Alabama's international engagement fuels job growth and increases exports. Alabama companies exported nearly $22 billion in goods last year, which help support nearly 500,000 jobs in the state. The majority of companies that export from Alabama are small and medium sized businesses.

Job Creation

  • In Alabama, 488,900 jobs (18.6%) are supported by trade, including 98,382 jobs supported by manufactured goods exports in 2016.1
  • In 2015, 4,034 companies exported goods from Alabama of which 80% were small- and medium-sized enterprises. In 2015, 97,200 people were employed by affiliates of companies at least 50% foreign-owned.2

Exports and Growth

  • Alabama exported $21.7 billion in goods to foreign markets in 2017. Alabama's largest markets in 2017 were:2
    • Canada ($4.1 billion)
    • China ($3.6 billion)
    • Germany ($2.9 billion)
    • Mexico ($2.9 billion)
    • Japan ($683 million)
  • Agricultural exports are important to Alabama's' economy, totaling $1.2 billion in 2016, according to the USDA.3
  • Since 2013, the U.S. Export-Import Bank has financed $351 million in exports from 55 companies in Alabama.4
  • Since 1971, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation has invested $197 million in Alabama companies for overseas investment.5

Education and Research

  • In 2015-2016, 3,562 Alabama students studied abroad.6
  • During 2017, 9,549 international students were enrolled in Alabama colleges and universities and contributed $263 million to the Alabama economy.6

Global Engagement

  • Since 1961, 1,199 Peace Corps volunteers from Alabama have served in dozens of countries overseas.7