Which Countries Import the Most?

Singapore is among the 20 biggest importers in the world.
Egypt is one of the world's biggest importers.
The United States is the world's largest importer.
The South American country of Brazil ranks 25th in world imports.
Spain is one of the world's top 20 importers.
Japan ranks fifth in world imports.
Mexico ranks 11th in world imports, purchasing $168 billion USD of foreign goods.
Germany is the world's second leading importer trailing only the United States.
China and Thailand are among the 25 countries with the greatest amount of imports.
South Korea is one of the world's top 20 importers.
Switzerland ranks 18th in the world in the value of imported goods.
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  • Written By: L. S. Wynn
  • Edited By: L. S. Wynn
  • Last Modified Date: 26 November 2015
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As the purchasing power of the world continues to rise, people are developing a voracious appetite for more and more goods. Some countries produce the majority of goods for their own citizenry, whereas others rely heavily on imports. We have compiled a list of the top 25 importers based on total imports. Keep in mind that some countries have artificially low import amounts because of high tariffs and other disincentives for purchasing foreign-made goods. Import amounts are listed in billions of U.S. dollars.

country imports in billions of dollars
United States $1,150 United States Imports
Germany $487 Germany Imports
United Kingdom $330 United Kingdom Imports
France $304 France Imports
Japan $292 Japan Imports
China $269 China Imports
Italy $238 Italy Imports
Canada $229 Canada Imports
Hong Kong $203 Hong Kong Imports
Netherlands $201 Netherlands Imports
Mexico $168 Mexico Imports
Egypt $164 Egypt Imports
Spain $157 Spain Imports
Belgium $152 Belgium Imports
South Korea $147 South Korea Imports
Singapore $116 Singapore Imports
Taiwan $109 Taiwan Imports
Switzerland $94 Switzerland Imports
Malaysia $77 Malaysia Imports
Austria $74 Austria Imports
Sweden $69 Sweden Imports
Australia $68 Australia Imports
Thailand $62 Thailand Imports
Russia $61 Russia Imports
Brazil $58 Brazil Imports

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Discuss this Article

Post 5

My name is Muhammad and I hold a Master's degree in Commerce.

On the above list, the United States is at the top in the ranking. According to this report, the United States imports in billions of dollars which is $1,150, which is a huge amount. Now let me tell you something about mercantilism -- the trade theory.

According to the theory, countries should export more than they import and if a country imports more than it exports, then the BOP will be in deficit, but if a country exports more than it imports, then the BOP will be in surplus. According to this report which is about U.S. Total Goods and Services Trade (in billions of current U.S. dollars):


2008 2009 2010 2011

Exports $1,842.7 1,578.9 1,842.5 2,103.4

Imports __$2,541.0 1,958.1 2,337.2 2,663.2

If we subtract $2,663.2 imports of the last year, from $2,103.4 in export, the answer will be 559.8, which means the U.S. imports more than they Export. That's why the BOP is in deficit.

The U.S. dollar's decline on the international market, well there are so many reasons and I think one of the reasons is the one i have already explained above.

Post 4

@Windchime - Countries don't just import things that can't be produced domestically. Sometimes people believe a product made elsewhere is better in some way.

I would guess wine and cheese are two good examples. There's nothing wrong with a nice bottle of red from California, but sometimes the consumer wants to drink a bottle from France.

In other cases it comes down to cost. Clothes are probably imported because they are cheaper than those made at home. I did hear that a lot of American companies set up factories abroad, so in a way the imports are helping the U.S. economy. It's just less direct than if you bought something made in the USA.

Post 3

When I look at statistics on this topic I expect to see countries which are islands somewhere close to the top, so it's a surprise to see the USA leading the field!

In such a big country, with so many food and other items being produced, what on earth are Americans importing, and where from?

Post 1

Which countries export the most?

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