Top lobbying industries in the U.S. 2018

In 2018, the pharmaceuticals and health products industry in the United States spent the most on lobbying efforts, totaling to about 281.5 million U.S. dollars. In the same year, the automotive industry spent about 68.07 million U.S. dollars on lobbying.

What is lobbying?

Put quite simply, lobbying is when a company or organization tries to influence government leaders to create legislation that will benefit the lobbyist in some way. Lobbying can also be done in business in an attempt to create beneficial circumstances for the lobbyist. Oftentimes, lawyers and former government officials are hired as lobbyists as they know how government works and already have connections within the government. Lobbying has become controversial in the United States, because large corporations tend to lobby in favor of their business rather than the needs of the public.

The NRA and lobbying

One of the most famous lobbying organizations in the United States is the National Rifle Association (NRA), which lobbies lawmakers in favor of gun rights. However, despite this, it only spent around two million U.S. dollars on lobbying expenditures in 2018.

Top lobbying industries in the United States in 2018, by total lobbying spending

Spending in million U.S. dollars
Pharmaceuticals/Health Products 281.47
Insurance 157.8
Electronics Mfg & Equip 146.34
Business Associations 141.93
Oil & Gas 124.84
Electric Utilities 122.11
Real Estate 117.47
Hospitals/Nursing Homes 100.96
Securities & Investment 98.93
Misc Manufacturing & Distributing 96.08
Telecom Services 93.01
Air Transport 91.61
Health Professionals 91.22
Health Services/HMOs 80.02
Education 78.71
Internet 77.72
Civil Servants/Public Officials 76.13
Commercial Banks 68.18
Automotive 68.07
Defense Aerospace 65.21
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Release date

March 2019


United States

Survey time period


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