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U.S. States With the Most Organic Farms

organic farming

U.S. States With the Most Organic Farms

As the force that feeds and nourishes the population, agriculture is one of the most vital industries in the U.S. economy. To accommodate the country’s growth over the years, agricultural practices have evolved to become more efficient, capable of reliably meeting the population’s daily needs. But these efficient practices also come with environmental costs, and many farmers and consumers are increasingly seeking out more sustainable alternatives.

Organic farming is an approach to agriculture that attempts to mimic nature and natural processes when raising crops and livestock. Rather than using techniques of larger-scale industrial agriculture, like genetic modifications, monoculture farming, and synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, organic farmers seek to conserve biodiversity and natural resources on their farmland.

Organic products have seen a boom in demand in recent years, and there are a number of reasons why consumers might be seeking out organic products. Organic techniques appeal to environmentalist consumers who value a more sustainable approach to agriculture that promotes biodiversity, limits pollution, and increases carbon capture. For meat and dairy consumers, livestock production on organic farms is considered to be a more ethical and humane way to raise animals because they are given more access to the outdoors, better feed, and fewer hormones and antibiotics. Health-conscious consumers can point to evidence that organic products have health benefits like greater nutrient density and lower levels of toxic metals and pesticide residue than conventional agricultural products.

Whatever the reasons, organic farming has increased substantially over the last decade or so. In 2008, the U.S. had 10,903 organic farms covering around 4 million acres of farmland. In 2019, there were nearly 16,500 organic farms on 5.5 million acres. And these farms have grown alongside consumer demand: the sales of organic products have more than tripled over the same span, rising from $3.1 billion to $9.9 billion.

Within the nearly $10 billion organic food market, milk, chicken, and eggs are the top-selling products. Organic milk leads all products with sales of more than $1.5 billion per year, while chicken sees $1.1 billion in sales annually and eggs generate $887 million. Apples are the top-selling form of organic produce, with $475 million in annual sales.

While the organic farming industry has seen tremendous growth, not all farmers are adopting organic practices. Many large-scale agricultural operations in the Midwest and South have relatively low numbers of organic farms and acreage devoted to such operations. But one location where organic agriculture has taken hold deeply is California. California is home to more than 3,000 organic farms—more than twice the next-highest state—and the total acreage of organic farms in the state totals nearly 1 million acres.

California is the nation’s top state for agricultural sales overall, so it is unsurprising that the state is also the leader in organic production. In relative terms, several other states devote a greater share of their farmland to organic farming than California, where organic farms represent only about 4% of the state’s agricultural acreage. Instead, the list of top states for organic farms on a relative basis is led by northeastern states including Maine, New York, and Vermont—the runaway leader, where organic acreage accounts for nearly 17% of its total.

The data used in this analysis is from the USDA. To identify the states with the most organic farms, researchers at calculated the total certified organic acres operated as a percentage of total farmland in each state. In the event of a tie, the state with the greater number of organic farms as a percentage of total farms was ranked higher. Only states with available data from the USDA were included in the analysis.

Here are the states with the most organic farms.

State Rank Organic acreage as a percentage of total Organic farms as a percentage of total Total organic acreage Total organic farms Total value of organic products sold
Vermont    1   16.92% 9.63% 203,002 655 $159,742,000
New York    2   4.68% 3.96% 323,081 1,321 $298,420,000
Maine    3   4.25% 6.00% 55,261 456 $63,820,000
California    4   3.97% 4.31% 965,257 3,012 $3,596,923,000
New Hampshire    5   2.72% 1.95% 11,708 80 $11,274,000
Wisconsin    6   1.75% 2.10% 250,940 1,364 $268,921,000
Massachusetts    7   1.63% 1.85% 8,170 133 $32,895,000
Nevada    8   1.60% 1.19% 97,868 40 $66,803,000
Idaho    9   1.57% 0.98% 180,732 240 $205,968,000
Pennsylvania    10   1.47% 1.79% 107,550 944 $741,764,000
Michigan    11   1.25% 1.15% 122,253 541 $230,955,000
Oregon    12   1.24% 1.22% 196,045 455 $454,406,000
Utah    13   0.88% 0.27% 94,591 48 $26,903,000
Maryland    14   0.86% 0.97% 17,196 120 $50,080,000
Ohio    15   0.82% 1.01% 111,920 785 $116,999,000
United States    –   0.61% 0.81% 5,495,274 16,476 $9,925,911,000

For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on’s website:


States Most Dependent on Coal for Electricity

At the recent UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, world leaders convened to negotiate new goals for reducing carbon emissions in the effort to slow the pace of global warming. Across two weeks of negotiations, one of the major issues under discussion was the use of coal as an energy source. Some coal-dependent nations including India and China argued for a “phase down” rather than a total “phase out” of coal power in the final agreement, while U.S. envoy John Kerry predicted in an interview that the U.S. would eliminate it by 2030.

