Rhode Island: Facts and Figures

Rhode Island’s manufacturing exports play a key role in economic production and job growth. In 2020, more than 1,900 Rhode Island companies exported a total of $2.4 billion worth of goods, helping to support more than 130,000 good-paying Rhode Island jobs.

Job Creation

  • In Rhode Island, 133,300 jobs were supported by international trade in 2018, representing 20.60% of all jobs in the state.1,2
  • In 2019, 1,976 companies exported goods from Rhode Island of which 88% were small- and medium-sized enterprises. In 2018, 26,200 people were employed by affiliates of companies at least 50% foreign-owned.3,4

Exports and Growth

  • Rhode Island exported $2.4 billion in goods to foreign markets in 2020, a 10% decline compared to 2019 driven by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy.5
    • Canada ($410 million)
    • Italy ($256 million)
    • Dominican Republic ($236 million)
    • Mexico ($171 million)
    • Germany ($154 million)
  • Agricultural exports are important to Rhode Island's' economy, totaling $32 million in 2019, according to the USDA.6
  • Since 2014, the U.S. Export-Import Bank has financed $106 million in exports from 12 companies in Rhode Island.7
  • Since 1971, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation - which has been modernized into the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) - has invested $10 million in Rhode Island companies for overseas investment.8
  • Since 1992, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency has helped facilitate $249 million in exports from Rhode Island companies, supporting an estimated 1,430 jobs in the state.9

Education and Research

  • In 2018-2019, 3,023 Rhode Island students studied abroad.10
  • During 2020, 5,225 international students were enrolled in Rhode Island colleges and universities and contributed $260 million to the Rhode Island economy.10

Global Engagement

  • Since 1961, 1,114 Peace Corps volunteers from Rhode Island have served in dozens of countries overseas.11