Strange Things US States Import the Most

Posted April 29th, 2015 at 3:47 pm (UTC-4)

FILE – A young man poses with some sweaters in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. (AP Photo)

FILE – A young man poses with some sweaters in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. (AP Photo)

It can get pretty cold in Wisconsin. That’s probably why the state’s number one import is sweaters and pullovers. Washington, D.C.’s biggest import is medicine, which might suggest that living in the nation’s capital is hard on people’s health.

That’s in contrast with the rest of the nation, where the majority of states are dependent upon oil and oil-related products like gasoline. Cars are also in demand.

The U.S. bans the export of crude oil, so all oil produced in the country must also be refined here. These refineries receive crude oil produced in the U.S., Mexico and Canada, as well as smaller quantities from the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. The Northeast states don’t have refineries so gasoline is their largest import, according to to Fixr, a cost and services-related website.

Electronic components are also popular in a few states that have a local electronics industry. Virginia, which imports an abundance of printer parts, is home to many printer manufacturers while North Carolina and Tennessee import laptops.

Fixr developed the map below, which shows each state’s largest import, by dollar value, in 2014.


2 responses to “Strange Things US States Import the Most”

  1. Bill Webb says:

    A corresponding map should show exports to get the true picture.

  2. Jesse Lehman says:

    MN and WI are neighbors, with similar climate and population. So why does WI import over 3x as many sweaters as MN?

    From the Census Bureau:

    “In certain cases, the state of destination may not reflect the final location for which the imported goods are destined. Rather for these shipments, the state of destination, as known at the time the entry documentation is filed, may reflect an intermediary, storage or distribution point. From there, these shipments may later be distributed to another location in another state as the ultimate destination. For example, a consolidated shipment of many automobiles may be shipped by the importing company to a distribution point in one state with the intent of later shipping the automobiles to numerous states for final sale.”

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