Facts & Figures

The United States exports more coal to other countries than it imports. Between 2000 and 2010, about 5% of the coal produced in the United States, on average, was exported to other countries.


Coal exports were up more than 65 percent last year (2017). The following list shows the top five countries of U.S. coal exports, export amount (million short tons) in 2017:

  • India- 11.4
  • Korea- 9.5
  • The Netherlands- 9.4
  • Japan- 7.7
  • Brazil- 7.5

The U.S. exports metallurgical coal and steam coal. Metallurgical coal can be used for steel production, and steam coal can be used for electricity generation. Metallurgical coal dominates U.S. coal exports.

[quote]According to the World Energy Council, more than one-fourth of the world’s economically recoverable coal reserves are in the United States – making the U.S. the largest repository of coal in the world.[/quote]

In 2016, about 728 million short tons of coal were produced in 25 states. Five states produced a total of about 509 million short tons, or about 70% of total U.S. coal production. The five largest coal-producing states with production in million short tons and their share of total U.S. coal production in 2016:

  • Wyoming: 297.2 (41%)
  • West Virginia: 79.8 (11%)
  • Pennsylvania: 45.7 (6%)
  • Illinois: 43.4 (6%)
  • Kentucky: 42.9 (6%)


Read more on these pages:

How is U.S. Coal Exported?

Where is U.S. Coal Exported?

Environmental Responsibility

Reports and Resources

Fast Facts

Coal is present in 38 states and underlies nearly half a million square miles — or 13 percent of the nation’s land area.

The state with the most coal production is Wyoming, which mined approximately 376 million tons in 2015.

Of the coal mined in the United States, more than 90 percent is used to generate electricity at home and abroad.