Special Report

Largest Industry in Each State

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Massachusetts: Hospitals, nursing, and residential care facilities
> Industry GDP contribution: $19.8 billion (4.4% of total)
> Industry workforce: 298,095 (8.5% of total)
> 5 yr. Industry GDP change: +3.0%
> Avg. industry salary: $59,317

Hospitals, nursing, and residential care facilities is the largest industry in Massachusetts, generating $19.8 billion in 2016, 4.4%, of the state’s GDP.

There are several factors that partially explain the industry’s dominance. First, Americans with health insurance are more likely to seek necessary medical treatment, and just 2.5% of the state’s population lacks health insurance, the smallest share of any state. Additionally, Massachusetts is home to both Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, each among that largest hospitals in the United States.

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Michigan: Hospitals, nursing, and residential care facilities
> Industry GDP contribution: $17.0 billion (4.0% of total)
> Industry workforce: 310,524 (7.3% of total)
> 5 yr. Industry GDP change: +3.7%
> Avg. industry salary: $48,059

The $17.0 billion generated by Michigan’s hospitals, nursing, and residential care facilities sector — which includes nursing homes — accounts for 4% of the state’s total GDP, more than any other industry after real estate.

The sector’s economic significance is partly attributable to the state’s relatively older population. Of the state’s 9.9 million residents, 16.2% are 65 or older, a larger share than the 15.2% of Americans nationwide. The state also is home to some of the largest hospitals in the country, including University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers in Ann Arbor and Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids.

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Minnesota: Ambulatory health care services
> Industry GDP contribution: $13.6 billion (4.5% of total)
> Industry workforce: 147,115 (5.2% of total) f/c
> 5 yr. Industry GDP change: +20.2%
> Avg. industry salary: $70,346

Ambulatory health care services industry — which includes doctors, dentists, and diagnostic labs — is the largest industry in Minnesota after real estate, generating $13.6 billion in 2016. Partially due to the world renowned Mayo Clinic medical center in Rochester, Minnesota, four of the 10 largest employers in the state are in health care. The size of the state’s outpatient medical services sector is also largely attributable to demand. Americans with health insurance are more likely to make regular doctor visits than those without insurance, and just 4.1% of Minnesota’s population is uninsured — less than half the 8.6% U.S. uninsured rate.

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Mississippi: Ambulatory health care services
> Industry GDP contribution: $4.1 billion (4.2% of total)
> Industry workforce: 47,882 (4.3% of total)
> 5 yr. Industry GDP change: +8.6%
> Avg. industry salary: $56,512

Mississippi’s largest industry after real estate is ambulatory health care services. The sector generated $4.1 billion in 2016, or 4.2% of the state’s total GDP. For reference, ambulatory health care services accounted for 3.7% of GDP nationwide.

The industry — which includes doctors, dentists, and diagnostic laboratories — is large despite the lower likelihood of state residents to make regular doctor visits. Americans with insurance visit the doctor with greater frequency, and in Mississippi, one of a minority of states not to pass Medicaid expansion, 11.8% of the population is uninsured, a larger uninsured rate than in all but five other states.

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Missouri: Hospitals, nursing, and residential care facilities
> Industry GDP contribution: $10.7 billion (4.1% of total)
> Industry workforce: 199,036 (7.2% of total)
> 5 yr. Industry GDP change: +2.9%
> Avg. industry salary: $44,443

Hospitals are a major economic engine in Missouri. The state is home to some of the largest hospitals in the country, including Barnes Jewish Hospital and Saint John’s Mercy Medical Center in St. Louis, as well as Saint John’s Hospital in Springfield. The need for nursing homes also likely boosts the industry’s economic contribution as 16.0% of the state’s population are 65 or older, compared to 15.2% of the U.S. population. All told, hospitals, nursing, and residential care facilities generated $10.7 billion in 2016, 4.1% of the state’s GDP. For comparison, nationwide, the industry accounted for 3.0% of U.S. GDP.