This report provides estimates of the lignite industry's contribution to the North Dakota economy, using key economic indicators such as retail trade activity, personal income, total business activity, employment, and tax revenues. The estimates are based on actual industry expenditures for 2004 and projected expenditures for 2005. This analysis contains two measures of the relative importance of the lignite energy industry in North Dakota. First, the industry's share of the state's total sales to final demand (or exports) is evaluated. Second, the business volume generated by the industry is compared to the total gross business volume for the state. Expenditures were obtained from a survey of firms involved in lignite-related activities (mining or conversion) in North Dakota. Finally, wages paid by the coal mining sector are compared to those paid by other sectors of the state economy. In 2004, the lignite industry accounted for $597.3 million in direct expenditures and $1.8 billion in total economic impacts. The lignite industry directly employed 3,933 workers in 2004, and generated an estimated 18,293 secondary jobs throughout the state economy.