KY Export Facts


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 2016, Kentucky set a new record for annual exports with 29.2 billion in exports reported. Kentucky exports were 5.8% higher than 2015.

Kentucky ranks as the 8th highest state in percentage growth for 2016.

In 2016, Kentucky ranked 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.

2016 Export Stats

  • Kentucky exports have reached $29.2 billion, up 5.8% over the same period last year. During this time, U.S. exports declined by 3.3%.
  • Kentucky ranks 8th in percentage growth of exports among all states.
  • Kentucky exported to 199 countries in 2016.
  • 37.1% of Kentucky’s total exports have been aerospace products and parts (all countries). Kentucky’s aerospace products and parts increased by +24.3% in 2016.
  • Kentucky’s top trade partner in 2016 was Canada with $7.5 billion in exports for the August 2016 YTD.
  • In 2016, exports to France increased by 60%. The vast majority of Kentucky’s exports to France are aerospace products.
  • Kentucky's exports of motor vehicle parts has increased by 12% during 2016

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

Kentucky Exports, Jobs, & Foreign Investment

  • Value of Kentucky goods and services exported during (2016) = $29.2 billion.
  • Kentucky jobs supported by exports in 2015 = 140,352.
    • 94% of these jobs were supported by manufacturing exports during 2015.
    • Jobs supported by Kentucky exports are up by 29,000 jobs since 2009.
  • The 20 Free Trade Agreement (FTA) countries accounted for $11.7 billion (42 percent) of Kentucky’s exports during 2015.
  • Kentucky’s exports to the 20 U. S. FTA countries has increased by 54% from 2005 to 2015.
    • NAFTA countries (Canada and Mexico), Singapore, Australia, South Korea, and Colombia had the largest dollar growth during this period.
  • During 2014, there were 4,606 Kentucky companies exporting (all employment sizes).
  • During 2014, Kentucky had 3,655 small and medium sized firms exporting.
  • During 2014, small and medium sized firms exported 30% of Kentucky’s total export $ merchandise.

Source: Derived from information prepared by the Office of Trade and Economic Analysis, International Trade Administration, United States Department of Commerce.
Source: Derived from U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Division via WISERTrade: State Database

All form fields are required.