Visualizing America's $18 Trillion Economy (In 3 Stunning Maps)

Tyler Durden's picture

The United States has a $18 trillion economy, which makes it the world’s largest by GDP.

To show its tremendous size, we previously published a visualization of the global economy that carved the world’s economic production into slices based on each country’s contribution to GDP. While this visualization helps to show how large the U.S. economy is in comparison to other nations, it still doesn’t seem to tell the full story.

After all, the United States is geographically vast and diverse, and population is spread out and unevenly distributed. This means production and innovation are both concentrated in some areas of the country, while other parts are clearly more rural.

How can we account for these differences to get a more accurate view of the U.S. economic engine?


Luckily, Mark J. Perry from AEI’s Carpe Diem blog has done some heavy lifting here to help us better understand the size and scope of America’s economy activity.

Here’s three maps that will make you think:

The first map redraws state borders to make seven “mega-states” that each have individual economies the size of major countries. California, for example, has an economy the size of France. The whole Northeast has an economy the size of Japan, and so on.

But even states are very diverse in geography – for example, Arizona has 6.7 million people, but more than two-thirds of those people live in the Phoenix metro area.

The second map compares the economies of metropolitan areas with entire countries. As you can see, the aforementioned Phoenix metro area has similar economic output to Portugal.

Meanwhile, the whole corridor from New York through to Washington, D.C. is as big as Canada, Iran, Czech Republic, and Sweden combined.

The final map builds on this idea, showing that half of America’s economic output comes just from a selection of metropolitan areas. The other half of America’s $18 trillion economy is based in the large swaths of land in between, including thousands of rural areas, villages, towns, and cities.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
NoDebt's picture

Furthest from all that appears to be Montana.  GPS waypoint set.


besnook's picture

there is a huge demand for dental floss tycoons.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Sadly 'value' cannot be measured solely by its contribution to GDP. Unfortunately that is the central lie promoted by the money meme.

nmewn's picture

lol...DC and its environs is the size of Sweden.

What a coincidink! ;-)

knukles's picture

Goddammit!  It's bad enough being from California, but now comparing me to a Frenchman?
Nu uh... nope... ain't gonna work.

Nope, no guilt trips about that, pardner. 

Nobodys Home's picture

At least we don't have to save you from invasion.

ThaBigPerm's picture

3rd map Light Blue FTW... even though I live in a dark blue.  But not far from light blue.

ThaBigPerm's picture

And Tyler(s) - you should superimpose the actual comparison nation against their economic equivalent nation.  For example, TX is about 2x the size of Germany.... that sorta thing.  Heh.

Loftie's picture
Loftie (not verified) ThaBigPerm Oct 14, 2016 9:39 PM

VISUALIZING America's enslavement in ONE artwork.

philipat's picture

Hey Loftie, previously known as mofio then santafe then Aristotle of Greece then Gargoyle then bleu then oops then lance-a-lot and others. Lance-a-lot got banned very quickly so time to re-use another old persona (non grata)?

You are a serial spammer and a serial pain in the ass. Might I politely suggest that you go fuck yourself? And get a life.

PS. You might have noticed that my attempt to expose you for what you are is always the same. That’s because your Spam is always the same (Using fake links to your BS site which has no connection to your comment) so it seems only fair that my exposure of your crap should also always be the same. Like for Like.


HedgeJunkie's picture

Just dropping in a word of encouragement.

This asshole needs to be banned.

Harsh words from someone with almost six years on this site.

Itinerant's picture

This asshole needs to be banned.

It's like a speck on your monitor. Always the same thing.

VinceFostersGhost's picture



Hell yes....I'm Germany.....and I'm not paying those damn Greeks a freakin penny!

Twee Surgeon's picture

Artwork ? a montage of grotesque things is more of a Documented objection than an art work.

Traditional art works reside in peoples homes, pleasant to behold, there was a guy that made artwork in new yuk city, (before he died of Aids)

A jar of piss with a crucifix in it was his kind of art work, a great investment in some quarters, so they say.

No matter how much such an art work might appreciated, would you Invest? 1000% in 10 years !

Jar of piss, famous name, certificate of authenticity. Very trendy !

Lets not forget that the Art market was hijacked long ago. Art is Art, Money is Money, get my drift ?

Images used for political purposes are propaganda, bust of Julius Caesar, Sistine chapel ceiling, art or propaganda ?

Art really exists separately from the political realm and must, as it loses it's innocence on a Bishops bedroom wall.

I have a picture of Elvis, painted on black velvet by some Mexican genius in Tijuana, that, my friend is Art ! and it glows in the dark too !

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

Glow in the dark Elvis. Si amigo, it did happen.

I'm curious. Is Minneapolis still Somalia?

Scroby's picture

Yes indeed.  Don't forget St. Paul, St. Cloud area, and Rochester either.

Captain Chlamydia's picture

Yo loftie! Neuk je zus of doe iets ander zinnigs. Mafkees.

