States With the Fastest and Slowest Growing Economies

November 23, 2017 by Mike Sauter

Source: Thinkstock
The United States economy has been in a period of encouraging, consistent growth for several years now. U.S. GDP has now increased uninterrupted for 14 straight quarters. The stock market continues to hit new all-time highs, and the unemployment rate fell to 4.1% in October, the lowest it has been since the year 2000.

Based on the most recent quarterly estimates from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the growth — or decline — of American state economies over the past three years — more or less the time since the last nationwide quarterly economic contraction. Nationwide, GDP grew by 2.2% over the three years ending in the second quarter of 2017.

Of course, economic prosperity across the third largest nation on Earth — by both area and by population — does not occur evenly across all geographies. Regional economic growth is affected by regional and local factors, including wages, demographics, and, above all, the concentration of certain industries. Most state economies grew as well over the past three years, but some by less than the nationwide growth and others by as much as 4%. A few state economies even contracted over the three-year period.

American companies in the information sector have gone through a period of prosperity. Companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook appear to be on the verge, some experts, of taking over the entire private sector. The U.S. information sector grew by 6.5% over the past three years, faster than any other. Some of the fastest growing state economies are home to major tech clusters. These states include Utah, California, and Washington.

In some states, the trajectory of oil prices over the past few years has been the driving force behind the greatest economic growth and contraction rates over that period. States with substantial petroleum, mining, or refining sectors such as North Dakota and Alaska weathered the Great Recession better than most and expanded rapidly in the years that followed.

However, when crude oil prices collapsed in 2014 and 2015, it was these same economies that took the hardest hit. Some of the nation’s most oil-rich states have had the largest GDP contractions over the past two years.

Oil prices have been on an upswing since June of this year, rising over $10 per barrel during that time. Many of the economies that have declined the most over the three-year period. North Dakota’s economy grew the fastest in the most recent quarter.

Click here to see the fastest growing and shrinking state economies.

Methodology: 

Using data provided by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, 24/7 Wall St. ranked all 50 U.S. states based on percent changes in real GDP growth in all 50 states from the second quarter of 2014 through the second quarter of 2017. and the U.S. Figures provided are adjusted to account for yearly inflation. GDP figures published by the BEA are preliminary and subject to annual revision.  Figures on poverty rate, median household income, and educational attainment came from the American Community Survey. Employment and unemployment metrics were provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Source: Thinkstock

50. North Dakota
> 3-year GDP decline: -2.2%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +8.3% (the largest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Information
> Fastest shrinking industry: Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
> 3-year employment growth: +2.0% (8th smallest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

49. Alaska
> 3-year GDP decline: -1.7%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +4.8% (6th largest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Nondurable goods manufacturing
> Fastest shrinking industry: Construction
> 3-year employment decline: -0.9% (3rd largest decline)

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48. Kansas
> 3-year GDP growth: +0.1%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +1.5% (tied — 7th smallest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Management of companies and enterprises
> Fastest shrinking industry: Information
> 3-year employment growth: +1.0% (3rd smallest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

47. South Dakota
> 3-year GDP growth: +0.3%
> Q2 2017 GDP decline: -0.3% (2nd largest decline)
> Fastest growing industry: Arts, entertainment, and recreation
> Fastest shrinking industry: Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
> 3-year employment growth: +2.9% (14th smallest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

46. Connecticut
> 3-year GDP growth: +0.3%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +1.4% (6th smallest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Mining
> Fastest shrinking industry: Nondurable goods manufacturing
> 3-year employment growth: +4.2% (23rd smallest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

45. Oklahoma
> 3-year GDP growth: +0.6%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +5.5% (tied — 4th largest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
> Fastest shrinking industry: Durable goods manufacturing
> 3-year employment growth: +1.7% (6th smallest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

44. Louisiana
> 3-year GDP growth: +0.7%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +3.2% (15th largest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Nondurable goods manufacturing
> Fastest shrinking industry: Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
> 3-year employment growth: +1.4% (5th smallest increase)

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43. Wyoming
> 3-year GDP growth: +0.7%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +7.6% (2nd largest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Nondurable goods manufacturing
> Fastest shrinking industry: Construction
> 3-year employment decline: -1.9% (the largest decline)

Source: Thinkstock

42. Nebraska
> 3-year GDP growth: +0.8%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +1.1% (3rd smallest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Information
> Fastest shrinking industry: Mining
> 3-year employment decline: -0.1% (5th largest decline)