It is one of the cheapest energy sources available in the U.S., in part because the U.S. houses a large portion of the world’s coal reserves. But coal also has other environmental and social downsides that have made it a less desirable fuel source. Mining and burning coal heavily emits greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane and also poses risks of air and water pollution. Many policymakers and environmental advocates are now pushing for a transition away from coal for that reason.

Until recently, however, cost won out, and inexpensive coal was the predominant fuel source in the U.S., accounting for more than half of electricity generation in the U.S. up until 2003. Since then, dependence on coal has plummeted and currently accounts for only 19.3% of total U.S. generation. The swift decline in coal has been made possible as other cleaner energy sources have become less expensive. Natural gas has seen a major boom over the last two decades as techniques like hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling made it easier to extract. Renewable sources like wind and solar have also become less expensive and more widely adopted in recent years thanks to government investment and technological advances. As a result, the share of electricity generated from renewables has risen by two-thirds since 1990.

Some states that have traditionally relied on coal both as an economic driver and as an energy source have been slower to make the transition. The majority of coal production in the U.S. is contained to a handful of states, including Wyoming and West Virginia, and because coal is cheap and plentiful, these heavy coal producers are also among the states that generate the greatest share of electricity from coal and a lower share from renewables. In contrast, the states that depend more heavily on renewables either have governments that have prioritized clean energy and emissions reductions or geographic features that make them well-suited to wind, solar, or hydropower installations.

The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. To determine the states most dependent on coal for electricity, researchers at calculated the share of total electricity generated from coal. In the event of a tie, the state with the greater total electricity generated from coal was ranked higher. Researchers also calculated the total and proportion of electricity generated from renewable sources. Renewable sources include solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and hydroelectric.

Here are the states most dependent on coal for electricity.

State Rank Share of electricity  generated from coal 5-year change in electricity generated from coal Total electricity generated from coal (MWh) Share of electricity generated from renewables Total electricity generated from renewables (MWh)
West Virginia    1    88.6% -26.2% 50,216,398 6.2% 3,496,285


Wyoming    2    79.4% -22.6% 33,359,104 16.1% 6,763,997


Missouri    3    71.3% -20.8% 51,755,690 7.5% 5,450,572


Kentucky    4    68.7% -39.9% 43,638,313 8.5% 5,395,636


Utah    5    61.5% -28.0% 22,806,021 12.5% 4,644,687


North Dakota    6    58.1% -11.7% 24,496,807 38.1% 16,084,768


Indiana    7    53.1% -38.9% 47,772,885 8.2% 7,364,544


Nebraska    8    51.0% -22.3% 18,788,647 28.9% 10,648,740


Wisconsin    9    38.7% -36.1% 23,761,097 9.4% 5,779,793


New Mexico    10    37.5% -37.4% 12,788,184 27.2% 9,253,738


Ohio    11    37.2% -37.2% 45,008,596 2.9% 3,500,737


Montana    12    36.4% -47.0% 8,490,284 59.4% 13,872,119


Colorado    13    36.0% -38.2% 19,478,405 30.9% 16,724,964


Kansas    14    31.1% -31.0% 16,959,839 44.2% 24,117,519


Arkansas    15    28.2% -29.1% 15,420,998 10.5% 5,735,702


United States    –    19.3% -42.8% 773,392,897 19.5% 783,003,365



For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on’s website.

natural gas

States That Consume the Most Natural Gas

As the world navigates the effects of climate change, policymakers are looking for strategies and investments to reduce carbon emissions and slow global warming. Global leaders met in Glasgow earlier this year to negotiate new targets for greenhouse gas reduction and climate change mitigation. In the U.S., investments in clean energy and the electric grid were a major component of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package that Congress passed and President Joe Biden recently signed into law.

As policymakers work to reduce emissions, natural gas occupies a unique position in the U.S. energy mix. In recent years, widespread adoption of extraction techniques like hydraulic fracturing have made natural gas cheaper to produce. This has made natural gas an economically viable, cleaner-burning alternative to other heavy-emitting fossil fuels like coal. But natural gas does still produce carbon emissions, and as clean energy sources like wind and solar themselves become less expensive, the future of natural gas is uncertain.

Progressive governments with a focus on reducing carbon emissions, like California at the state level and Seattle at the local level, have enacted new building codes to discourage or restrict the use of natural gas in new construction. Simultaneously, states that have benefited from the natural gas boom, like Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana, have banned municipalities in their states from enacting similar policies.

For now, the boom in production means that the U.S. is currently a net exporter of natural gas, producing more natural gas than it consumes. Production and consumption closely tracked together up until the mid-1980s, at which point consumption rose above production levels and natural gas imports increased. With the rise of fracking in the early 2000s, this trend began to reverse, and by 2017, natural gas production overtook consumption in the U.S., and the country became a net exporter.

