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Across the world, the chemical industry is incredibly important and is one of the largest industries we have. When we really begin to focus on each country’s contribution to the industry, it becomes very easy to point out the big players.

The US chemical industry, in particular, is a significant part of the global industry for chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Here are some of the top facts about the industry.

Largest producer in the world

The US chemical industry is the largest national producer of chemical products globally. Including the pharmaceutical sector, its chemical output was more than 812 billion US dollars in 2018 [1].

Leading companies in the country

Dow is the largest US chemical company with a revenue of over 40 billion dollars [1]. Other leading companies in the US chemical industry include BASF, LyondellBasell and DuPoint.

Several of the leading US chemical companies have also taken the top spots among the biggest global chemical companies, based on the size of their revenue. For example, Dow was not only the leading chemical company in the US but, due to revenue, also second largest in the world [2]. This reflects how prominent the chemical industry is in the US.

Exporting chemicals across the world

In addition to being home to some of the largest chemical companies in the world, the US is also noted as the world’s largest exporter of chemical goods, with the exception of Germany. [1]

In 2001, chemical exports from the US were worth around 76.8 billion US dollars. By 2018, exports were worth nearly 195 million US dollars. [3]

The US exports to countries across the world, however most of these exports are to Canada, Mexico and China. [1]

An important employer

As expected, the US chemical industry is an extremely important employer. A staggering 540,000 people are employed in the chemical and pharmaceutical sector in the US. However, this number has decreased significantly from the 1990s where around a million employees were reported. [1]

Supporting research and development

In 2018, the US chemical industry spent almost ten billion US dollars on research and development for the industry, doubling from the last decade. This investment makes the US a global leader in developing new chemical and pharmaceutical entities. [1]

[2] https://www.statista.com/statistics/272704/top-10-chemical-companies-worldwide-based-on-revenue/
[3] https://www.statista.com/statistics/258901/chemical-exports-of-us/