Which US Region Contributes The Most To GDP?

Tyler Durden's picture

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has published gross domestic product (GDP) figures for the fourth quarter of 2016 by state. According to the BEA data released on Thursday, real GDP increased in every state and the District of Columbia for that time period.

GDP by state growth ranged from 3.4 percent in Texas to 0.1 percent in Kansas and Mississippi. Finance and insurance; retail trade; and professional, scientific, and technical services were the leading contributors to U.S. economic growth in the fourth quarter.

Overall, growth was pretty even when states are combined to regions. The GDP share of those regions didn't change much, comparing year-over-year fourth quarter figures.

Infographic: United States Gross Domestic Product by Region 2016 | Statista

You will find more statistics at Statista

As shown in the Statista chart above, the GDP has a strong correlation with how many people live in those areas. It doesn’t come as much of a surprise that the Southeast, which has the combined population of 12 states, amounting to approximately 83 million (or a quarter of U.S. citizens), also has the biggest GDP share, standing at 21.4 percent of total GDP. The thinly populated Rocky Mountain area (12 million inhabitants) has a share of 3.4 percent of the GDP.

Comment viewing options

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

>Comparing GDP by region

>Not comparing GDP PER CAPITA by region

Did they dig a new Tyler out of a special needs employment program?

flyonmywall's picture

It would actually be very interesting to look at GDP per capita by region.


Twee Surgeon's picture

The map above looks quite a lot like the Confederate States ? I'm not very informed about US history but I know enough to spot the 'surprising to me', dark spot in the South East. To be honest, i just do not get it. I always thought that NY and Cali and Texas were the Major economic drivers in the USA ?

More information needed.

Stuck on Zero's picture

Either I'm color blind or that choice of colors for the GDP map is totally sucky.

nmewn's picture

There was a sale on shades of blue...lol.

aminorex's picture

Truly an awful and incompetent infographic

Twee Surgeon's picture

But despite the bad taste in colors, are the Numbers correct ? I know Boeing, toyota and BMW ? I think, are in the South. I love the Southern States.

But the Numbers escape me, this is counter to everything I was always informed of in passing observations. Is it Agriculture or Oil that drives the numbers ?

Tourism ? Combo's. I hope they do not fuck up the South, those girls with Georgia accents are about the last hope for mankind.

Ex-Oligarch's picture

In a bureaucrat's fantasy world, ALL states are blue states.

And from the GDP calculation to the regional divisions, this whole exercise is fantasy invented by bureaucrats. 

Casey Stengel's picture

South Carolina is becoming a major driver. Manufacturing is booming.

Farqued Up's picture


Most of us know nothing of US history, the victors write the history, suffice it to say the final chapters have not yet been written but appear to be getting close. A big difference maker in the epilogue will be the number of defectors that rebel against the parasites on the East and West Coasts. NY is a bunch of fiat paper shufflers and taxi drivers, Cali has agriculture and their other big GDP item is the parasitic mooching at the MIC trough. Texas has agriculture and oilfield equipment which adds value to the human race if people want to ride and cook and get out of the cold.

The parasites include all negative production to make themselves look good. I wonder how much of the GDP includes "spent" uranium shells, for example. Oh, and let's not forget the $600 Inertial Striking Objects (hammers) procured by our MIC. Or $100 million planes that don't work.





slammin_dude's picture

If you eliminated the "juice" and bullshit provided by the FED and other worthless garbage like Financial "services" and bullshit related to "tech", which is nothing but bullshit "GDP" all possible via paper shuffling....take that away and the NE GDP drops by 70% min, and West drops by 80% min


SE is only place that manufactures shit and along with the interior that provides food and energy is productive. Also eliminate garbage "corn for ethanol" and soybean growing bullshit, and the picture would look completely different...

Seattle and SF/bay area are wealthy areas supposedly producing GDP....but far as i can tell, they produce nothing but apps and virtual garbage that achieves nothing and creates nothing....one big circle jerk only possilbe because the Fed gives away free money (only way Amazon exists)

Ajax-1's picture

The conclusions would be vastly different.

Mazzy's picture

Yeah, what happens if you were to, say, move Maryland into the Southeast (or the opposite, moved Virginia into the Mid-Atlantic?)? 

What would happen if you moved Arizona and New Mexico into the Rocky Mountain region, or aligned Arkansas and Louisiana with Texas like they already naturally are?

It's a totally random and ambiguous map.  The best thing to do is county-by-county level and then divide per capita.  Then include demographics and you might get a good picture of a metro-region.

But even then that would not be ideal because of how many people WORK in downtown areas only to LIVE in suburbs and exurbs as the productive citizens of this country are apt to do?  The economic measurement displayed in this article may have been ideal in the 1870's when people walked to the factory or simply stepped out the door of their farmstead.

Heck, how many working in, say, Chicago, cross state lines from Indiana or Wisconsin? How many people who work in DC actually live in VA, WV, MD and even PA and DE?  It's a lot.  DC's population quadruples during typical work hours.

CNONC's picture

2016 US GDP is 18.86trillion. You can do the math from there with the info provided.

Dovda Wimar's picture

You can do the math. Mideast and New England are highest per capita. Rocky Mountain and Southwest are least. Southeast is very close third from bottom per capita. Blew a hole in my theory about midwestern work ethic. Be interesting to rerun the stats when Ag commodities aren't in the toilet.

Dapper Dan's picture

Next week will have a chart on the average tire pressure of US citizens broken down by states. Excluding bikes and wheelbarrows

GunnerySgtHartman's picture

Did anyone notice how the blue-blood New England states contribute almost the least to GDP yet think they should call the shots for the rest of the nation?