But the greatest production increases have been limited to a handful of states. Texas has been a longtime leader in U.S. energy production due to its plentiful oil and natural gas reserves, and the state currently produces 8,288 trillion BTUs each year. Pennsylvania is a more recent beneficiary of the natural gas boom. Natural gas was difficult to extract in the state until horizontal drilling became common around 2008, but Pennsylvania quickly grew to become the second most productive state for natural gas. Texas, Pennsylvania, and other states that have reaped the economic benefits of expanded natural gas production may be most resistant to any transition away from natural gas as an energy source.

Beyond the interests of states that produce a high volume of natural gas, transitioning away from natural gas will also be difficult for states where natural gas is one of the primary sources of energy for consumers. Some states derive more than half of the energy they consume from natural gas, led by Alaska at 57.6%. These states will require affordable alternative energy sources at a wide scale before a transition will be possible.

The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Energy Information Administration and the U.S. Census Bureau. To determine the states consuming the most natural gas, researchers at calculated total natural gas consumption per person. Researchers also included statistics on total natural gas consumption, the percentage of total state energy consumption derived from natural gas, and the percentage of total U.S. natural gas consumption accounted for by each state.

Here are the states consuming the most natural gas.

State Rank Natural gas consumption (million Btu per person) Total natural gas consumption (trillion Btu) Percentage of total state energy consumption Percentage of all U.S. natural gas consumption
    Alaska     1 484.3 354.3 57.6% 1.1%
    Louisiana     2 425.9 1,979.8 46.1% 6.2%
    Wyoming     3 287.5 166.4 30.8% 0.5%
    Oklahoma     4 217.8 861.8 51.4% 2.7%
    Mississippi     5 195.0 580.2 53.4% 1.8%
   North       Dakota     6 189.5 144.4 21.6% 0.4%
    Texas     7 164.8 4,779.5 33.6% 14.9%
    Alabama     8 152.6 748.1 38.9% 2.3%
    New Mexico     9 145.5 305.1 41.5% 0.9%
    Indiana     10 138.7 933.9 33.6% 2.9%
    Iowa     11 137.0 432.1 26.4% 1.3%
     West Virginia     12 132.8 238.0 28.8% 0.7%
   Pennsylvania     13 130.6 1,671.3 43.8% 5.2%
    Arkansas     14 123.0 371.1 33.9% 1.2%
    South Dakota     15 110.1 97.4 24.2% 0.3%
   United States     – 98.0 32,169.8 32.1% N/A


For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on’s website:


U.S. States With the Largest Aquaculture Industry

With the planet’s population growing and the global market for seafood steadily increasing, natural fish production from the world’s lakes, rivers, and oceans will be insufficient to keep up with demand in the long term. To support global demand, aquaculture is a critical resource for raising seafood efficiently and sustainably.

The USDA defines aquaculture as the farming of aquatic organisms, including fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and more. The farming process includes seeding, stocking, and feeding fish, shellfish, and other aquatic products in a controlled environment. The controlled environment makes aquaculture distinct from wild caught seafood taken from a natural habitat.

Aquaculture in the U.S. represents a $1.5 billion industry annually and helps support 1.7 million jobs in the broader seafood industry, according to estimates from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. These figures place the U.S. relatively low on a global scale as an aquaculture producer—17th in total aquaculture production—but the U.S. is one of the top consumers of aquaculture imports. More than 90% of seafood in the U.S. comes from outside of the country, and around half of that total comes from farm-raised seafood.

These products in the U.S. that generate the most sales fall in the categories of food fish and mollusks. Food fish—a category that includes any fish raised primarily for food, such as catfish, sturgeon, tilapia, trout, or salmon—accounts for nearly half of the market by itself, with $716 million in sales each year. Mollusks—which are marine invertebrates like clams, mussels, and oysters also commonly raised as food—follow behind at $442 million sold each year.

Naturally, a successful aquaculture industry depends on access to geographic features that support production. This means that some regions of the U.S. are more conducive to aquaculture than others. The South leads the U.S. in production, with nearly $850 million in annual sales from aquaculture. This can be attributed to strong production of freshwater fish, especially catfish, in the areas around the Mississippi River watershed, and saltwater production in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean. The West produces $475 million in aquaculture sales each year, primarily from Washington and California, which are leaders in shellfish production but also have strong saltwater and freshwater production of fish like trout, tilapia, and salmon.

The data used in this analysis is from the USDA’s Census of Aquaculture. To identify the states with the most aquaculture production, researchers at ranked states based on the total value of aquaculture products sold. Aquaculture products include food fish, sport fish, baitfish, and ornamental fish, as well as mollusks, crustaceans, and other miscellaneous aquaculture products. The total acreage by state reported in this study is the sum of freshwater and saltwater production (where available), and the most common water source is the water source characteristic of the greatest number of farms in each state.

Here are the states with the largest aquaculture industry.



