North Dakota

North Dakota Exports & Foreign Investment


In 2023, North Dakota exported not a record $7.5 billion of goods to the world.  In 2021, exports from North Dakota supported an estimated 30 thousand jobs.


Exports from North Dakota and Jobs

  • North Dakota was the 36th largest state exporter of goods in 2023.
  • In 2023, North Dakota goods exports were $7.5 billion, an increase of 71 percent ($3.1 billion) from its export level in 2013 (latest data available).
  • Goods exports accounted for 10.1 percent of North Dakota GDP in 2023 (latest data available).
  • North Dakota goods exports in 2021 (latest data available) supported an estimated 30 thousand jobs. Nationally, jobs supported by goods exports pay up to an estimated 18 percent above the national average.

Manufacturing Exports from North Dakota and Jobs

  • In 2023, North Dakota exported $5.8 billion of manufactured products.
  • North Dakota exports of manufactured products supported an estimated 11 thousand jobs in 2021 (latest data available).
  • The state's largest manufacturing export category is petroleum and coal products, which accounted for $3.0 billion of North Dakota's total goods exports in 2023.
  • Other top manufacturing exports are machinery, except electrical ($1.2 billion), chemicals ($665 million), food and kindred products ($242 million), and transportation equipment ($161 million).


Exports Sustain Thousands of North Dakota Businesses many of which are SMEs

  • A total of 1,608 companies exported from North Dakota locations in 2022 (latest data available). Of those, 1,357 (84 percent) were small and medium sized enterprises with fewer than 500 employees.
  •  Small and medium-sized firms generated 33.6 percent of North Dakota's total exports of goods in 2022.


North Dakota Depends on World Markets

  • The state’s largest market was Canada. North Dakota exported $5.9 billion in goods to Canada in 2023, representing 79 percent of the state’s total goods exports.
  • Canada was followed by Mexico ($539 million), Australia ($218 million), Brazil ($113 million), and Czech Republic ($94 million).
  • North Dakota’s exports to major world areas included:


2023 Value


$6.8 billion


$176 million

European Union

$370 million

South/Central America and Caribbean

$168 million

Sub-Saharan Africa 

$66 million



  • 90 percent of North Dakota’s goods exports ($6.7 billion) in 2023 went to current FTA partners. 

Agriculture in North Dakota depends on Exports

  • North Dakota is the country’s 11th largest agricultural exporting state, shipping $5.9 billion in domestic agricultural exports abroad in 2022 (latest data available according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture).[1]
  • Top Agricultural exports were:


2022 Value

 2022 State Rank


$1.5 billion



$1.4 billion


other oilseeds and products

$765 million



$421 million


feeds and other feed grains

$309 million




International Investment Creates Jobs in North Dakota

  • In 2021 (latest data available), foreign-controlled companies employed 16,400 North Dakota workers. Major sources of foreign investment in North Dakota included Canada, the United Kingdom and Japan
  • Foreign investment in North Dakota was responsible for 4.8 percent of the state's total private-industry employment in 2021.

North Dakota’s Major Metropolitan Areas Benefit from Exporting

In 2022 (latest data available), the following metropolitan areas in North Dakota recorded goods exports: Bismarck ($539.1 million), Fargo ($518.7 million), and Grand Forks ($255.9 million).

[1] Estimates of state exports of agricultural products by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture and goods exports by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce are based on different methodologies and are not directly comparable.