Profile America: National Rice Month

Tuesday, September 11th. To highlight its importance, both as a crop and as part of the changing American diet, this is National Rice Month.

Globally, rice is the world’s most important cereal grain. Americans doubled their annual per capita consumption of rice over some 30 years, increasing from 9½ pounds in the 1980s to around 18.5 pounds in 2009. Rice has been grown in America since the late 17th century, and is currently a $2.3 billion a year crop. While only the 12th largest producer of rice, the United States is the leading non-Asian exporter, sending about $1.9 billion worth annually to overseas markets. The grain is raised by farmers in Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi and Texas.

Profile America is in its 22nd year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.

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