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State GDP comparison: NW states sinking

November 19, 2010

Northwest Rank in GDP growth
1. Nevada – 6.4%
2. Idaho -3.1%
3. Oregon -2.4%
4. California – 2.2%
5. Washington -.07%

US Average = -2.1%
Top 5 GDP Growth states:
1. Oklahoma +6.6%
2. Wyoming + 5.4%
3. North Dakota +3.9%
4. Alaska + 3.5%
5. Louisiana + 2.5%

Worst 5 GDP Growth states
1. Nevada -6.4%
2. Michigan -5.2%
3. New York -4.3%
4. Arizona -3.9%
5. Indiana – 3.6%

Description of results from Bureau of Economic Analysis

Durable–goods manufacturing and construction led the decline in real U.S. GDP by state in 2009. One of these two industries was the leading contributor to the decline in 34 states. The states hardest hit by the decline in durable–goods manufacturing were Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Kentucky. The decline in construction subtracted more than one percentage point from growth in Nevada, Arizona, and Idaho, and nearly subtracted a point in Florida. In addition to the decline in construction, declines in accommodation and food services, and real estate, rental, and leasing, caused Nevada to have the largest downturn in 2009 (–6.4 percent).

In contrast to the nation and most states, several states experienced positive real GDP growth in 2009 due to real growth in agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting and in mining resulting from sharp declines in prices for petroleum, natural gas, and other mining products in 2009. Oklahoma had the fastest growth in real GDP in 2009 (6.6 percent). The largest contributor to growth in Oklahoma was mining. Mining was also the leading contributor to growth in Wyoming and Louisiana. Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting was the leading contributor to growth in North Dakota and Nebraska, and was the second largest contributor to growth in South Dakota.

Per capita real GDP by state in 2009. Delaware’s per capita real GDP of $62,080 was the highest in the nation, 48 percent above the national average. Mississippi’s per capita real GDP of $29,634 was the lowest in the nation, 29 percent below the national average. Nine of the 10 states in both the top and bottom quintile remained the same in 2008 and 2009. Washington replaced Colorado in the highest quintile in 2009, while Michigan replaced Maine in the lowest quintile in 2009. Refer to Table 3 for more detail on the results of per capita real GDP by state.

Tables 1–4 show these results in more detail; complete detail is available on BEA’s Web site at

The next release of GDP by state is scheduled for June 7, 2011. This release will include revised statistics for 2007–2009 and advance statistics for 2010. The revised statistics will incorporate the results of the July 2010 annual revision of the NIPAs and the next release of revised and advance GDP–by–industry statistics.

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Discuss this article

John Radford November 19, 2010

You’d have to be severly handicapped not to know the reason for this. But if you have lived your entire life in the NW, I can understand why you wouldn’t necessairly know that many of the local public policy choices are at the root cause.

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