Source: Thinkstock

41. Mississippi
> 3-year GDP growth: +0.8%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +3.0% (tied — 17th largest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
> Fastest shrinking industry: Mining
> 3-year employment growth: +3.9% (20th smallest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

40. West Virginia
> 3-year GDP growth: +0.8%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +4.1% (8th largest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Mining
> Fastest shrinking industry: Construction
> 3-year employment decline: -1.0% (2nd largest decline)

Source: Thinkstock

39. Illinois
> 3-year GDP growth: +0.9%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +2.2% (15th smallest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Mining
> Fastest shrinking industry: Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
> 3-year employment growth: +3.3% (16th smallest increase)

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38. New Jersey
> 3-year GDP growth: +0.9%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +2.3% (tied — 16th smallest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
> Fastest shrinking industry: Utilities
> 3-year employment growth: +3.4% (17th smallest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

37. Missouri
> 3-year GDP growth: +0.9%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +3.0% (tied — 17th largest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Professional, scientific, and technical services
> Fastest shrinking industry: Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
> 3-year employment growth: +5.3% (20th largest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

36. Vermont
> 3-year GDP growth: +1.1%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +2.5% (tied — 21st smallest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Management of companies and enterprises
> Fastest shrinking industry: Utilities
> 3-year employment decline: -0.6% (4th largest decline)

Source: Thinkstock

35. Rhode Island
> 3-year GDP growth: +1.2%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +2.3% (tied — 16th smallest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Management of companies and enterprises
> Fastest shrinking industry: Information
> 3-year employment growth: +3.4% (18th smallest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

34. Kentucky
> 3-year GDP growth: +1.2%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +3.7% (12th largest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
> Fastest shrinking industry: Nondurable goods manufacturing
> 3-year employment growth: +0.0%

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33. Montana
> 3-year GDP growth: +1.3%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +0.6% (2nd smallest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Nondurable goods manufacturing
> Fastest shrinking industry: Mining
> 3-year employment growth: +4.1% (22nd smallest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

32. New York
> 3-year GDP growth: +1.4%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +1.2% (tied — 4th smallest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Information
> Fastest shrinking industry: Nondurable goods manufacturing
> 3-year employment growth: +2.7% (13th smallest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

31. Virginia
> 3-year GDP growth: +1.4%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +1.5% (tied — 7th smallest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
> Fastest shrinking industry: Manufacturing
> 3-year employment growth: +1.9% (7th smallest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

30. Maine
> 3-year GDP growth: +1.4%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +2.0% (tied — 11th smallest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
> Fastest shrinking industry: Nondurable goods manufacturing
> 3-year employment growth: +0.5% (the smallest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

29. Arkansas
> 3-year GDP growth: +1.4%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +3.5% (14th largest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
> Fastest shrinking industry: Mining
> 3-year employment growth: +6.3% (17th largest increase)

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28. Ohio
> 3-year GDP growth: +1.5%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +2.0% (tied — 11th smallest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Mining
> Fastest shrinking industry: Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
> 3-year employment growth: +2.7% (12th smallest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

27. Pennsylvania
> 3-year GDP growth: +1.6%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +2.5% (tied — 21st smallest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Mining
> Fastest shrinking industry: Durable goods manufacturing
> 3-year employment growth: +2.5% (10th smallest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

26. Wisconsin
> 3-year GDP growth: +1.6%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +2.5% (tied — 21st smallest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
> Fastest shrinking industry: Mining
> 3-year employment growth: +4.0% (21st smallest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

25. New Mexico
> 3-year GDP growth: +1.6%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +4.5% (7th largest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
> Fastest shrinking industry: Durable goods manufacturing
> 3-year employment growth: +0.7% (2nd smallest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

24. Iowa
> 3-year GDP growth: +1.7%
> Q2 2017 GDP decline: -0.7% (the largest decline)
> Fastest growing industry: Finance and insurance
> Fastest shrinking industry: Mining
> 3-year employment growth: +2.5% (9th smallest increase)

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23. New Hampshire
> 3-year GDP growth: +1.7%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +2.9% (tied — 21st largest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Professional, scientific, and technical services
> Fastest shrinking industry: Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
> 3-year employment growth: +3.3% (15th smallest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

22. Delaware
> 3-year GDP growth: +1.8%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +0.4% (the smallest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Management of companies and enterprises
> Fastest shrinking industry: Wholesale trade
> 3-year employment growth: +9.5% (2nd largest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

