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The Coal Capitals of the World

The Coal Capitals of the World

Posted on 1 Mar 2019 By Coal Hut

Have you ever wondered which countries produce the most coal? It remains an integral fuel source of modern life, with world coal consumption achieving a staggering 3,732 million tons of oil equivalent in 2017. In this post, Coal Hut are going to run through a list of the world’s leading coal producers, providing helpful statistics and background information on the coal capitals of the world.


China is the world’s leading coal producer. It accounted for 46% of the world’s coal production in 2017 with an eye-watering 3,523 million metric tons of coal (1,747 million tons of oil equivalent). As expected, China is also the world’s premier consumer of coal, burning through 1,893 million tons of oil equivalent (51% of the world coal consumption).

The industrialisation and advancements in technology that have been realised by China in recent times may provide an explanation for this excess of coal production and consumption. However, on account of limited reserves, China’s coal production is projected to peak by 2025 before entering into a permanent state of decline, falling to 1,968 million metric tons by 2050.


India is the second largest global producer of coal. India produced 716 million metric tons of coal in 2017, accounting for 9.2% of global coal production. Following the same trend as China, India are also the world’s second largest consumer of coal. Between 1990 and 2017, India’s per capita coal consumption grew from 126kg to 317kg of oil equivalent. By 2050, the Indian population is set to grow to 1.7 billion which can only mean one thing: a lot more demand for coal.

United States

Coming in at third is the United States. The US produced 712 million metric tons of coal in 2017, also accounting for around 9% of world coal production. Coal mining states in the US include West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Texas, with the world’s largest coal mine, The North Antelope Rochelle, being situated in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming.

The US per capita coal consumption topped out at 1.92 tons of oil equivalent in 2000. Although an obvious industrial powerhouse, interestingly, coal consumption has declined dramatically in the U.S.since the Financial Crisis of 2008/09. In 2017, US per capita coal consumption was recorded at just 1.02 tons of oil equivalent.

For more information on world coal, click here.

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