Variance in Industry by US State

State Similarity Index - Infrastructure Category - Industry

The State Similarity Index attempts to quantify how similar US states are to each other. The index is a statistically-based way to measure this. 20% of the index is based on infrastructure. 10% of a state’s technology score (2% of the overall State Similarity Index score) is based on the state’s industry, including both mining and manufacturing. The following statistics were included in the calculation:

Manufacturing Revenue

The states that get the most money per capita from manufacturing are located in the Midwest. These states tend to have highly skilled workforces and are also centrally located between several major US markets. Indiana is the most prominent. The state has several factories including automotive manufacturers Subaru, Toyota, and General Motors, pharmaceutical giants such as Eli Lilly and Roche Diagnostics, and steel producers like Steel Dynamics and Nucor Corporation. In contrast, there is very little manufacturing done in remote states, like Hawaii and Alaska.

National Association of Manufacturers

States were categorized by manufacturing revenue in USD per capita:
1,100-2,900, 2,900-4,700, 4,700-6,500, 6,500-9,250, 9,250-12,000, 12,000-14,750

Manufacturing Type

The types of products that are manufactured can vary greatly from state to state. For instance, many computer hardware and electronic devices are manufactured in California and Oregon, a region renowned for its dominance in the technology sector. Meanwhile, Michigan has a long-established automotive manufacturing industry. Since two of Boeing’s three factories are located in Washington, the aerospace industry is particularly important in the state. Furthermore, Louisiana houses a significant number of oil refineries. It has access to oil production in the Gulf of Mexico and major shipping channels, making it an attractive location for the petroleum industry. New Jersey is a leading producer of specialty chemicals for products such as pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, paints, and adhesives.

National Association of Manufacturers

Major types of manufacturing production:
Aerospace, Chemical, Computer, Miscellaneous, Electrical, Fabricated Metal, Food, Machinery, Primary Metal, Motor vehicles, Nonmetallic mineral, Paper, Petroleum, Wood

Fossil Fuel Production

Some states produce far more fossil fuels per capita than others. Wyoming and North Dakota are two sparsely populated states that extract a lot of fuel. Wyoming possesses vast coal reserves, while North Dakota is rich in shale oil and natural gas reserves. However, many states do not produce a significant amount of fossil fuels. Typically these states are located along the Atlantic Coast or around the Great Lakes.

U.S. Energy Information Administration

States were categorized by fossil fuel energy production per capita:
None, 0-.00025, .00025-.0005, .0005-.001, .001-.003, .003-.01

Fossil Fuel Type

Certain regions within the United States possess an abundance of specific types of fossil fuels due to geological variations. For instance, the Appalachian region, which spans across states like Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Kentucky, is renowned for its vast coal reserves. The formation of these coal deposits can be traced back to ancient swamps and forests that thrived in the area millions of years ago. In contrast, the Gulf Coast region, encompassing states such as Texas and Louisiana, is known for its significant oil and natural gas reserves. These reserves stem from the accumulation of organic matter in ancient marine environments.

U.S. Energy Information Administration

Major types of fossil fuels extracted:
Coal, Natural Gas, Oil


States in the western part of the country tend to have more mines. Colorado and Nevada are two states with many mines. Precious metals, like gold and silver, are often found in mountainous regions due to geological processes such as tectonic activity and erosion. However, another extremely mountainous state, Hawaii has few mines. Volcanic rocks are generally not rich in economically valuable mineral deposits like precious metals or industrial minerals.

The Diggings

States were categorized by number of mining plants per 100,000 residents:
0-3.125, 3.125-6.25, 6.25-12.5, 12.5-25, 25-50, 50-100

Mine Type

Each region has unique geological characteristics that influence which minerals are present. The western portion, including states like California, Nevada, Arizona, and Colorado, is known for its rich deposits of precious metals such as gold, silver, and copper. When these valuable minerals were first discovered, it led to a surge migration to these states. In contrast, the eastern portion of the United States has many iron ore deposits (especially around the Great Lakes) and aluminium deposits (mostly in the Southern region).

The Diggings

Major types of minerals mined:
Aluminum, Antimony, Asbestos, Barium, Cadmium, Chromium, Copper, Gold, Iron, Lead, Lithium, Magnesite, Manganese, Molybdenum, Phosphorus, Rare Earth Elements, Silica, Silver, Sulphur, Titanium, Tungsten, Uranium, Zinc, Zirconium

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