Comparing the economic state of the states


Is the USA the world’s richest country, as many believe? I guess much depends on how you measure that.

What about individual states? I’ve sometimes pondered that question myself, either in terms of outright wealth or economic measures like gross domestic product (GDP). Probably a familiar scenario is California, where it’s often said that if it were a sovereign nation, it would have the eighth-largest economy in the world as measured by GDP.

It makes you think about other US states. What about Texas, for instance? Or Vermont? Arkansas?

The Economist has an elegant answer in ‘if the states were countries,’ the map you see above that links each of the 50 American states to its GDP equivalent value of another country. So, for example, Texas has the same GDP as Russia, according to The Economist; Vermont’s is the same as Yemen’s and Arkansas’ the same as Kazakhstan’s.

And as The Economist says:

[…] Taking the nearest equivalent country from 2009 data reveals some surprises. Who would have thought that despite years of car-industry hardship, Michigan’s economy is about the same size as the whole of Taiwan’s.

An absorbing extra – the interactive version of the map includes population, as well as GDP, equivalents which you can drill down into state by state.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

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