   Total value of products sold

Total number of aquaculture farms

Total acres

Most common water source

Mississippi    1    $215,709,000 176 39,561 Groundwater
Washington    2    $207,685,000 151 16,263 Saltwater
Louisiana    3    $135,712,000 525 240,274 Groundwater
Virginia    4    $112,640,000 202 17,797 Saltwater
California    5    $106,021,000 116 11,329 Groundwater
Alabama    6    $95,199,000 120 17,591 On-farm surface water
Hawaii    7    $78,429,000 49 794 Saltwater
Maine    8    $72,340,000 75 1,295 Saltwater
Florida    9    $71,649,000 334 3,410 Saltwater
Arkansas    10    $67,661,000 82 29,936 Groundwater
Texas    11    $62,594,000 107 7,566 Groundwater
Idaho    12    $44,763,000 41 498 On-farm surface water
Massachusetts    13    $28,858,000 180 1,046 Saltwater
Maryland    14    $28,139,000 43 2,318 Saltwater
North Carolina    15    $26,006,000 137 2,909 Groundwater
United States    –    $1,515,680,000 3,456 484,000 Groundwater


For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on’s website:


States With the Least Carbon-Intensive Economies

World leaders convened in Glasgow this November for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference. Facing the intensification of global climate change, the negotiators reached an agreement that explicitly commits to reducing the use of coal, limiting other greenhouse gas emissions, and providing support to developing countries most impacted by climate change.

The Glasgow conference reflected heightened urgency around climate change as the effects of carbon emissions have accelerated and become more severe in recent years. A 2021 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that without rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, warming above 1.5°C is almost inevitable. This level of warming would have disastrous effects in the form of sea level rise, more severe weather events, and harm to agricultural systems and human health.

While there is still much work to do, the good news for the U.S. is that many states and the country as a whole have begun to reverse the growth in carbon emissions. Government policy to limit emissions and advancements in lower-emission technologies across the economy have helped turn the trends in the right direction.

Much of this progress has taken place over the last fifteen years. Total CO2 emissions peaked in 2007 at over 6 billion metric tons, but that figure fell to around 4.6 billion metric tons in 2020. One of the big contributors has been decarbonization in electric power generation due to the decline of heavy-emitting coal and the rise of clean energy sources like wind and solar. Over the last decade, these factors have reduced CO2 emissions associated with electric power generation by around 36%. And this trend also contributes to emissions reductions in the main “end-use” sectors—transportation, industrial, residential, and commercial—that consume electricity. Residential and commercial have seen the sharpest declines, with emissions dropping by more than a quarter since 2010 across both sectors combined.

Encouragingly, these declines have taken place even while the U.S. population and economy have continued to grow. From 1970 to the mid-2000s, carbon emissions and GDP grew together, with the pace of GDP growth exceeding that of carbon emissions. More recently, the steady upward trajectory of GDP has continued while carbon emissions have ticked downward. Since 2007, total energy-related CO2 emissions are down by 23.9% while real GDP has increased by 17.7% in the same span. These trends help alleviate concerns that reducing carbon emissions necessarily means limiting economic productivity, and many U.S. states are proving that economic growth in a less carbon-intensive economy is possible.

The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Energy Information Administration and the U.S. Census Bureau. To determine the states with the least carbon-intensive economies, researchers at calculated total CO2 emissions per GDP. States with a lower value were ranked higher. In the event of a tie, the state with lower per capita CO2 emissions was ranked higher.

Here are the states with the least carbon-intensive economies.

State Rank CO2 emissions per GDP (tons per $ million) CO2 emissions per capita Total CO2 emissions (tons) Largest source of CO2 emissions
New York 1 123.6 9.0 175,900,000 Petroleum
Washington 2 135.9 10.2 77,000,000 Petroleum
Connecticut 3 136.8 10.5 37,600,000 Petroleum
California 4 148.0 9.0 356,600,000 Petroleum
Massachusetts 5 158.1 9.4 64,600,000 Petroleum
New Hampshire 6 158.9 10.5 14,300,000 Petroleum
Vermont 7 163.9 9.4 5,900,000 Petroleum
Oregon 8 164.5 9.5 39,900,000 Petroleum
New Jersey 9 198.0 11.9 105,400,000 Petroleum
Maryland 10 200.3 10.2 61,700,000 Petroleum
Rhode Island 11 206.5 10.5 11,100,000 Petroleum, Natural Gas
Hawaii 12 249.7 14.4 20,500,000 Petroleum
Arizona 13 252.1 13.1 93,900,000 Petroleum
Illinois 14 253.0 16.7 212,200,000 Petroleum
Maine 15 254.9 11.0 14,800,000 Petroleum
United States 287.2 16.2 5,297,400,000 Petroleum


For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on’s website:


States Producing the Most Fruits & Vegetables

Many sectors of the economy have struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic, but one of the sectors that has faced the greatest challenges in the U.S. is also one of the most critical: agriculture.

