Industry Cluster

Iowa Produces Advanced Manufacturing Solutions

Manufacturing is Iowa’s largest industry sector. Home to some 6,100 manufacturers, operating more than 6,400 factories and employing 200,000 workers, the industry generates more than one-sixth of Iowa’s total gross domestic product (GDP).

Iowa is one of the nation’s most manufacturing-dependent states. No problem. Despite a widespread recessionary economy, during the past decade Iowa manufacturing GDP grew at an inflation-adjusted rate of 9.2 percent.

With an emphasis on advanced manufacturing, industries in that sector employ 14% of the state’s total workforce — 36% higher than the national employment distribution for manufacturing — and Iowa’s manufacturers contribute more to the states GDP than the industry accounts for nationally.

Iowa is a world leader in agriculture-related manufacturing. Agricultural and Construction Machinery manufacturers, for example, are nine times more likely to be located in Iowa.

The four agriculture-related advanced manufacturing subsectors combine to represent more than one-fifth of Iowa’s manufacturing operations (728) and 35 percent of the state’s manufacturing sector workforce (55,316).


Iowa colleges and universities annually deliver more than 5,300 graduates to the workforce in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.