Mazzy's picture

Bad math there Gunny.  Just take the two least populous regions displayed here.  The Northeast is displaying a population of 15 million with a GDP of 5.4% of the country's economic output.  The Rocky Mountain region is showing a population of 12 million with a GDP of 3.4%.

Now divide per capita and a normal intelligent White or Asian 3rd grader could probably figure it out.  The Rockies show output of 0.283% per million citizumz while the NE shows 0.36% per million.  Not difficult.

Granted if you really want to fight over brass tacs I would argue that GDP is a very flawed measurement of economic anything and that our cities have become woefully inefficient with ever diminishing returns.  When even those stop increasing your cities collapse a la Detroit, Camden, Baltimore, etc..  I also don't think we should measure LIFE by economics at all, but by quality of life.  Is life in all rural areas good for all people?  Heck no, but I like my odds better than being crammed into an apartment costing me 50% of my income and having to hear and smell my awful neighbors.  Certainly that's not for me.

OutaTime43's picture

I thought the same thing. Here's the data per capita...

$17269 Mideast
$15030 New England
$14537 Far West
$12723 Plains
$12258 Great Lakes
$11829 Rocky Mountain
$10764 Southeast
$10437 Southwest

So, the south is actually second to last in a true comparison

Mazzy's picture

Yep.  I'll also point out there's a lot of people generating $0 economic value in a lot of states that also have high numbers of high wage earners.

And is it really fair to compare government "employment" with real productive private sector employment?

You also can't even really compare state-by-state.  What's the difference between New York City and Oswego?  How about Alexandria versus Marion, Virginia?  Denver versus Craig? 

But really, so what about dollar amount? A lot of high wage/salary earners get taxed to shit, work long hours with horrible commutes only to come home to apartments and car payments and families that detest the male breadwinner.  Sounds awful. What about quality of life?

neidermeyer's picture

Washington DC is included in NE US ,, and since government spending is a GDP component it skews the numbers.

espirit's picture

8 Sovereign States.

I can live with that.

Tallest Skil's picture

Anyone who pushes the Balkanization narrative is extremely suspect.

espirit's picture

Survival is an instinct when law of the jungle prevails.

Itinerant's picture

The regions are kind of arbitrary ... I thought the mideast was over by Saudi Arabia. Never heard of this region.

Upper State New York is kind of New England to me, as is Philadelphia. Reconstituting New England to what we normally understand makes it the region that contributes most to GDP. The whole exercise seems kind of futile: Do Arizona, Utah, and Nevada belong to three different regions? Is Idaho a different region than Oregon? 

Ex-Oligarch's picture

Looks like goal seeking.  Somebody wanted to group DC and Virginia (and WV) with the South rather than the Mid-Atlantic states, probably because they included government spending in the GDP numbers.

However, Philadelphia is not "New England."  Do you also include Eastern Pennsulvania, NYC and most of New Jersey in "New England"? How about Delaware?  Your idea of "what we normally understand" needs revision -- it seems more like what left-coasters think of as the Northeast.  

True Blue's picture

Anyone who pushes the 'Union' narrative is also.

Smaller numbers of people deciding for themselves (instead of deciding things for people half a continent away) and more regional/local control over our own lives -in what manner is that suspect?

flyonmywall's picture

Nevada is more similar to the Rocky Mountain states than they are to those loonies in California and Oregon. It has a small population.

If California fell off into the ocean tomorrow it would be no great loss.


espirit's picture


Might have to make a deal with Mexico to take the ‘Left Coast’ back.


Helix6's picture

I disagree about Nevada if you are thinking about populations.  More than 70% of the people live in Clark County, mainly in the Las Vegas/Henderson area.  The majority of the remainder live strewn along the northern California border.  These folks are more akin to Californians than they are to, say residents of Utah or Idaho, as evidenced by the fact that its two most populous counties voted blue in the last election, carrying the state for Hillary Clinton.

Cabreado's picture

Oops.. it's a republic, and the "GDP" is a farcical figure.

Have at it, though...

AldousHuxley's picture

Pumping all of the natural resources off the land increases GDP. Doesn't really tell whether there is good governance nor citizens are productive.

nonutn's picture

The South shall rise again:

jmack's picture

funny, according to the media, the big gdp contributors are the north east and california....    just another fake news item i suppose.

Solomonpal's picture

An exception being Alaska

espirit's picture

That's part of Canada, right?

Donald J. Trump's picture

In reality Northeast should encompany the Great Lakes, mid easy, and North eadt of this map.  It woul still be smaller than the southeadt but have a higher gdp.  Still, wd should be talking per capita.

HalinCA's picture

The people in Michigan don't sonsider themselves in the Northeast.


State level data at BEA here:



Helix6's picture

I believe the article places Michigan in the Great Lakes region.

nmewn's picture

"Fawtunatly for the purveyors data sets at Statista, Texas was not included in the old South-east". - Senator Fog Horn Leghorn ;-)

Hal n back's picture

ok, lets try to see what happens without debt growth and with normalized interest rates.

Schmuck Raker's picture

Can we determine our regions using 20-sided dice?

rejected's picture

Live in Florida,,,

You bunch of cheap slackers.  Get with it! 

Upgrade your Obama's Affordable Care policy to Platinum Gold ++ .   (Only $10,000 per month with a $100,000 deductable). And it is included in GDP calculations.... easy peezy!

nmewn's picture

Oh gawd yes!

There is nothing more Floridians enjoy doing than anxiously awaiting our "choices" year after year after year! We love shopping on the ObaMaoCare exchange website and entering our most personal health & financial data! We've even formed ObaMaoCare clubs placing wagers on which companies will drop out in the coming year to help defray our annual premium increases!  

Its simply...fantastic ;-)

espirit's picture

Higher returns then fllottery.com. no?