New Economic Analysis of U.S. Dairy Industry Shows $ 620B in Economic Impact and 3 Million+ Jobs

WASHINGTON —In honor of National Dairy Month, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) today 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—milk, ice cream, cheese, butter, yogurt and cultured products, and ingredients like protein powders and whey—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, D.V.M., president and CEO 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

Using IDFA’s Dairy Delivers® website at, users can click on an interactive map of the United States to learn how dairy impacts their community. Just select an area of the country that interests you—options include the full United States, any of the 50 states, or any of the 435 Congressional districts. Once you click on the state and/or district that interests you, select View/Print to generate your own detailed fact sheet or economic impact report.

Throughout the month of June, IDFA will share 51 short social media friendly videos on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube (@dairyidfa) detailing the economic impact of the dairy industry in the United States as well as in each of the 50 states.

To learn more, visit

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The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industry, which supports more than 3 million jobs that generate $159 billion in wages and $620 billion in overall economic impact. IDFA’s diverse membership ranges from multinational organizations to single-plant companies, from dairy companies and cooperatives to food retailers and suppliers, all on the cutting edge of innovation and sustainable business practices. Together, they represent 90 percent of the milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt and cultured products, and dairy ingredients produced and marketed in the United States and sold throughout the world. Delicious, safe and nutritious, dairy foods offer unparalleled health and consumer benefits to people of all ages.