonds out. The 12.44 billion diamond export business claims a 16.7 percent share of statewide exports.

(William Andrew via Getty Images)

North Carolina: Civilian Aircraft, Engines and Parts

2016 Value: $1.42 billion

The state where the first airplane took flight now boasts the largest manufacturing workforce in the Southeast, much of which consists of people working in the state's sprawling aerospace industry. The export of civilian aircraft, engines and parts brought in more than $1.4 billion in 2016. That's a number that has been growing year over year since at least 2013.

Photographer: Travis Dove/Bloomberg via Getty Images

North Dakota: Crude Oil From Petroleum and Bitumen

2016 Value: $1.82 billion

North Dakota is an oil state, with 43.4 percent of the state's exports going to crude oil from petroleum and bitumen.The second-largest oil-producing state in the nation, North Dakota enjoyed a massive oil bust that is now suffering a downturn. Much of the slump is due to the global decline in oil prices.

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ohio: Civilian Aircraft, Engines and Parts

2016 Value: $4.71 billion

The export of civilian aircraft, engines and parts netted just under $4.71 billion in 2016. That number has remained relatively steady since at least 2013. In total, the sector does more business than any other exporter in the state, accounting for 9.6 percent of the state's exports in 2016.

Oklahoma: Civilian Aircraft, Engines and Parts

2016 Value: $426 million

The state of Oklahoma is home to more than 120,000 people who work in the aerospace and defense industries. The export of civilian aircraft, engines and parts represents 8.5 percent of the state's total exports. The $426 million industry also benefits from an educated workforce, as several colleges and universities in the area offer programs geared toward entry into the industry.

Oregon: Electronic Integrated Processors and Controllers

2016 Value: $6.63 billion

It might be one of the worst states for your paycheck, but Oregon has a thriving electronics manufacturing powerhouse. The state exported more than $6 billion worth of integrated processors and controllers in 2016, which represented a steady, year-over-year increase dating back to at least 2013, when exports were valued at less than $4 billion. In 2016, the industry claimed more than 30 percent of the state's exports.

Pennsylvania: Non-Agglomerated Bituminous Coal

2016 Value: $1.24 billion

Coal that has not gone through the caking process is non-agglomerated, and the export of the energy source is big business in Pennsylvania. More than 36,000 people work in the coal industry in Pennsylvania, with 13,000 of them occupying mining jobs. The $1.24 billion of coal the state exported in 2016 was part of a steady, year-over-year drop dating back to at least 2013.

Photographer: Ty Wright/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rhode Island: Silver Powder

2016 Value: $174 million

Rhode Island's main trade partner is Korea, and the recent removal of a 3 percent tariff over three years keeps the tiny state competitive. This is especially true when it comes to silver powder exports. Silver powder represents 7.7 percent of the state's entire exports, an increase of more than 105 percent over last year.

South Carolina: Civilian Aircraft, Engines and Parts

2016 Value: $5.59 billion

The export of civilian aircraft, engines and parts has witnessed massive, consistent growth in South Carolina in recent years. As recently as 2013, the industry exported barely over $1 billion. Today, it's roaring toward $6 billion, with steady growth every year. The value of exports more than doubled between 2014 and 2015.

See Why: South Carolina Ranks Among the Worst States for Healthcare Costs

Photographer: Travis Dove/Bloomberg via Getty Images

South Dakota: Soybean Oilcake and Solid Residue

2016 Value: $89 million

Soybean oilcake and solid residue is what's left from the process of extracting oil from soybeans, whether it's through pressure or the application of solvents. Also called soybean meal, it's an excellent source of protein that is often incorporated into animal feed. The industry has declined steadily in South Dakota, dropping from $115 million in exports in 2013 to $89 million in 2016.

Photographer: Aaron Packard/Bloomberg

Tennessee: Medical, Surgical, Dental and Veterinary Instruments

2016 Value: $2.39 billion

The export of instruments for medical, surgical, dental and veterinary applications is big business in Tennessee, with exports valued at more than $2 billion since at least 2013. The industry has grown steadily for the past three years. Today, the sector represents 7.6 percent of all state exports.

(Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Texas: Petroleum Oil and Bitumen Mineral

2016 Value: $18.83 billion

The country's biggest oil state, Texas is home to a massive oil industry that contributed $26 million to the state and local governments every single day in 2016. While those numbers are staggering, Texas has suffered a tremendous decline, along with oil producers worldwide, as prices have plummeted across the globe. The state's $18.83 billion in 2016 exports was a little more than half of the $36.42 billion value it held just three years prior.

REUTERS/Ann Saphir/File Photo

Utah: Nonmonetary Unwrought Gold

2016 Value: $4.52 billion

The gold industry in Utah dates back to the first settlements in the latter part of the 1800s. In 1870, the state produced 14,512 ounces of gold. By 1960, that number was up to more than 368,000 ounces. Today, the sale of nonmonetary gold represents a whopping 37.4 percent of the state's exports.

See: Best and Worst States to Retire Rich

Vermont: Electronic Integrated Processors and Controllers

2016 Value: $982 million

In 2014, the electronic processor industry was worth $1.41 billion. After witnessing a decline over the last few years, exports dipped below $1 billion for the first time since at least 2013. Still, the sector claimed a nearly 33 percent share of the entire state's exports in 2016.

Virginia: Soybeans

2016 Value: $701 million

At least 620,000 acres of land is dedicated to growing soybeans in Virginia, the state's most valuable crop.The $701 million industry represents 4.3 percent of the state's total exports. That's an increase of nearly 20 percent over the previous year.

Washington: Civilian Aircraft, Engines and Parts

2016 Value: $46.46 billion

The export of civilian aircraft, engines and parts is Washington state's bread and butter, valued at more than 10 times the next-leading export. Representing a full 58.4 percent of all state exports, the sector is dominated by Boeing, whose Washington factories have manufactured every 737, 747, 757, 767 and 777 ever made. The sector was valued at more than $46 billion in 2016, down from more than $51 billion the year before.

Photographer: David Ryder/Bloomberg via Getty Images

West Virginia: Non-Agglomerated Bituminous Coal

2016 Value: $1.28 billion

West Virginia is, and has always been, coal country. Dwarfing the next-largest export by nearly three times, the state exported $1.28 billion worth in 2016. The industry, however, is in an undeniable decline. In 2013, the state exported more than $4.5 billion worth of coal for a total of more than half of all the state's exports. In 2016, coal represented around one-quarter of state exports.

REUTERS/Jim Urquhart/File Photo

Wisconsin: Civilian Aircraft, Engines and Parts

2016 Value: $574 million

Wisconsin's manufacturing sector is heavily rooted in aviation, with more than 140 companies supplying Boeing alone. Exports of civilian aircraft, engines and parts have more than doubled since 2013. The industry's share of the state's exports is now 2.7 percent, an increase of more than 50 percent over the previous year.

Wyoming: Disodium Carbonate

2016 Value: $759 million

Exports of disodium carbonate, which is essential for glass production, totaled less than $800 million in Wyoming in 2016. That number, however, represents a whopping 68.7 percent of all state exports. In 2015, however, the sector represented 71 percent of everything shipped out of the state. 

Up Next: Bet You Didn't Know These Huge Corporations Own Your Favorite Brands

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