Facts and Figures

Exports help grow and strengthen Kentucky’s economy. Selling to other countries helps companies ride out seasonal and regional fluctuations in sales, extend the lifecycles of their products, develop and adapt new products and diversify their dependence on sectors and clients.

In 2015, Kentucky ranked ninth nationally by percentage growth in exports and 17th among U.S. states by dollar amount. That performance remains all the more significant given Kentucky is neither a coastal nor international-border state.

While Kentucky is home to a number of large exporters, most of the state’s exporters are small and medium-sized businesses, selling products and services to nations around the globe.


  • Kentucky exports totaled a record $27.6 billion in 2015
  • Kentucky ranks 17th in the nation in total exports
  • The state’s total exports increased for the sixth consecutive year in 2015
  • Kentucky’s exports increased by $14.5 million from 2014 to 2015
  • The Commonwealth exported to 198 countries during 2015
  • Top export industry sectors in Kentucky include: aerospace, motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts, pharmaceuticals, resin and synthetic rubber, and basic chemicals
  • Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, China, France, Brazil, Japan and Germany are Kentucky’s top export markets
  • In 2015, Kentucky’s trade to Austria increased nearly 60 percent, to Brazil more than 20 percent and to China by greater than 16 percent
  • Kentucky’s bourbon exports increased by more than $9 million to $310.6 million in 2015

Source: WISERTrade and U.S. Census Foreign Trade Division

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