Based on the expert analysis and our database of 1,300+ US industries, IBISWorld presents a list of the Biggest Industries by Revenue in the US in 2021

1. Retirement & Pension Plans in the US

Retirement & Pension Plans in the US

Revenue for 2021: $1.257.9B

The Retirement and Pension Plans industry, comprising only private and public defined benefit (DB) pension plans, is estimated to grow at an annualized rate of 20.2% to $1.3 trillion over the five years to 2020. Strong investment gains and steady growth in contributions have propelled the industry forward during the period, despite significant declines in 2015 and expected in 2020. In 2017, revenue growth was particularly strong, increasing 115.6%. This has helped ensure revenue growth on an annualized basis, despite an expected decline of 6.9% in 2020 due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and its economic consequences.

2. Health & Medical Insurance in the US

Revenue for 2021: $1.165.8B

The Health and Medical Insurance industry, which is made up of carriers of private, group and public health, medical and dental insurance, has been characterized by growth over the five years to 2020. This growth is a result of consistent increases in healthcare expenditure and medical cost inflation, in addition to a sharp decline in the uninsured rate. Industry revenue is correlated with total health expenditure, as operators increase premiums to maintain profitability. Despite revenue growth, medical cost increases and new legislation mandating minimum medical loss ratios have put pressure on industry profit.

3. Drug, Cosmetic & Toiletry Wholesaling in the US

Revenue for 2021: $1.049.9B

The success of the Drug, Cosmetic and Toiletry Wholesaling industry is driven by demand for its primary product segment, pharmaceuticals. The vast majority of industry revenue is sourced from the distribution of prescription and nonprescription drugs to a variety of retailers and healthcare providers. Over the five years to 2020, several major brand-name drugs have lost patent exclusivity. This trend has created an opportunity for less-expensive generic drugs to enter the market. Nevertheless, wholesalers have prepared for the expanded use of generic drugs and adjusted their prices and supplies accordingly.

4. New Car Dealers in the US

Revenue for 2021: $978.7B

Operators in the New Car Dealers industry sell new and used passenger vehicles, provide repair and maintenance services and offer financing and insurance options. The industry is highly cyclical in nature and vulnerable to economic shifts, such as fluctuations in employment, overall consumer spending and financing rates. Over the five years to 2021, industry revenue has trended slightly upward. Industry revenue is expected to increase an annualized 0.4% to $978.7 billion over the five years to 2021, including an increase of 4.9% in 2021 alone as consumer confidence is poised to improve. 

5. Hospitals in the US

Revenue for 2021: $938.1B

Despite being a primary provider of healthcare in the United States, revenue for the Hospitals industry has declined over the five years to 2020, as hospitals across the United States have struggled with the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. As the coronavirus pandemic spread in early 2020, hospitals have been crucial in the treatment and control of the virus. However, due to the highly contagious nature of the virus, people have avoided hospitals for nonessential and nonemergency care. While hospitals have experienced an influx of patients with coronavirus, and are, in many cases, operating at capacity,

6. Pharmaceuticals Wholesaling

Revenue for 2021: $868.8B

The Pharmaceuticals Wholesaling industry consists of companies that distribute both prescriptions and nonprescription, or over-the-counter (OTC), medicines intended to treat and prevent diseases. Over the five years to 2020, a rise in the number of individuals with private health insurance and the number of physician visits has fueled revenue gains for the industry. Additionally, the aging of the US population has also boosted industry revenue growth, as individuals generally require and purchase more medications as they get older. Reflecting these trends, industry revenue has increased at an annualized rate of 2.2% to $868.8 billion over the five years to 2020

7. Public Schools in the US

Revenue for 2021: $802.7B

The Public Schools industry includes traditional elementary (kindergarten through fifth grade), middle (sixth or seventh through eighth grade) and high schools (ninth through 12th grade), as well as both charter and magnet schools. Due to operators' reliance on state and local government funding, industry revenue is directly affected by changes in tax revenue, which are affected by overall economic health. Government funding for primary and secondary education is estimated to grow at an annualized rate of 2.2% over the five years to 2020.

8. Life Insurance & Annuities in the US

Revenue for 2021: $723.3B

According to the Federal Reserve and the American Council of Life Insurers, the Life Insurance and Annuities industry is one of the largest sources of investment capital in the United States. Holding 20.0% of all US corporate bonds, industry operators are the largest source of bond financing for domestic businesses. As a result, many companies rely on life insurers to expand operations or finance transactions. However, the primary obligation of life insurers is to their policyholders; consumers use life insurance policies and annuities products for wealth preservation, estate planning and retirement savings. 

9. Property, Casualty and Direct Insurance in the US

Revenue for 2021: $698.8B

Operators in the Property, Casualty and Direct Insurance industry support US consumers and businesses by providing protection against damage caused by a variety of events, such as car accidents, catastrophe and medical malpractice. General insurers can provide these services at a fraction of the potential loss by pooling premiums to pay for losses that some policyholders incur. As a result, the industry is an indispensable part of risk management in the domestic economy. General insurers derive income from insurance premiums and by investing in bonds, stocks and other assets. 

10. Commercial Banking in the US

Revenue for 2021: $666.0B

The Commercial Banking industry is composed of banks regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Banks generate the majority of their revenue by accepting customer deposits and then lending these deposits out to individuals and businesses at a certain interest rate, which is influenced by different factors, including the federal funds rate (FFR), the prime rate and the debtor's creditworthiness.

Industry revenue finally returned to growth in 2015 after declining in each year since 2008. 

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