21. Indiana
> 3-year GDP growth: +1.8%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +1.7% (10th smallest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Management of companies and enterprises
> Fastest shrinking industry: Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
> 3-year employment growth: +7.9% (7th largest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

20. Alabama
> 3-year GDP growth: +1.8%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +2.5% (tied — 21st smallest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
> Fastest shrinking industry: Finance and insurance
> 3-year employment growth: +1.3% (4th smallest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

19. Maryland
> 3-year GDP growth: +1.9%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +2.4% (tied — 19th smallest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Information
> Fastest shrinking industry: Finance and insurance
> 3-year employment growth: +3.9% (19th smallest increase)

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18. Minnesota
> 3-year GDP growth: +2.1%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +1.2% (tied — 4th smallest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
> Fastest shrinking industry: Mining
> 3-year employment growth: +2.7% (11th smallest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

17. South Carolina
> 3-year GDP growth: +2.2%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +2.4% (tied — 19th smallest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Mining
> Fastest shrinking industry: Educational services
> 3-year employment growth: +7.9% (8th largest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

16. Hawaii
> 3-year GDP growth: +2.3%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +1.5% (tied — 7th smallest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
> Fastest shrinking industry: Utilities
> 3-year employment growth: +7.6% (10th largest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

15. North Carolina
> 3-year GDP growth: +2.3%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +2.3% (tied — 16th smallest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
> Fastest shrinking industry: Finance and insurance
> 3-year employment growth: +7.5% (11th largest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

14. Arizona
> 3-year GDP growth: +2.4%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +3.1% (16th largest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
> Fastest shrinking industry: Mining
> 3-year employment growth: +9.5% (3rd largest increase)

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13. Nevada
> 3-year GDP growth: +2.5%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +3.8% (tied — 10th largest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Construction
> Fastest shrinking industry: Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
> 3-year employment growth: +7.7% (9th largest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

12. Tennessee
> 3-year GDP growth: +2.6%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +3.0% (tied — 17th largest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Management of companies and enterprises
> Fastest shrinking industry: Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
> 3-year employment growth: +5.3% (19th largest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

11. Texas
> 3-year GDP growth: +2.6%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +6.2% (3rd largest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
> Fastest shrinking industry: Durable goods manufacturing
> 3-year employment growth: +5.0% (21st largest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

10. Michigan
> 3-year GDP growth: +2.7%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +5.5% (tied — 4th largest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Management of companies and enterprises
> Fastest shrinking industry: Mining
> 3-year employment growth: +6.7% (14th largest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

9. Colorado
> 3-year GDP growth: +2.8%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +3.8% (tied — 10th largest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Retail
> Fastest shrinking industry: Transportation and warehousing
> 3-year employment growth: +8.1% (6th largest increase)

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8. Massachusetts
> 3-year GDP growth: +2.9%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +2.0% (tied — 11th smallest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Mining
> Fastest shrinking industry: Nondurable goods manufacturing
> 3-year employment growth: +5.5% (18th largest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

7. Georgia
> 3-year GDP growth: +2.9%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +3.0% (tied — 17th largest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
> Fastest shrinking industry: Finance and insurance
> 3-year employment growth: +6.6% (15th largest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

6. Idaho
> 3-year GDP growth: +3.0%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +2.7% (tied — 23rd largest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Arts, entertainment, and recreation
> Fastest shrinking industry: Mining
> 3-year employment growth: +8.1% (5th largest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

5. Florida
> 3-year GDP growth: +3.1%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +3.6% (13th largest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Construction
> Fastest shrinking industry: Mining
> 3-year employment growth: +6.8% (13th largest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

4. California
> 3-year GDP growth: +3.5%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +2.1% (14th smallest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Information
> Fastest shrinking industry: Mining
> 3-year employment growth: +6.5% (16th largest increase)

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3. Oregon
> 3-year GDP growth: +3.7%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +2.9% (tied — 21st largest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Mining
> Fastest shrinking industry: Educational services
> 3-year employment growth: +11.3% (the largest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

2. Utah
> 3-year GDP growth: +3.7%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +3.9% (9th largest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Information
> Fastest shrinking industry: Mining
> 3-year employment growth: +8.6% (4th largest increase)

Source: Thinkstock

1. Washington
> 3-year GDP growth: +4.0%
> Q2 2017 GDP growth: +2.7% (tied — 23rd largest increase)
> Fastest growing industry: Information
> Fastest shrinking industry: Durable goods manufacturing
> 3-year employment growth: +7.1% (12th largest increase)