The early days and weeks of the pandemic were difficult for many agricultural businesses as shutdowns created major disruptions for some of their primary customers. Much of the food service industry shut down overnight in March 2020, drastically scaling back one of the primary sales markets for farmers. In response, more agricultural producers shifted their focus to retail grocery and wholesalers. However, they paid a steep price in the form of lost products and new costs in labor and logistics to adapt to different distribution channels.

Since then, agriculture has faced many of the same supply chain and labor challenges currently plaguing the rest of the economy. Supply chain breakdowns have meant that farms have been struggling to obtain supplies and equipment that they need and that it has become more difficult to transport their products to customers. Labor force participation remains below pre-pandemic levels, especially in low-wage occupations, which has contributed to a shortage of pickers and other agricultural workers. Because produce is perishable, these issues have caused millions of pounds of produce to go unharvested or spoil before reaching consumers.

These disruptions pose a problem for consumers, who may have less ability to access high-quality fresh food at a low price, but also for the economy at large. Fresh produce in the form of fruits, nuts, and vegetables represents nearly a quarter of the total production value of U.S. crops. These products are also part of a larger value chain in the food industry that includes food processing plants, distributors, restaurants and other food service businesses, and grocery. This means that challenges in growing, harvesting, and supplying fresh produce creates additional struggles downstream for other closely related businesses.

These issues are also likely to affect what crops farms choose to grow and in what amounts. Because crops take time to raise, farmers essentially must make decisions in the present based on predictions about what the market might look like months in advance. With continued uncertainty, agricultural producers may prefer to shift more of their focus to crops that have higher value to improve their margins. In general, tree nuts and fruits tend to have higher production value than vegetables.

The current state of the agricultural market also underscores the importance of domestic agricultural production. In recent years, the U.S. has been importing a large share of its fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, with imports totaling more than $24 billion in 2019. But with ongoing supply chain challenges worldwide, production closer to home will be important in maintaining the supply of food.

These fruits and vegetables come from a relatively small number of states where agricultural production is highly concentrated. The leader among these states is California, which is responsible for nearly 70% of U.S. fruit and vegetable production by itself. California is joined by other Western states like Washington, Oregon, and Arizona among the leaders, along with highly agriculture-dependent states in the South and Midwest.

The data used in this analysis is from the USDA. All data shown is for the year 2019, the most recent available covering both fruits and vegetables. To identify the states producing the most fruits and vegetables, researchers at calculated the total production value of both fruit and nut crops as well as vegetable crops, measured in dollars. Researchers also calculated what percentage of total U.S. fruit, nut, and vegetable production is accounted for by each state. Only states with available agricultural data from the USDA were included in the study.

Here are the states producing the most fruits and vegetables.

State Rank Total fruit & vegetable production Share of U.S. total fruit & vegetable production Total fruit production Total vegetable production
California    1    $29,181,329,000    68.94%    $21,437,185,000    $7,744,144,000
Washington    2    $3,396,600,000    8.02%    $3,033,860,000    $362,740,000
Florida    3    $2,759,462,000    6.52%    $1,536,612,000    $1,222,850,000
Arizona    4    $1,825,539,000    4.31%    $197,188,000    $1,628,351,000
Georgia    5    $823,604,000    1.95%    $308,074,000    $515,530,000
Oregon    6    $650,912,000    1.54%    $456,326,000    $194,586,000
Michigan    7    $578,847,000    1.37%    $361,709,000    $217,138,000
North Carolina    8    $560,492,000    1.32%    $60,811,000    $499,681,000
New York    9    $503,842,000    1.19%    $276,937,000    $226,905,000
Texas    10    $348,246,000    0.82%    $163,350,000    $184,896,000
United States    –    $42,326,702,000    100.0%    $28,770,303,000    $13,556,399,000


For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on’s website:

female farmer

States With the Most Female Farmers

Agriculture has historically been one of the most important industries in the U.S., but the sector has become less prominent over time. Farms have become more productive thanks to improved technology, which has changed farms’ needs for labor. Simultaneously, economic opportunities in more urbanized areas have grown at a much greater rate and attracted workers away from agricultural life. As a result, the demographic profiles of U.S. farmers are changing.

Most notably, farm producers—a person who is involved in making decisions for the farm—have been getting older on average. According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, nearly one-third of the 3.4 million producers in the U.S. are 65 or older, and an additional 950,000 are aged 55 to 64. And fewer young people are taking their place, with only 284,000 producers under the age of 34.

But one area where the ranks of farmers are growing is female farmers. From 2012 to 2017, the number of female farm producers in the U.S. grew by more than 250,000, while the number of male producers declined by about 40,000 over the same span. Collectively, females today farm 388 million acres of U.S. farmland and are responsible for a total of $148 billion in agricultural sales.

As with other sectors of the economy, however, there is a difference in the earning power of farmers by sex. Female-operated farms tend to be smaller in scale and therefore earn less than their male-operated counterparts. In 2017, the most recent year for which data was available, 50% of female-operated farms earned less than $5,000 in sales and government payments, compared to 43% of male-operated farms. At the other end of the spectrum, only 19% of female-operated farms earn more than $50,000, compared to 26% of male-operated establishments.

