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 $13 billion worth of goods in 2019. 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 19.8% of all jobs in the state.1,2
  • In 2018, 3,396 companies exported goods from Iowa of which 83% were small- and medium-sized enterprises. In 2017, 58,200 people were employed by affiliates of companies at least 50% foreign-owned.2,3

Exports and Growth

  • Iowa exported $13.2 billion in goods to foreign markets in 2019. Iowa's largest markets in 2019 were:4
    • Canada ($3.9 billion)
    • Mexico ($2.1 billion)
    • Japan ($943 million)
    • China ($760 million)
    • Brazil ($544 million)
  • Agricultural exports are important to Iowa's' economy, totaling $10.6 billion in 2018, according to the USDA.5
  • Since 2014, the U.S. Export-Import Bank has financed $135 million in exports from 32 companies in Iowa.6
  • 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.7
  • Since 1992, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency has helped facilitate $155 million in exports from Iowa companies, supporting an estimated 850 jobs in the state.8

Education and Research

  • In 2017-2018, 5,950 Iowa students studied abroad.9
  • During 2019, 12,624 international students were enrolled in Iowa colleges and universities and contributed $410 million to the Iowa economy.9

Global Engagement

  • Since 1961, 2,496 Peace Corps volunteers from Iowa have served in dozens of countries overseas.10