Prosperity is NOT evenly spread; Far from it

Not all American states are equally prosperous. There are winners and there are several losers, too. Things are poorest in Connecticut, in Louisiana, and in Kansas. It is better elsewhere, but still there are real differences in how various states are faring:

GDP changes in the various states. See how your state is doing.

This enlarged chart is easier to view

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I don’t know if I would use the terms “winners” and “losers” as it implies there is a competition between states for only a certain amount of GDP increase and some get it while others don’t.

Regardless, its always important to look at what is happening differently in successful states compared to poorly performing ones. How about Washington State? Wow! And the whole western part of the country in general. Also interesting to see the states surrounding Texas so low with Texas being much higher.

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You have inferred something it was not my intent to imply. I agree the pie is not of limited size. It’s just that some states apparently are less adept than others when it comes to seizing their piece.


Skill and productivity are not evenly spread and thus prosperity will not be either.


This only shows the percent increase in GDP from 2016-2017. While this benchmarks improvement, I think the actual GDP by state is far more telling. Further down the page is GDP per capita.


Somehow I find the GDP per capita more telling than straight GDP. States like Alaska may look like they’re doing poorly due to their low GDP but they also have low population. It ranks in bottom 10 for GDP yet top 10 for GDP per capita which is a better measure of how prosperous individuals may be in that State.

I wish the chart of GDP changes was actually tracking GDP per capita which would take care of population changes.

Case in point is China may have similar GDP than the US (2017), but their GDP per capita is several multiples lower which is a better measure of the overall income/prosperity difference between the two countries IMO.

And then there is the issue of GDP based on raw numbers or on purchasing power. California has by far the highest GDP but also the highest costs of living. So looking at GDP, if cost of living in CA is roughly double that of OH, GDP per capita should be about twice to compare purchasing powers and general prosperity.


Here’s a site with the disposable personal income per capita by state :

They define disposable income as the amount after taxes.


OK I read the full article and they have a 2nd graphic that also adjusts per cost of living.

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Yes that one is very interesting since it really shows disposable purchasing power. That map is nothing like the GDP map too. Very interesting stuff.

Here is the actual GDP data:

There is an XLS sheet there where you can see the components broken down by state.

For example WA had major increases from “Retail trade” and “Professional, scientific, and technical services” so I read that as Amazon and Software (Microsoft etc)?