Part of the reason for this disparity is related to historical and cultural factors. Agricultural professions have historically been seen as men’s work, so opportunities for women to lead in farm operations have been more scarce. The data bears this out: male farmers are almost three times more likely than female farmers to manage a farm on which they are the only producer. Women, on the other hand, are more likely to share management roles with others, especially other male producers.

Male and female farmers also differ in where they are located. Female farmers and female-operated farms are most common in the West and Northeast-—but these locations tend to have lower agricultural productivity. These states and counties also have a lower number of farms overall. In contrast, major farming areas including the upper Midwest and the Southeast have much lower proportions of female farms and farmers, which likely contributes to the gap in earnings as well.

The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. To determine the states with the most female farmers, researchers at calculated the percentage of producers that are female for each state. In the event of a tie, the state with the greater number of total female producers was ranked higher. Researchers also included statistics on the number of farms with at least one female producer and the total number of farms.

Here are the states with the most female farm producers.

State Rank Percentage of producers that are female  Total female producers Percentage of farms with at least one female producer Total farms with at least one female producer Total farms 
Arizona    1          48.7% 15,968 71.6% 13,670 19,086
Alaska    2          46.7% 802 72.2% 715 990
New Hampshire    3          45.5% 3,277 73.9% 3,048 4,123
Oregon    4          44.2% 29,868 73.4% 27,592 37,616
Maine    5          43.7% 5,859 70.1% 5,327 7,600
Massachusetts    6          43.6% 5,572 66.2% 4,793 7,241
Washington    7          42.4% 26,868 68.9% 24,663 35,793
Nevada    8          42.4% 2,524 68.2% 2,335 3,423
Colorado    9          41.8% 28,839 67.9% 26,406 38,893
Vermont    10          41.6% 5,120 68.9% 4,691 6,808
Hawaii    11          41.4% 5,044 62.5% 4,580 7,328
Rhode Island    12          41.4% 743 63.9% 666 1,043
Connecticut    13          40.9% 3,892 63.6% 3,510 5,521
Florida    14          40.7% 32,122 62.6% 29,779 47,590
Wyoming    15          40.7% 8,816 66.9% 7,990 11,938
United States    –          36.1% 1,227,461 55.8% 1,139,675 2,042,220


For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on’s website:

agricultural products chloride

Largest Importers of U.S. Agricultural Products

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. agricultural and related exports totaled $162 billion in 2020, the third-highest total on record. The U.S.’s top agricultural export partners have shifted over the years, from Western Europe and Russia to South and East Asia, Latin America, and North Africa. A growing world population and expanding middle class in developing countries suggest that U.S. agriculture will remain in high demand looking ahead.

Total U.S. agricultural and related goods exports peaked in 2014 at over $170 billion. The following year, the value dropped by 12% due to a significant appreciation of the U.S. dollar; agriculture exports remained fairly constant after that. Tariffs imposed during the Trump administration resulted in retaliatory tariffs by important trade partners, which impacted U.S. agricultural exports to those countries, particularly to China. However, the impact on total agricultural exports was minimal, in part due to increased exports to other non-retaliating countries.

Since 1980, consumer-oriented goods have made up an increasingly large share of U.S. agricultural exports. Consumer-oriented agricultural products are higher-value goods destined for direct consumer consumption, and include things like meat, eggs, fruit, and vegetables. This trend is due in part to changing consumer preferences resulting from rising incomes globally. Many developing countries—including China, Mexico, and Indonesia—are important trade partners to the U.S., and rising household incomes in these countries have led to increased demand for higher-value products such as meat, dairy, and fresh produce. Bulk goods make up the second-largest share of U.S. agricultural exports and include products like grains, oilseeds, and cotton.

While the U.S. and Europe have historically been the world’s largest importers and exporters of agricultural goods, emerging economies are becoming increasingly important to global trade. On a regional basis, East Asia—which includes China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan—is the largest importer of U.S. agricultural products, accounting for 34% of all U.S. agricultural exports in 2020. Southeast Asia—which includes Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia—is now the third-largest importer of U.S. agricultural products, behind North America and ahead of the European Union. For context, Southeast Asia ranked seventh in 1990.

To find the largest importers of U.S. agricultural products, researchers at analyzed data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The researchers ranked countries according to the total value of U.S. agricultural products that each country imports. Researchers also calculated each country’s value as a share of total U.S. agricultural exports, the top U.S. agricultural product exported to each country, and other detailed statistics.

Here are the biggest importers of U.S. agricultural products.

