Update: The map above and the table below have been slightly revised so that both the GDP of US states and the GDP of foreign countries are in descending order in the table below.
The map above is an updated version of a similar map from 2007 here.
The map was created by matching economic output in US states in 2012 to foreign countries with comparable GDPs, using BEA data for GDP by state here and GDP by country from the United Nations, via Wikipedia here. For each US state (and the District of Columbia), I tried to find the country closest in economic size in 2012 (measured by GDP), and for each state there was a country with a pretty close match – those 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 2012 than a given US state.
It’s pretty amazing how ridiculously large the US economy is, and the map above helps put America’s GDP of $16.2 trillion in 2012 (and more than $17 trillion in Q4 2013) into perspective by comparing the GDP of US states to other country’s entire national GDP. For example:
1. America’s largest state economy is California, which produced $2.003 trillion of economic output in 2012, just slightly below Italy’s GDP in the same year of $2.013 trillion. In 2012, California would have been tied with Italy as the 9th largest economy in the world. And California’s population is only 38 million compared to Italy’s population of 61 million, which means California produces the same economic output as Italy with 37% fewer people. That’s a testament to the superior, world-class productivity of the American worker.
2. America’s second largest state economy – Texas – produced $1.4 trillion of economic output in 2012, placing it just slightly behind the world’s 13th largest country by GDP – Australia – with $1.56 trillion of economic output.
3. Even with all of its oil wealth, Saudi Arabia’s GDP in 2012 at $711 billion was less than GDP in Florida ($777 billion) and just slightly more than the GDP in Illinois ($695 billion).
4. New York’s GDP in 2012 of $1.205 trillion was slightly more than Mexico’s GDP of $1.18 trillion, even though Mexico’s population of 120.8 million people is 6.2 times larger than the number of people living in New York (19.6 million). Another example of the world-class productivity of the American workforce.
5. Washington state produces almost as much economic output ($375.7 billion) as Venezuela ($382 billion), even though Venezuela’s population (30 million) is more than four times larger than Washington’s (6.9 million).
6. Likewise, capitalist West Virginia produces about the same GDP as communist Cuba, even though Cuba’s population is more than six times larger than West Virginia’s.
MP: Overall, the US produced 22.3% of world GDP in 2012, with only 4.4% of the world’s population. Three of America’s states (California, Texas and New York) – as separate countries – would rank in the world’s top 15 largest economies. And one of those states – California – produced more than $2 trillion in economic output in 2012 – and the other two (Texas and New York) produced more than $1 trillion of GDP in 2012. The map and these statistics help remind us of the enormity of the economic powerhouse we live in. So let’s not lose sight of how ridiculously large and powerful the US economy is, and how much wealth and prosperity is being created all the time in the world’s largest economic engine.
These figures are very interesting and largely accurate. There is data that indicates that both Texas and Mexico have crossed the two trillion dollar GNP level about 18 months ago. There are other analysts and bean counter people who disagree. Brazil and Argentina consistently have been over-rated in terms of GNP, and all of this may be because of a bias to the left by analysts. Many leftist economists, for instance, hate Mexico because Mexico, as the leftist say, keeps "going Freedman".
We are fascinated by these charts and interpretations. We keep trying to point out how, in per capita terms, Red China is a demographic basket case. Texas, Mexico, and Canada with fewer than 200 million people has a combined GNP equivalent to Red China with 1.3 billion people.
We like demographic and geographical information, especially as it relates to Texas, the United States, Mexico, and North America in general. Maps are also fun.
El Gringo Viejo