Rhode Island

Rhode Island Exports & Foreign Investment


In 2023, Rhode Island exported a record $3.0 billion of goods to the world.  In 2021, exports from Rhode Island supported an estimated 9 thousand jobs.


Exports from Rhode Island and Jobs

  • Rhode Island was the 44th largest state exporter of goods in 2023.
  • In 2023, Rhode Island goods exports were $3.0 billion, an increase of 39 percent ($851 million) from its export level in 2013 (latest data available).
  • Goods exports accounted for 3.9 percent of Rhode Island GDP in 2023 (latest data available).
  • Rhode Island goods exports in 2021 (latest data available) supported an estimated 9 thousand jobs. Nationally, jobs supported by goods exports pay up to an estimated 18 percent above the national average.

Manufacturing Exports from Rhode Island and Jobs

  • In 2023, Rhode Island exported $2.1 billion of manufactured products.
  • Rhode Island exports of manufactured products supported an estimated 7 thousand jobs in 2021 (latest data available).
  • The state's largest manufacturing export category is chemicals, which accounted for $636 million of Rhode Island's total goods exports in 2023.
  • Other top manufacturing exports are miscellaneous manufactured commodities ($422 million), computer and electronic products ($203 million), primary metal manufacturing ($196 million), and electrical equipment, appliances and components ($150 million).


Exports Sustain Thousands of Rhode Island Businesses many of which are SMEs

  • A total of 2,024 companies exported from Rhode Island locations in 2022 (latest data available). Of those, 1,764 (87 percent) were small and medium sized enterprises with fewer than 500 employees.
  •  Small and medium-sized firms generated 51.6 percent of Rhode Island's total exports of goods in 2022.


Rhode Island Depends on World Markets

  • The state’s largest market was Canada. Rhode Island exported $487 million in goods to Canada in 2023, representing 16 percent of the state’s total goods exports.
  • Canada was followed by Italy ($388 million), Dominican Republic ($331 million), Ireland ($248 million), and Mexico ($220 million).
  • Rhode Island’s exports to major world areas included:


2023 Value


$1.2 billion


$526 million

European Union

$956 million

South/Central America and Caribbean

$436 million

Sub-Saharan Africa 

$89 million



  • 41 percent of Rhode Island’s goods exports ($1.2 billion) in 2023 went to current FTA partners. 

Agriculture in Rhode Island depends on Exports

  • Rhode Island is the country’s 49th largest agricultural exporting state, shipping $33 million 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

other plant products

$23 million


other livestock products

$7 million


other poultry products

$2 million


dairy products

$455 thousand



$160 thousand




International Investment Creates Jobs in Rhode Island

  • In 2021 (latest data available), foreign-controlled companies employed 31,400 Rhode Island workers. Major sources of foreign investment in Rhode Island included the United Kingdom, France and Canada
  • Foreign investment in Rhode Island was responsible for 7.5 percent of the state's total private-industry employment in 2021.

Rhode Island’s Major Metropolitan Areas Benefit from Exporting

In 2022 (latest data available), the following metropolitan areas in Rhode Island recorded goods exports: Providence-Warwick ($7.2 billion).

[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.