Materials Flow in the United States—A Global Context, 1900–2020

Data Report 1164
National Minerals Information Center



During the last 12 decades (1900–2020), the amounts of raw materials used in the United States have increased significantly due to economic development, technological innovations, and population growth. Data on materials are presented here to provide an overview of the annual quantities (measured in physical terms) required for the standard of living in the United States and to provide insights into the consumption trajectory that developing countries may follow. The consumption patterns driving the use of raw materials were analyzed through the lens of economic disruptions and expansions during this period, illustrating the linkages between the selected materials and economic development. These annual material inputs to the U.S. economy (excluding food or fuel) were also analyzed in a global context. The data used were gathered by various agencies and compiled by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Suggested Citation

Matos, G.R., 2022, Materials flow in the United States—A global context, 1900–2020: U.S. Geological Survey Data Report 1164, 23 p., [Supersedes USGS Fact Sheet 2017–3062.]

ISSN: 2771-9448 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • U.S. Raw Materials
  • Renewable and Nonrenewable Resources
  • U.S. Consumption by Category
  • Overview of U.S. Consumption Flows
  • Global Comparison
  • Data Sources Used To Track Flows of Raw Materials Usage
  • Summary
  • Acknowledgments
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Materials flow in the United States—A global context, 1900–2020
Series title Data Report
Series number 1164
DOI 10.3133/dr1164
Year Published 2022
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) National Minerals Information Center
Description Report: iv, 23 p.; 2 Tables
Country United States
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details