States With the Fastest (and Slowest) Growing Economies

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31. Kentucky
> GDP growth:
1.0%
> 2014 GDP: $171.9 billion (23rd smallest)
> 1-yr. population change: 0.3%(20th smallest)
> 2014 unemployment: 6.5% (15th highest)

The 1.0% economic growth rate in Kentucky was driven primarily by both the durable and nondurable goods sectors. While nondurable goods accounted for 0.24 percentage points of the state’s overall growth rate, the durable goods sector accounted for 0.21 percentage points, the 14th highest contribution from that sector nationwide. However, Kentucky was more notable for the industries that underperformed. The retail trade industry contributed 0.04 percentage points to growth in GDP in Kentucky, less than in every other state except for West Virginia, where it detracted from overall growth. The state’s economy was negatively affected by the government sector, which reduced the state’s overall GDP by more than a quarter of a percentage point, the sixth greatest retraction by that industry nationwide.

32. Nevada
> GDP growth:
1.0%
> 2014 GDP: $120.8 billion (18th smallest)
> 1-yr. population change: 1.7%(2nd largest)
> 2014 unemployment: 7.8% (the highest)

Nevada’s economy grew by 1.0%, lower than the national growth rate of 2.2%. Growth was driven primarily by the real estate, rental, and leasing sector, which contributed 0.36 percentage points to the state’s overall growth rate. The biggest drag on the state’s economy was the mining industry, which detracted more than half a percentage point from Nevada’s overall GDP growth. This represented a break from the nationwide trend as mining boosted GDP for the country as a whole by 0.19 percentage points. The utilities industry also detracted from Nevada’s economic growth, reducing GDP growth by 0.15 percentage points, the third largest drag from that industry nationwide.

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33. New Mexico
> GDP growth:
1.0%
> 2014 GDP: $83.6 billion (14th smallest)
> 1-yr. population change: -0.1%(5th smallest)
> 2014 unemployment: 6.5% (15th highest)

Even though New Mexico’s population shrank in 2014, its economy grew by 1.0%. The mining sector expanded the most, contributing 0.91 percentage points to the state’s overall GDP growth rate. The nondurable goods sector also helped fuel economic growth by 0.23 percentage points, the 15th highest contribution from that sector nationwide. While New Mexico’s economic growth rate was not among the nation’s fastest, it marked an improvement from the previous three years when the state’s economy grew 0.1% in 2011, 0.6% in 2012, and was unchanged in 2013.

34. Wisconsin
> GDP growth:
1.0%
> 2014 GDP: $268.7 billion (20th largest)
> 1-yr. population change: 0.3%(14th smallest)
> 2014 unemployment: 5.5% (18th lowest)

Wisconsin’s economy grew at a rate of 1.0% in 2014, more than a full percentage point lower than the national growth rate of 2.2%. Growth was driven primarily by the management of companies and enterprises sector, which contributed 0.27 percentage points to the state’s overall GDP growth rate. The mining sector contributed 0.26 percentage points to growth, the 11th highest contribution from that sector nationwide. Despite relatively strong growth in these industries, the state’s growth rate was 1.2 percentage points lower than it was in 2013. The utilities and finance and insurance industries proved to be the biggest drags on the state’s economy, each reducing GDP growth by 0.11 percentage points.

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35. Missouri
> GDP growth:
0.9%
> 2014 GDP: $259.8 billion (22nd largest)
> 1-yr. population change: 0.3%(19th smallest)
> 2014 unemployment: 6.1% (23rd highest)

Missouri’s economy grew by 0.9% in 2014, down from a 1.8% growth rate the previous year. Following a national trend, Missouri’s economy was dragged down by the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industry and by the construction industry. However, while these industries declined nationwide by 0.10 percentage points and 0.03 percentage points, respectively, they had an even greater negative impact on Missouri’s economy, reducing GDP by 0.25% and 0.11%, respectively. Growth in the state was driven primarily by the management of companies and enterprises sector, which contributed 0.45 percentage points to Missouri’s overall GDP growth rate.