Special Report

Largest Industry in Each State

Source: Thinkstock

6. Colorado
> Largest industry: Oil and gas extraction
> Industry GDP contribution: $12.7 billion
> Industry output as pct. of GDP: 4.4%
> Industry workforce: 10,287

While many might not immediately associate Colorado with oil and gas extraction, the industry was the state’s largest in 2015, and a boon to its economy. The industry’s total economic output totalled $12.7 billion, up 24.8% from the previous year and 92.2% from five years earlier. Due in part to the industry’s robust growth, Colorado’s GDP climbed 3% in 2015, more than the vast majority of states.

Source: Thinkstock

7. Connecticut
> Largest industry: Insurance
> Industry GDP contribution: $16.2 billion
> Industry output as pct. of GDP: 7.1%
> Industry workforce: 57,031

Though Connecticut’s economic output accounts for only about 1.4% of total U.S. GDP, the state’s insurance industry accounts for a disproportionate 3.6% share of all insurance activity nationwide. Indeed, the state capital of Hartford is also commonly referred to as the insurance capital of the world. Though the state’s insurance industry expanded by a healthy 4.5% in 2015, the industry may not continue to be a boon for the state’s economy for long. Earlier this year, insurance giant Aetna, which was founded in Hartford over 150 years ago, announced plans to move its headquarters out of the city.

Source: Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com

8. Delaware
> Largest industry: Insurance
> Industry GDP contribution: $8.5 billion
> Industry output as pct. of GDP: 14.1%
> Industry workforce: 6,250

Delaware’s insurance industry is the third biggest employer in the state and the largest contributor to state GDP, generating $8.5 billion in economic output in 2015. The state’s insurance industry has expanded a great deal in the last few years, with total output expanding by more than 25% over the past five years. In 2011, the industry contributed $6.7 billion to state GDP.

Source: Thinkstock

9. Florida
> Largest industry: Ambulatory health care services
> Industry GDP contribution: $39.3 billion
> Industry output as pct. of GDP: 5.0%
> Industry workforce: 908,148

The elderly typically require more frequent medical care than younger people, and 19.5% of Floridians are 65 and older — the largest share of any state. The relatively large elderly population in the Sunshine State bolsters the $39.3 billion outpatient health care industry. Ambulatory health care services expanded by 7.9% in 2015, driving the 3.6% state GDP growth in Florida.

Source: Thinkstock

10. Georgia
> Largest industry: Broadcasting and telecommunications
> Industry GDP contribution: $25.3 billion
> Industry output as pct. of GDP: 5.7%
> Industry workforce: 58,243

Most people reasonably think of Hollywood or perhaps New York City as the largest centers of film and television production in the United States. However, Atlanta, Georgia has seen explosive growth in the industry in recent years. Between 2008 and 2015, over 140 movies and television shows were filmed in the area. This trend kicked off in 2008, when the state began offering a 20% tax discount to large productions. The state’s economic focus is not limited to feature length films. Georgia’s broadcasting and telecommunications industry is its largest, contributing $25.3 billion to the state’s total GDP.

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