Iowa: Facts and Figures

Iowa has long been the heart of America’s food production, and continues to grow its role as a producer for the world, exporting over $12 billion worth of goods in 2020. Iowa's exports also benefit many other parts of its economy as well, with international trade supporting more than 410,000 jobs in the state.

Job Creation

  • In Iowa, 412,800 jobs were supported by international trade in 2018, representing 19.80% of all jobs in the state.1,2
  • In 2019, 3,308 companies exported goods from Iowa of which 82% were small- and medium-sized enterprises. In 2018, 60,100 people were employed by affiliates of companies at least 50% foreign-owned.3,4

Exports and Growth

  • Iowa exported $12.6 billion in goods to foreign markets in 2020, a 4% decline compared to 2019 driven by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy.5
    • Canada ($3.5 billion)
    • Mexico ($2.0 billion)
    • China ($1.2 billion)
    • Japan ($1.0 billion)
    • Germany ($591 million)
  • Agricultural exports are important to Iowa's' economy, totaling $10 billion in 2019, according to the USDA.6
  • Since 2014, the U.S. Export-Import Bank has financed $130 million in exports from 34 companies in Iowa.7
  • Since 1971, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation - which has been modernized into the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) - has invested $3 million in Iowa companies for overseas investment.8
  • Since 1992, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency has helped facilitate $172 million in exports from Iowa companies, supporting an estimated 850 jobs in the state.9

Education and Research

  • In 2018-2019, 5,744 Iowa students studied abroad.10
  • During 2020, 11,603 international students were enrolled in Iowa colleges and universities and contributed $352 million to the Iowa economy.10

Global Engagement

  • Since 1961, 2,496 Peace Corps volunteers from Iowa have served in dozens of countries overseas.11