Fact Sheet 2009–3008
Since the beginning of the 20th century, the types and quantities of raw materials used by U.S. manufacturers and consumers have changed significantly as the economy has moved from one that is predominantly agricultural to one that is primarily industrial. This fact sheet quantifies the materials (other than food and fuel) input into the U.S. economy from 1900 through 2006.
Previous studies have tracked the flow of minerals and materials by monetary value as a way of determining their effect on the U.S. economy. This information is the first attempt to document the flow of these materials in physical terms, which can help in assessing their potential adverse effect on the physical environment. This fact sheet presents the amounts (by weight) of raw minerals and materials used in the four categories of physical goods that support the U.S. economy. These four categories are agriculture, forestry, metals and minerals, and nonrenewable organics.
Posted April 21, 2009
Revised May 11, 2009
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Matos, G.R., 2009, Use of Minerals and Materials in the United States From 1900 Through 2006: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2009-3008, 6 p., available online at http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2009/3008.