States With the Fastest (and Slowest) Growing Economies

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16. New Hampshire
> GDP growth:
2.3%
> 2014 GDP: $66.3 billion (11th smallest)
> 1-yr. population change: 0.3%(21st smallest)
> 2014 unemployment: 4.3% (8th lowest)

New Hampshire’s economy grew by 2.3%, slightly faster than the nationwide growth rate of 2.2%. New Hampshire’s economic growth was driven primarily by the information sector, which contributed 0.51 percentage points to the state’s overall growth rate, the second largest contribution from that sector after only Washington. The professional and technical services sector contributed another 0.38 percentage points to growth, the sixth largest contribution from that sector nationwide. With an unemployment rate of just 4.3% in 2014, well below the national unemployment rate of 6.2%, New Hampshire’s job market was also relatively healthy. And residents are well-off financially. In 2013, median household income was seventh highest of all states at $64,230, and the state’s poverty rate was 8.7%, the lowest rate of any state.

17. South Carolina
> GDP growth:
2.2%
> 2014 GDP: $174.6 billion (24th smallest)
> 1-yr. population change: 1.3%(9th largest)
> 2014 unemployment: 6.4% (18th highest)

South Carolina’s economic Growth in 2014 was driven primarily by the durable goods sector, which contributed 0.45 percentage points to the state’s overall growth rate. The state has one of the largest administrative and waste management sectors in the country, which contributed 0.25 percentage points to the state’s economic expansion, more than in any other state. While the state’s economic growth of 2.3% last year was in line with the national growth rate, other state socioeconomic measures lagged the national ones as of 2013. Median household income was $44,163, lower than the median household income of $52,250 across the country. The state’s poverty rate of 18.6% was higher than the national poverty rate of 15.8%. Additionally, 26.1% of adults had at least a bachelor’s degree, the 12th lowest rate in the country.

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18. Ohio
> GDP growth:
2.1%
> 2014 GDP: $532.0 billion (7th largest)
> 1-yr. population change: 0.2%(13th smallest)
> 2014 unemployment: 5.7% (21st lowest)

Ohio’s economy grew 2.1% last year, just below the national growth rate of 2.2%. Growth was driven primarily by the management of companies and enterprises sector, which contributed 0.46 percentage points to the state’s overall growth rate, the second largest contribution from that sector compared to other states. The state’s mining industry accounted for another 0.27 percentage points, the 10th largest sector contribution among states. Ohio is a relatively large coal producer. The state produced 642 trillion BTUs of coal in 2012, the eighth highest level in the country. Despite Ohio’s middling GDP growth, however, the state’s unemployment rate of 5.7% in 2014 was well below the national unemployment rate of 6.2%.

19. Louisiana
> GDP growth:
1.9%
> 2014 GDP: $216.0 billion (24th largest)
> 1-yr. population change: 0.4%(24th smallest)
> 2014 unemployment: 6.4% (18th highest)

Louisiana produced 3,794 trillion BTUs of energy in 2012, more than all but three other states. The vast majority of the state’s energy output — 3,059 trillion BTUs — came from natural gas extraction, the second largest such level of any state. While the state remains a large energy producer, its mining sector was actually a drag on GDP growth in 2014. The industry subtracted 0.63 percentage points from the overall change, nearly the worst contribution from the sector nationwide. Growth came primarily from the nondurable goods sector, which contributed 2.08 percentage points to the state’s overall growth rate, also the largest such contribution among states.

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20. Michigan
> GDP growth:
1.9%
> 2014 GDP: $417.3 (13th largest)
> 1-yr. population change: 0.1%(10th smallest)
> 2014 unemployment: 7.3% (5th highest)

Michigan’s economy grew by 1.9%, lower than the national growth rate of 2.2%. Growth was driven primarily by the durable goods manufacturing sector, which contributed 0.32 percentage points to the state’s overall growth rate. This was tied for the sixth largest contribution from that sector compared to other states. The industry’s growth had a disproportionately large impact on state residents, as nearly 18% of the workforce was employed in the manufacturing sector in 2013, the third highest such percentage nationwide. Despite the economy growing, the state’s job market was not especially strong. Michigan’s unemployment rate was 7.3% in 2014, higher than the national unemployment rate of 6.2%.