By the Numbers: The Top 10 World Leaders in Manufacturing

Manufacturing is a global industry, but it remains fragmented by country. If you’re buying a car, chances are it was made in either the United States or Japan. In the market for PCBs? South Korea has a virtual monopoly on their production. Buying luxury cookware? It’s probably imported from France. Each country produces relatively distinct goods that make up the broader global manufacturing industry.

Here’s a look at the top ten producing countries in the world and what they contribute to the world’s manufacturing economy.

  1. China. When it comes to manufacturing output, China stands on top. The country accounts for up 28% of global manufacturing output, adding a total value of around $4 trillion to the world economy. The main exports of China include consumer goods such as textiles, garments, and electronics.
  2. United States. The U.S. takes second place with a manufacturing output valued at roughly $1.8 trillion. The country accounts for approximately 18% of global manufacturing. The U.S. is well-known for production of automobiles, chemical products, food products, military equipment, and aircraft.
  3. Japan. Japan comes in third, and provides approximately 10% of the world’s total manufacturing output. Together with China and the United States, the top three countries make up roughly 48% of total global manufacturing output. Popular Japanese manufactured exports include vehicles, computer parts, and chemicals.
  4. Germany. Germany’s manufacturing industry produces a value of roughly $700 billion and accounts for approximately 7% of global manufacturing. Well known for its motor vehicle exports, Germany also produces plenty of electrical machinery and manufactured metals.
  5. South Korea. South Korea accounts for about 4% of global manufacturing with an output value around $372 billion. Manufacturing constitutes approximately 29% of the county’s national output. Major exports from South Korea include electronic products, transport equipment, and machinery.
  6. India. India comes in just below South Korea, accounting for approximately 3% of global manufacturing output. The country produces an output value of roughly $298 billion. India is especially known for its agricultural product exports. Other major exports include textiles, engineering goods, leather products, and chemicals.
  7. Italy. Like India, Italy accounts for about 3% of total global manufacturing output. The output value of Italy’s manufacturing industry amounts to approximately $264 billion, and the county’s major exports include clothing, wine, machinery, transport equipment, and chemicals.
  8. France. France contributes roughly $274 billion in manufacturing output to the global economy — enough to account for 3% of total global manufacturing output. Its main exports include machinery, transport equipment, and agricultural products.
  9. United Kingdom. The United Kingdom accounts for about 2% of global manufacturing. The country contributes a total manufacturing output value of $244 billion, and major exports from the United Kingdom include chemicals, food, and manufactured goods.
  10. Mexico. Rounding out the top ten is Mexico, which accounts for around 2% of global manufacturing output, producing a value of $175 billion. Popular Mexican exports include mineral fuels and lubricants, food, machinery, and transport equipment.

These ten countries make up almost 100% of the total global manufacturing economy and are responsible for producing the world’s most in-demand goods. Industrialized nations consistently jockey for place, and this list may change in a big way over the next decade or two as countries like Vietnam, Malaysia, and Russia — along with more than a few African countries — kickstart their own producer economies.

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