Twee Surgeon's picture

Most of Texas is just a big sand box, driving across a thin section Hwy 10 takes two days at normal legal speeds, almost 900 miles of nothing much, pull over in El Paso fro a nice beer ! good luck with that, further North is much nicer but the South is hungry cows and drug dealers, some oil and gas I guess.

Not exactly comparible to Germany by the square meter. Texas is high on my list of places to drive around if their is ever a next time.

 They say Oklahoma is nice and the people are charming, I have never been there.

delacroix's picture

what's going on in southern arizona?

HedgeJunkie's picture

Nothing much, other than the frequent incursions of the mexican army as they protect the drug lords shipments.

Otherwise, it's all peace and quiet.

filmmaker's picture
filmmaker (not verified) HedgeJunkie Oct 15, 2016 4:35 PM

My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can't believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do...

RioGrandeImports's picture

The most populated areas in Texas are hardly a 'sandbox'.  You've got the Houston-Sugarland-Katy-Woodlands area, the Dallas-Ft Worth area, San Antonio, Corpus Christi-Aransas Pass-Rockport area, Texas city/Galveston Island, Beaumont-Nederland....

Many of these are the frontlines for the Reconquista, albeit many of the Mexicans are actually Texicans and are second/third generation citizens/residents. Plus, they actually work real jobs.

For industrial/energy/chemical related investment Texas and Louisiana are booming right now. I can think of probably 10 large construction projects off the top that are ongoing across Texas.

There are numerous Combined cycle power plants being built, the Freeport LNG project, Methanol plants, Ethane Crackers, PDH Units(Propane DeHydrogenation), and the list goes on...

More cancer for Texas and Louisiana ofc.

But it beats having hordes of unemployed urban dwellers who at best can earn minimum wage ( if you can get them to goto work).

roddy6667's picture

The invasion is over. The Mexicans won.

Mr. Bones's picture

Not yet anyway. 

As the movies show us, everything important happens in New York or Los Angeles.

Tarzan's picture

At least you weren't born in Japan and raised in Mexico! 

AnngeloJamaica's picture

Will do a visual on that one and get back to you.  

Lynx Dogood's picture

Why are you in Califorinia?


Get out!

HedgeJunkie's picture

You realize that the propensity for us to move out and settle somewhere else results in Commiefornication, right?

I'm staying here, I realize that I'm a virulant host and risk  infection in any area I stay in for a prolonged period of time.  That's why my visits to any area are less than two weeks.

I consider it courtesy, plus I don't know anywhere else with the weather, or the capabilty to wake up, ride a horse in Death Valley, ski in Big Bear, and surf in Malibu...all in one day.  (Not that I do it, but I've made the circuit.)

Clara Tardis's picture

well Knukles, it appears I'm Nigerian, the upside is I have discovered millions of dollars in a safe deposit box, but need your help getting it out of the country, to Califrance--I will split it with you... 

effendi's picture

France and Califoria are both anti gun, high taxes and non English speaking libtard bastions. The comparison is perfect.

VWAndy's picture

 Bingo ya cant measure with a rubber band.

DavyRoySixPack's picture

Spot on. Fiat distortion - over-weighting state currency and under weighting human capital.

DanDaley's picture

Right...I'd rather own Iowa than Bhaston.

Beltain's picture

The cities, especially the coastal ones, are really just middle men/tax collection centers for the government. GDP should be measured in real production NOT money changing.


Offthebeach's picture

Washington. Versailles on the Potomac.
( Got a nephew. Great kid, did well in a good skool. He's all happy with first office job in District of Corruption. He writes Googled econ reports for inside other gov trough feeders "to make plans".

Saw him at famblee dinner where I was allowed to eat inside. I hadn't seen him since graduation so I didn't want to disabuse him. Plus it was nice inside and i hate to eat standing up, my plate filling up with the rain .

Diatom's picture

Keep on  pumping fiat fuck funny money into the gazilion order Murika!

Purchasing power parity doesn´t mean a fuck to the excepcional nation... only

absolute numbers...

JRobby's picture

Indeed Cog Sir,

Composition per capita is off.

Mike in GA's picture

100% of the discord that has fractured America comes from the metro areas.

qwertyFUBAR's picture


Not to mention the postal ZIP of corporate headquarters, or that boiler room in Nebraska that all the payroll checks are mailed from. Or convenience stores where employees live (in India). Likker and beer runs?

coast's picture

if you are taking frank zappa, there are not too many that will topic: dont eat the yellow snow either...luv the zap

bpj's picture

She was buns up kneeling

Nobodys Home's picture

Were you wheelin and dealin?

PavlovPup's picture

St. Alphonso's pancake breakfast?


acetinker's picture

...where I stole the margarine.

roddy6667's picture

Weasels ripped my flesh.


Offthebeach's picture

Weasels. Hugh, flesh ripping weasels.

Nobodys Home's picture

Just raisin it up, and waxin it down.....

But then you need paraffin,,, The simple life.

AnngeloJamaica's picture

Yes we know, and your food grows in a convinient or grocery store.  Without that you would not need any dental floss you would be needing condoms to protect your ass from starvation.