West Virginia

West Virginia Exports & Foreign Investment


In 2023, West Virginia exported not a record $5.7 billion of goods to the world.  In 2021, exports from West Virginia supported an estimated 22 thousand jobs.


Exports from West Virginia and Jobs

  • West Virginia was the 39th largest state exporter of goods in 2023.
  • In 2023, West Virginia goods exports were $5.7 billion, a decrease of 35 percent ($3.1 billion) from its export level in 2013 (latest data available).
  • Goods exports accounted for 5.7 percent of West Virginia GDP in 2023 (latest data available).
  • West Virginia goods exports in 2021 (latest data available) supported an estimated 22 thousand jobs. Nationally, jobs supported by goods exports pay up to an estimated 18 percent above the national average.

Manufacturing Exports from West Virginia and Jobs

  • In 2023, West Virginia exported $4.1 billion of manufactured products.
  • West Virginia exports of manufactured products supported an estimated 12 thousand jobs in 2021 (latest data available).
  • The state's largest manufacturing export category is chemicals, which accounted for $1.5 billion of West Virginia's total goods exports in 2023.
  • Other top manufacturing exports are transportation equipment ($1.4 billion), machinery, except electrical ($367 million), primary metal manufacturing ($285 million), and petroleum and coal products ($123 million).


Exports Sustain Thousands of West Virginia Businesses many of which are SMEs

  • A total of 980 companies exported from West Virginia locations in 2022 (latest data available). Of those, 735 (75 percent) were small and medium sized enterprises with fewer than 500 employees.
  •  Small and medium-sized firms generated 47.3 percent of West Virginia's total exports of goods in 2022.


West Virginia Depends on World Markets

  • The state’s largest market was Canada. West Virginia exported $2.1 billion in goods to Canada in 2023, representing 38 percent of the state’s total goods exports.
  • Canada was followed by China ($539 million), Japan ($377 million), Netherlands ($291 million), and Belgium ($285 million).
  • West Virginia’s exports to major world areas included:


2023 Value


$3.7 billion


$1.6 billion

European Union

$1.1 billion

South/Central America and Caribbean

$296 million

Sub-Saharan Africa 

$37 million



  • 48 percent of West Virginia’s goods exports ($2.7 billion) in 2023 went to current FTA partners. 

Agriculture in West Virginia depends on Exports

  • West Virginia is the country’s 47th largest agricultural exporting state, shipping $183 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

$53 million


other livestock products

$34 million


beef and veal

$27 million


broiler meat

$22 million


other poultry products

$20 million




International Investment Creates Jobs in West Virginia

  • In 2021 (latest data available), foreign-controlled companies employed 28,400 West Virginia workers. Major sources of foreign investment in West Virginia included Japan, Canada and France
  • Foreign investment in West Virginia was responsible for 5.3 percent of the state's total private-industry employment in 2021.

West Virginia’s Major Metropolitan Areas Benefit from Exporting

In 2022 (latest data available), the following metropolitan areas in West Virginia recorded goods exports: Parkersburg-Vienna ($819.5 million), Charleston ($723.3 million), and Morgantown ($80.3 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.