10 Largest Industries in the United States

It’s no secret that the United States has the largest thriving economy in the world and holds a high percentage of the global wealth. However, not everyone gives much thought to the leading industries that earn the highest revenue within the United States economy.

Today we’ll be looking at 10 of the largest industries in the United States, ranked by revenue. We’ll also discover what percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) they make up, and go over some interesting facts about each industry’s products.

  1. Information

Revenue: $807.9 billion
GDP Share: 4.6%
Primary Services Provided: Internet, Media, Publishing
Big-Name Company: Google

Information  Source: wikimedia.org

The information industry, as the name would suggest, handles anything involving the compiling and sharing of information with the general public. The digital (and infinitely larger) side of this includes online news and journalism, IT and internet, cybersecurity, and TV broadcasting. Aside from the IT world, the information industry includes print media such as newspapers and print magazines.

Did You Know?

Wi-fi was originally born from a failed experimental attempt to detect a miniature black hole.

  1. Manufacturing of nondurable goods

Revenue: $954.8 billion
GDP Share: 5.5%
Primary Services Provided: Textiles, Fossil Fuels, Agriculture
Big-Name Company: American Eagle Outfitters

Manufacturing of nondurable goods  Source: wikimedia.org

Nondurable goods are meant for immediate use and consumption, such as clothing, beverages, oil, and gasoline. Products like these are also known as “fast-moving consumer goods,” and are generally meant to last a significantly shorter period of time than durable goods such as machinery and appliances.

Did You Know?

Coca-Cola, an excellent example of nondurable goods, is not only highly popular among Americans–it’s become a global symbol of American taste as well.

  1. Retail trade

Revenue: $1,014 billion
GDP Share: 5.8%
Primary Services Provided: Retail Vehicles and Consumable Goods
Big-Name Company: Amazon

Retail trade  Source: wikimedia.org

The retail trade industry has seen a lot of evolution with the rise of the digital age. Online retailers such as Amazon have dramatically cut back on the amount of business that physical retail stores get. However, while many outdated stores are on the decline, more unique retailers have risen to the challenge in order to offer customers a shopping experiences and artisan products that can’t be bought online.

Did You Know?

The retail trade industry has a high business mortality rate, and is known for being very cutthroat and competitive–not only in terms of prices, but in location and customer experience as well.

  1. Wholesale trade

Revenue: $1,037.6 billion
GDP Share: 6.0%
Primary Services Provided: Wholesale Store and Restaurant Inventory
Big-Name Company: Wholesale Central

Wholesale trade  Source: wikimedia.org

While the retail trade industry handles the distribution and sale of goods from businesses to their customers, the wholesale trade industry handles transactions and merchandise trading between businesses. Over half of the products in the United States pass through wholesale firms, so it should come as no surprise that this industry is highly profitable!

Did You Know?

Alongside the transferring of goods from one business to another for resale, the wholesale trade industry also provides businesses with supplies and materials to keep stores running smoothly.

  1. Manufacturing of durable goods

Revenue: $1,037.6 billion
GDP Share: 6.0%
Primary Services Provided: Vehicles, Building Materials, Appliances
Big-Name Company: Whirlpool

Manufacturing of durable goods  Source: wikimedia.org

While non-durable goods are usually consumable items that are meant to be used up quickly, durable goods are most loosely defined as products meant to last a year or longer with regular usage. Many durable goods, such as washing machines, are expected to last a minimum of three years with normal usage–ideally longer.

Did You Know?

Since customers are only expected to buy expensive durable goods every few years on an as-needed basis, the health of the durable goods manufacturing industry is seen as a big economic indicator.

  1. Health care and social assistance

Revenue: $1,244.2 billion
GDP Share: 7.1%
Primary Services Provided: Medical Care, Social Services
Big-Name Company: Anthem

Health care and social assistance  Source: wikimedia.org

The social assistance sector complements the relatively self-explanatory healthcare sector with services such as community housing, daycare, and vocational rehabilitation services. Interestingly, social assistance does not include long-term residential housing, only short-term stays.

Did You Know?

Workers in the healthcare industry are exposed to a wide variety of risks on a daily basis, including biohazardous materials, repetitive stress injuries, toxic chemicals, and radiation. More workers are injured in this industry sector than in any other.

  1. Finance and insurance

Revenue: $1,261.2 billion
GDP Share: 7.2%
Primary Services Provided: Banking, Investment, Insurance
Big-Name Company: John Hancock Life Insurance

Finance and insurance  Source: pixabay.com

Plenty of companies in the United States serve to provide people with financial advice and asset management, while insurance companies lower the related risks. Banking and investment companies help people keep track of their money and save up more effectively, and help businesses in similar areas as well.

Did You Know?

The risk protection offered by insurance companies goes hand-in-hand with the financial industry sector, and is divided into two branches: Property/Casualty and Life/Health.

  1. State and local government

Revenue: $1,538.7 billion
GDP Share: 9.1%
Primary Services Provided: Legal, Intermediary
Big-Name Company: Bureau of Economic Analysis

State and local government  Source: wikimedia.org

The state and local government industry handles all sorts of things that are often taken for granted, such as educational systems and the US Census Bureau. Protective services such as the police force and firefighters are also employed through state and local government systems, alongside road workers and public transportation drivers.

Did You Know?

State and local governments employ over 19 million people, and there are around 90,000 local governments in the United States!

  1. Professional and business services

Revenue: $2,098.3 billion
GDP Share: 12.0%
Primary Services Provided: Legal, Scientific, Technical
Big-Name Company: Mobile Mechanic

Professional and business services  Source: wikimedia.org

The Professional and Business Services industry is a huge component of the United States economy, and accounts for over 80% of American jobs. Service industry jobs can include anything from engineering and computer development to landscaping and car detailing.

Did You Know?

It’s considered a sign of a highly-developed economy for most of its job market and revenue to be rooted in the service industry rather than the production of goods and resources alone.

  1. Real Estate

Revenue: $2,265.7 billion
GDP Share: 13.0%
Primary Services Provided: Acquisition, Conveyancing, Property Sales
Big-Name Company: American Landmark Properties

Real Estate  Source: wikimedia.org

Real Estate is the largest industry in the United States by revenue. In addition to being a highly lucrative industry, it’s also known for offering quick opportunities to get started: it can take as little as six weeks to get a legitimate license and begin working. Put simply, Real Estate is the business of dealing in land and all its permanently attached structures, both natural and man-made.

Did You Know?

The Real Estate industry isn’t limited to planet Earth–you can purchase land on the Moon!

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