U.S. Chemical industry - Statistics & Facts

The chemical industry is one of the largest and most important industries worldwide. The United States is one of the largest national producers of chemical products globally. Including the pharmaceutical sector, its chemical shipments value was more than 797 billion U.S. dollars in 2019. The value added by U.S. chemistry in 2018 amounted to over 378 billion U.S. dollars.

Chemical companies from the United States are among the industry’s leading global players. With a revenue of 42.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, Dow is the largest U.S. chemical company, and the world’s second largest behind German chemical company BASF. Other leading U.S. chemical companies are LyondellBasell, and DuPont.

In 2016, several of the leading global chemical companies announced mergers, effectively changing the dynamics of the global chemical industry. One of the most famous mergers that happened at that time was the Dow Chemical and DuPont merger, which was cleared by European regulators in March 2017. Following the finalization of the merger in September 2017, the new conglomerate DowDuPont existed as a single entity until April 2019, when it separated into three companies: Dow, DuPont, and agricultural chemistry company Corteva.

With the exception of Germany, the U.S. is the world’s largest exporter of chemical goods. In 2019, U.S. chemical exports were worth some 196.5 billion U.S. dollars. The leading countries of destination for U.S. chemical exports were Canada, Mexico, and China. However, U.S. demand for chemical imports is also large. In 2019, these imports were worth around 102 billion U.S. dollars.

Corresponding with its dimension, the chemical industry is an important employer. Approximately 544,000 people work at U.S. chemical companies, including the pharmaceutical sector. This number is distinctly lower than in the late 1990s, when almost one million employees were reported. In 2019, an average U.S. chemical production worker had a working week of 42.3 hours, and in 2019 had an hourly wage of 25.40 U.S. dollars.

The U.S. chemical industry spends relevant amounts for research and development. In 2019, more than ten billion U.S. dollars were spent for R&D purposes in the chemical industry. That means that R&D funds have almost doubled over the last decade. Accordingly, the United States is the global leader in developing new chemical and pharmaceutical entities.

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Chemical industry in the United States

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