U.S. pulp and paper industry - statistics & facts

The paper and pulp industry is one of the largest industries in the world, and the United States plays a major role within the sector, producing more than 70 million tons of paper and board every year. Although the U.S. has recently been surpassed by China as the largest paper and paperboard producing country worldwide, it remains the second-largest producer by a considerable distance. The U.S. is also a leading producer of pulp, with North America accounting for 33 percent of global production. The U.S. paper mills industry had a market value of 34.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, and employed approximately 50,000 people across more than 200 businesses.

Most produced paper products in the U.S.

The U.S. pulp and paper industry is responsible for manufacturing numerous products, but packaging types like carton board are by far the most produced paper products. The production of packaging paper and paperboard in the U.S. has increased massively since the 1960s, with approximately 50 million metric tons produced annually. Annual production quantities of household and sanitary papers have also increased in recent decades, rising by nearly 40 percent compared with 1990 levels. In 2020, the production of household and sanitary papers increased by more than four percent, which was the largest annual growth since 1993. This was mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased demand for sanitary products. While these products have experienced substantial demand growth over the decades, the transition towards digitalization has caused the production of graphic papers like newsprint and writing papers to plummet since the turn of the century.

Leading U.S. paper companies

Several of the world’s largest paper companies are based in the U.S., including International Paper. International Paper generated revenue of 20.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, with much of this coming from its industrial packaging segment. International Paper had a 31 percent share of the North American containerboard market in 2019. Other leading companies in the U.S. paper industry include Cascades, WestRock, and Georgia-Pacific.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 25 most important statistics relating to "Pulp and paper industry in the United States".

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