The map above was created by matching the economic output (Gross Domestic Product) for each US state (and the District of Columbia) in 2017 to a foreign country with a comparable nominal GDP last year, using data from the BEA for GDP by US state and data for GDP by country from the International Monetary Fund.
For each US state (and the District of Columbia), we identified the country closest in economic size in 2017 (measured by nominal GDP) and those matching countries are displayed in the map above and in the table below. Obviously, in some cases, the closest match was a country that produced slightly more, or slightly less, economic output in 2017 than a given US state.
It’s pretty difficult to even comprehend how ridiculously large the US economy is, and the map above helps put America’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $19.4 trillion ($19,400,000,000,000) in 2017 into perspective by comparing the economic size (GDP) of individual US states to other country’s entire national output.
Overall, the US produced 24.3% of world GDP in 2017, with only about 4.3% of the world’s population. Three of America’s states (California, Texas and New York) – as separate countries – would have ranked in the world’s top 11 largest economies last year. Together, those three US states produced nearly $6.0 trillion in economic output last year, and as a separate country would have ranked as the world’s third-largest economy and ahead of No. 4 Japan ($4.8 trillion) by more than $1 trillion. And one of those states – California – produced more than $2.7 trillion in economic output in 2017 – and the other two (Texas and New York) produced $1.7 trillion and $1.5 trillion of GDP in 2017 respectively. Adjusted for the size of the workforce, there might not be any country in the world that produces as much output per worker as the US, thanks to the world-class productivity of the American workforce.
Mark J. Perry is concurrently a scholar at AEI and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan’s Flint campus. He is best known as the creator and editor of the popular economics blog Carpe Diem. At AEI, Perry writes about economic and financial issues for American.com and the AEIdeas blog.
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