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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.