Total value of U.S. agricultural exports to country
Country’s value as a share of total U.S. agricultural exports
Top U.S. agricultural product exported to country
Bulk total value
Intermedial total value
Consumer-oriented total value
Agricultural related total value


  1 $28,750,288,000    17.7% Soybeans $19,132,864,000  $1,872,701,000  $5,393,904,000  $2,350,819,000
Canada   2  $25,414,534,000    15.7% Bakery Goods, Cereals, & Pasta


$1,023,675,000  $4,160,305,000  $17,093,000,000  $3,137,555,000


  3  $18,962,080,000    11.7% Corn $6,132,761,000  $3,914,580,000  $8,288,950,000  $625,787,000
Japan   4  $12,887,108,000    8.0% Beef & Beef Products


$3,966,270,000  $1,377,563,000  $6,371,574,000  $1,171,700,000
South Korea   5  $8,241,801,000    5.1% Beef & Beef Products


$1,604,410,000  $1,560,234,000  $4,541,906,000  $535,251,000


  6  $3,744,450,000    2.3% Cotton $1,790,124,000  $643,589,000  $928,273,000  $382,465,000
Netherlands   7  $3,741,523,000    2.3% Soybeans $1,158,135,000  $965,926,000  $1,221,265,000  $396,197,000
Taiwan   8  $3,349,146,000    2.1% Soybeans $1,194,534,000  $350,236,000  $1,729,362,000  $75,015,000
Philippines   9  $3,230,646,000    2.0% Soybean Meal $919,558,000  $1,182,673,000  $1,107,535,000  $20,881,000
Indonesia   10  $2,897,691,000    1.8% Soybeans $1,486,644,000  $682,172,000  $654,523,000  $74,352,000
Colombia   11  $2,881,065,000    1.8% Corn


$1,305,913,000  $923,885,000  $632,865,000  $18,402,000
United Kingdom   12  $2,740,498,000    1.7% Forest Products


$119,602,000  $506,820,000  $1,100,002,000  $1,014,074,000
Hong Kong   13  $2,182,661,000    1.3% Beef & Beef Products


$31,654,000  $89,541,000  $1,911,321,000  $150,145,000
Egypt   14  $1,920,256,000    1.2% Soybeans $1,509,877,000  $180,781,000  $204,093,000  $25,506,000
Thailand   15  $1,900,352,000    1.2% Soybeans $868,546,000  $508,351,000  $398,499,000  $124,957,000


For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on’s website:

oil production

U.S. States Producing the Most Oil

With gasoline prices reaching their highest levels since 2014 this fall, consumers, policymakers, and economic experts have lately turned their attention to the state of oil production in the U.S. and worldwide.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been an uneasy time for oil, as with many other products and sectors of the economy. The price of oil futures briefly turned negative in the first months of the pandemic, and remained at relatively low levels through most of 2020 and the first part of 2021, a product of reduced demand for fuel and a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia. While demand has recovered the longer the pandemic has gone on, oil production has been affected by the global supply chain struggles that many other industries are experiencing as well. As a result, oil prices have rebounded to their highest levels in more than half a decade.

The volatility of the oil markets during the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the challenges of having a critical product like oil be part of a complex globalized economy. Even before the pandemic, many political and economic leaders had been seeking to lessen U.S. dependence on foreign sources of oil to make the country more self-reliant in its energy mix.

The U.S. has had success on this front in recent years. The U.S. saw a steady decline in oil production from the late 1980s to the mid-2000s, a product of a range of factors including decreased demand, the growth of the environmental conservation movement, and increased involvement in the Middle East. Oil production in the U.S. bottomed out at 5 million barrels per day in 2008. Since then, as policymakers have prioritized domestic production and the rise of techniques like fracking have reduced the cost of extracting petroleum, U.S. production has boomed. In 2018, the U.S. surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s leading producer of crude oil.

The result of this growth in domestic production has been a sharp decline in petroleum imports. Imports have fallen since their peak of 13.7 million barrels per day in 2005, dropping to only 7.85 million in 2020. After taking exports of 8.5 million into account, the U.S. actually became a net exporter of oil for the first time last year.

In the U.S., as is the case globally, oil reserves are not evenly distributed, and some states produce significantly more than others. Texas is far and away the leading oil producer in the U.S. at nearly 1.8 billion barrels annually—more than four times the total for runner-up North Dakota. States in the Plains and Mountain West fare best, along with Alaska and Gulf Coast states like Louisiana and Mississippi.

The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. To determine the states producing the most oil, researchers at calculated the total annual crude oil production in 2020. In the event of a tie, the state with the higher 10-year change in annual crude oil production was ranked higher. Researchers also included the latest statistics on proven oil reserves, the number of operable petroleum refineries, and per capita oil consumption.

Here are the states producing the most oil.

