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Dairy industry analysis shows $620b economic impact

Dairy Delivers 2.0 provides an updated version of the industry's website launched in 2017.

In honor of National Dairy Month, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) has launched an updated version of its popular economic impact tool, Dairy Delivers, which measures the combined impact of the dairy products industry at the national, state and Congressional district levels across the United States. Updated for the first time since 2017, Dairy Delivers is the most comprehensive and current analysis of how the production and marketing of all dairy products positively affect the U.S. economy. Data include direct and indirect measures of output, wages, jobs, state and national GDP, and contributions to taxes at the local, state and national levels.

Overall, the dairy industry supports the U.S. economy in the following ways:

  • Contributes 1% to national GDP
  • Adds $620 billion in total economic impact
  • Supports more than 3 million total jobs
  • Provides a $64.5 billion contribution to federal, state and local taxes (not including sales taxes paid by consumers)
  • Generates $38 billion in direct wages for workers in dairy industry

“Not only do dairy foods offer unparalleled health and consumer benefits to people of all ages, but they also drive growth, support jobs, and contribute to a healthy economy. As the voice of the dairy industry, IDFA is proud to introduce Dairy Delivers 2.0, the most comprehensive picture of dairy’s impact on the U.S. economy,” said Michael Dykes, DVM., president and chief executive officer of IDFA. “There is new economic data detailing how the five major segments of dairy—milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt, and ingredients—make a difference across country. From dairy companies and cooperatives to food retailers and suppliers, IDFA’s members are dedicated to making safe, delicious products that nourish and sustain people while delivering for our economy.”

Users of Dairy Delivers will learn how dairy products contribute directly to the U.S. economy, including:

  • Milk: Adds $51.4 billion in direct economic impact and supports 64,400 dairy industry jobs
  • Ice Cream: Adds $11 billion in direct economic impact and supports 26,100 dairy industry jobs
  • Cheese: Adds $50.9 billion in direct economic impact and supports 52,200 dairy industry jobs
  • Yogurt & Cultured Products: Adds $5.5 billion in direct economic impact and supports 6,900 dairy industry jobs
  • Dairy Ingredients: Adds $14.1 billion in direct economic impact and supports 9,300 dairy industry jobs

The Dairy Delivers allows users to click on an interactive map of the U.S. to learn how dairy impacts their state and community.  For example, the map shows that the dairy industry in California—the nation’s largest dairy state—contributes $28.1 billion to the state’s economy and supports over 100,000 jobs. In Wisconsin, the dairy industry contributes $20.8 billion to the state’s economy and supports nearly 40,000 jobs.

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