How many pounds of minerals are required by the average person in a year?

To maintain our standard of living, each person in the United States requires over 40,630 pounds of minerals each year:

  • 10, 765 pounds of stone
  • 7,254 pounds of sand and gravel
  • 685 pounds of cement
  • 148 pounds of clays
  • 383 pounds of salt
  • 275 pounds of iron ore
  • 168 pounds of phosphate rock
  • 35 pounds of soda ash
  • 34 pounds of aluminum
  • 12 pounds of copper
  • 11 pounds of lead
  • 6 pounds of zinc
  • 5 pounds of manganese
  • 25 pounds of other metals
  • 584 pound of other non-metals


  • 956 gallons of petroleum
  • 3,593 pounds of coal
  • 101,338 cubic feet of natural gas
  • 0.12 pounds of uranium

Source: Minerals Education Coalition, 2021

Related Content

Filter Total Items: 16
May 26, 2011

PubTalk 5/2011 — The Future of Rare Earth Elements

--Will these high-tech industry elements continue in short supply?

by Keith Long, USGS Mineral Resource Analyst


  • Rare earth elements provide critical material for flat-panel display screens, cell phones, electric cars, windmills, etc.
  • Although relatively abundant in nature, deposits of rare earth elements that
USGS CoreCast
September 4, 2008

Why Do Minerals Matter?

You might be surprised where minerals pop up; they're just about everywhere. We sit down with Kathleen Johnson, USGS Mineral Resources Program Coordinator, as she walks us through just how valuable minerals are to our lives.

Image shows a detailed view of banded iron in rock
November 30, 2000

Minnesota Banded Iron

A banded iron formation in the Precambrian of Minnesota. Image by James St. John - Jaspilite banded iron formation (Soudan Iron-Formation, Neoarchean, ~2.69 Ga; Stuntz Bay Road outcrop, Soudan Underground State Park, Soudan, Minnesota, USA) 16, CC BY 2.0,

Attribution: Energy and Minerals
Image: Historical Phosphate Mining, in Peace River, Fl
January 1, 1946

Historical Phosphate Mining, in Peace River, Fl

Altered surface sediments created by phosphate mining, 1946.