State      Rank      Total annual crude oil production (thousand barrels) 10-year change in annual crude oil production Crude oil reserves (million barrels)           Number of operating refineries Per capita oil consumption (barrels)
Texas     1      1,776,449 +316.3% 18,622 31        53.6
North Dakota     2      434,889 +286.4% 5,897 1        46.8
New Mexico     3      370,402 +464.9% 3,456 1        24.1
Oklahoma     4      171,740 +144.7% 2,047 5        25.0
Colorado     5      167,832 +407.5% 1,414 2        18.2
Alaska     6      163,852 -25.1% 2,680 5        53.2
California     7      143,114 -28.6% 2,213 14        16.8
Wyoming     8      89,091 +65.3% 1,013 4        49.9
Louisiana     9      36,708 -45.7% 389 16        80.9
Utah     10      30,951 +25.5% 275 5        18.5
Kansas     11     28,260 -30.2% 313 3        23.2
Ohio    12      23,819 +399.1% 88 4        18.1
West Virginia     13      19,059 +934.7% 13 1        22.9
Montana     14      18,985 -25.1% 298 4        31.4
Mississippi     15      14,166 -40.9% 114 3        24.9
United States     –      4,129,563 +106.3% 44,191 129        22.8


For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on’s website:

renewable energy

States That Produce the Most Renewable Energy

Since President Joe Biden and a new Congress took office earlier this year, federal policymakers have been working to speed up the U.S. transition to clean and renewable energy sources. One of Biden’s first actions in office was to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, the 2016 agreement in which countries pledged to significantly reduce their CO2 emissions. The Biden Administration followed this up with aggressive carbon reduction targets and the American Jobs Plan proposal, which includes provisions to modernize the power grid, incentivize clean energy generation, and create more jobs in the energy sector. Much of Biden’s agenda builds on prior proposals like the Green New Deal, which would achieve emissions reductions and create jobs through investments in clean energy production and energy-efficient infrastructure upgrades.


The transition to renewables has taken on greater urgency in recent years with the worsening effects of climate change. Carbon emissions from non-renewable sources like coal, oil, and natural gas are one of the primary factors contributing to the warming of the atmosphere, and climate experts project that to limit warming, renewable energy must supply 70 to 85% of electricity by midcentury.

Renewable energy still represents less than a quarter of total annual electricity generation in the U.S., but the good news is that renewable energy has been responsible for a steadily increasing share of electricity generation over the past decade. Most of the upward trajectory comes from exponential growth in the production of solar and wind power. In 1990, solar power generated only 367,087 megawatt-hours of electricity, while wind power was responsible for 2,788,600 megawatt-hours. Since then, technological improvements and public investment in wind and solar helped lower costs and make them viable competitors to non-renewable sources. By 2020, solar production had reached 89,198,715 megawatt-hours, while wind produced 337,938,049 megawatt-hours of electricity.

But this evolution is uneven across the U.S., a product of differences in states’ economies, public policy toward renewables, and perhaps most importantly, geographic features. Even among states that lead in renewable energy production, these factors contribute to different mixes of renewable sources. For instance, Texas—the nation’s top producer of renewable energy—generates most of its renewable electricity from wind turbines. Runner-up Washington and fourth-place Oregon take advantage of large rivers in the Pacific Northwest to generate more hydroelectric power than any other state. And California, which is third in total renewable production, has been a long-time leader in solar energy thanks in part to an abundance of direct sunlight.

Meanwhile, states that lag behind in renewable generation include several states without the size or geographic features to scale up production, like Delaware, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, along with states whose economies are more traditionally dependent on fossil fuels, like Mississippi and Alaska.

To determine the states producing the most renewable energy, researchers at used data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration to calculate the percentage of total electricity generated from renewable sources. Renewable energy sources include wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, and hydroelectric. In the event of a tie, the state with the greater five-year growth in renewable electricity production, between 2015 and 2020, was ranked higher.

Here are the states that produce the most renewable energy.

Percentage of electricity generated from renewables
5-year change in renewable electricity production
Total electricity generated from renewables (MWh)
Largest renewable energy source
Vermont    1     99.9% +9.0% 2,155,177 Hydroelectric Conventional
South Dakota    2     80.5% +55.0% 11,388,457 Hydroelectric Conventional
Maine    3     76.7% -1.7% 7,674,956 Hydroelectric Conventional
Idaho    4     76.1% +15.0% 13,456,149 Hydroelectric Conventional
Washington    5     75.0% +5.6% 87,109,288 Hydroelectric Conventional
Oregon    6     67.5% +9.5% 42,928,468 Hydroelectric Conventional
Iowa    7     59.4% +85.6% 35,437,099 Wind
Montana    8     59.4% +16.8% 13,872,119 Hydroelectric Conventional
Kansas    9     44.2% +117.6% 24,117,519 Wind
California    10     42.6% +38.9% 82,239,832 Solar Thermal and Photovoltaic
Oklahoma    11     39.7% +91.9% 32,687,539 Wind
North Dakota    12     38.1% +87.0% 16,084,768 Wind
Colorado    13     30.9% +77.4% 16,724,964 Wind
Alaska    14     30.8% +8.3% 1,931,545 Hydroelectric Conventional
Nebraska    15     28.9% +115.7% 10,648,740 Wind
United States    –     19.5% +43.9% 783,003,365 Wind


For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on’s website: