Though manufacturing is a global industry, it remains fragmented by country. Each country produces relatively distinct goods that make up the broader global manufacturing industry.
Manufacturing by Country
Here’s a look at manufacturing by country, focusing on the world’s top ten manufacturing countries and what they contribute to the global manufacturing economy.
Note that industrialized countries consistently compete for a place, so this list is likely to change as years go by.
- China – 28.4%
- United States – 16.6%
- Japan – 7.2%
- Germany – 5.8%
- India – 3.3%
- South Korea – 3.0%
- Italy – 2.3%
- France – 1.9%
- United Kingdom – 1.8%
- Mexico – 1.5%
According to the United States Statistics Division, China tops the list when it comes to manufacturing. The country makes up 28.4% of the total global manufacturing output, which adds a total value of nearly $4 trillion to the world economy. The main exports from China comprise consumer goods like textiles, electronics, and garments.
The U.S. used to have the world’s largest manufacturing sector until it was overtaken by China in 2010, though it’s still in the contest with China to take back the position. The country accounts for roughly 16.6% of global manufacturing, and its output is valued at $1.8 trillion. The U.S.’s production includes automobiles, chemical products, food products, military equipment, and aircraft.
Japan comes in third and provides approximately 7.2% of the world’s total manufacturing output. Japan produced $1 trillion from manufacturing in 2019. The country is famous for manufactured exports, including vehicles, computer parts, electronics, and chemicals.
Germany is among the leading European manufacturing nations, with $806 billion coming from this sector. Well known for motor vehicle exports, electrical machinery, and manufactured metals, the country accounts for approximately 5.8% of global manufacturing.
South Korea accounts for about 3.3% of global manufacturing, and its output value is around $372 billion. Manufacturing represents approximately 29% of the entire country's national output. Significant exports from South Korea include technological products, automobiles, petroleum, and machinery.
Although it may be better known for the I.T. workforce or customer service centers, India also has a major share of manufacturing output, accounting for around 3% of global manufacturing output. The country gives an output value of roughly $298 billion. It's mostly known for agricultural products, textiles, engineering goods, leather products, and chemicals.
While Italy ranks 7th on the list of manufacturing countries, Italy’s economic structure relies heavily on manufacturing and industrialization. The output value of Italy’s manufacturing industry amounts to approximately $264 billion, and the country’s primary exports include metal products, clothing and footwear, vehicles, and chemicals. Manufacturing alone contributes nearly $314 billion to their national economy.
France contributes approximately $274 billion in manufacturing output to the global economy, accounting for 1.9 of the total global manufacturing output. Its leading exports include agricultural products, machinery, aircraft, and hydrocarbon products.
The United Kingdom is a sovereign state that includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. They account for about 1.8% of global manufacturing, contributing a total manufacturing output value of $244 billion. Major exports from the U.K. include chemicals, manufactured goods, and food products.
Mexico accounts for around 1.5% of global manufacturing output, enough to generate a value of $175 billion. Mexican exports are mineral fuels, lubricants, food, transport equipment, and machinery.