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Pennsylvania Economy

Agriculture

In terms of revenue generated Pennsylvania's top five agricultural products are dairy products, cattle and calves, greenhouse and nursery products, mushrooms, and chicken eggs.

Livestock

Almost 70% of Pennsylvania's agricultural income is generated by livestock and livestock products. Milk is the state's most important livestock product and Pennsylvania is a leading state in the production of milk.

Beef cattle rank second among the state's products in this sector.

Chicken eggs, broilers (young chickens), and hogs are also valuable livestock products generating revenues in the state. Pennsylvania is a leading egg-producing state.

Some turkeys are raised in the state and there is some activity in aquaculture and in raising sheep and lambs.

Crops

Greenhouse and nursery products generate the largest revenues (9% of total agricultural receipts) in this catagory.

Mushrooms rank second, producing 8% of Pennsylvania's total agricultural receipts.

Corn for grain, hay and soybean crops are also important to the state's agricultural economy. Other field crops grown in the state are wheat, tobacco, and oats.

Vegetables that make the largest contributions to Pennsylvania's economy are sweet corn, potatoes, tomatoes, beans, and cabbage.

Apples, grapes, peaches, and strawberries are important fruit crops grown in Pennsylvania.

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Manufacturing

Manufacturers add value to raw products by creating manufactured items. For example, cotton cloth becomes more valuable than a boll of cotton through manufacturing processes.

The leading manufactured products in Pennsylvania are chemicals. With leading manufacturers of prescription drugs and aspirin located in the state, pharmaceuticals are the most important. Other chemical products are paint, petrochemicals and synthetic resins.

Pennsylvania is a leading processed foods state. In the state, the production of processed foods ranks second in the manufacturing industry where the most important products are beer, bread and cakes, chocolate and cocoa products, cookies and crackers and sausages and prepared meats. Pennsylvania is the leading state in the production of canned mushrooms and a leader in the production of ice-cream, potato chips and pretzels.

Manufacture of computer and electronic equipment (semiconductors and other electronic components, scientific instruments, communications equipment)is the state's third most valuable manufacturing activity.

Mining

Pennsylvania is a leading coal-producing state and is the only state mining anthracite coal.

Limestone, used for cement and roadbeds, and natural gas are other important mined products in the state.

Pennsylvania also produces some sand and gravel and petroleum.

Services

Community, business and personal service industries rank as the leading services group in Pennsylvania. Important businesses in this group include hotels, professional sports franchises, private health care and engineering and law firms. Major law firms are located in Philadelphia and leading engineering firms are based in Pittsburgh.

Ranking as the second most important source of service income in the state, the finance, insurance and real estate group is supported by large banks and holding companies in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The first stock exchange to be formed in the United States is based in Philadelphia; the Philadelphia Stock Exchange (PHLX) was formed in 1790.

Ranking third in the services industry is the wholesale trade (automobiles, coal, groceries, industrial machinery petroleum) and retail trade (automobile dealerships, department stores, grocery stores, restaurants) group.

Sources

Edward K. Muller and William C. Rense, "Pennsylvania," World Book Online Americas Edition, http://www.worldbookonline.com/wbol/wbPage/na/ar/co/421420, August 15, 2001.

U.S. Department of Agriculture: National Agricultural Statistics Service, "Pennsylvania State Agriculture Overview, 2004", 3 January 2006, <http://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Ag_Overview/AgOverview_PA.pdf> (12 January 2006)

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