Special Report

How GDP of US States Compares to Countries Around the World

Source: Jaxons / Getty Images

Virginia
> GDP: $463.6 billion
> Country w/ similar GDP: Nigeria ($460.5 billion)
> Va. population: 8.5 million (Nigeria: 190.9 million)
> Va. GDP per capita: $54,730 (Nigeria: $2,412)

Virginia has a massive $463.6 billion economy, in line with the total economic output of Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa. With much of Virginia within commuting distance to Washington D.C., the state is home to some of the largest defense contractors in the world. Nearly 16% of the state’s labor force is employed in the professional, scientific, and management sector, the largest share of any state.

Nigeria, meanwhile, is one of the world’s largest oil producers. Economic development, however, is hindered by political and social instability.

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Source: Jan Skrodzki / Wikimedia Commons

Washington
> GDP: $480.9 billion
> Country w/ similar GDP: Norway ($481.8 billion)
> Wash. population: 7.4 million (Norway: 5.3 million)
> Wash. GDP per capita: $64,937 (Norway: $91,219)

Washington is one of three states, along with Massachusetts and North Carolina, that has an economic output most similar to that of Norway. Washington, particularly Seattle, has developed into a tech hub and is home to companies like Amazon and Microsoft. Norway recently developed into a major exporter of petroleum after discovering offshore reserves. Though Washington is one of the more productive states relative to its size with a nearly $65,000 GDP per capita, Norway’s per capita output of over $91,000 is greater.

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Source: Ian Sewell / Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia
> GDP: $70.6 billion
> Country w/ similar GDP: Oman ($74.8 billion)
> W.Va. population: 1.8 million (Oman: 4.6 million)
> W.Va. GDP per capita: $38,860 (Oman: $16,144)

One of the nation’s leading coal producers, West Virginia’s economy is heavily based on resource extraction. West Virginia’s 2017 GDP of $70.6 billion is nearly in line with that of Oman, a Middle Eastern country with a $74.8 billion economy. Like West Virginia, Oman is also resource rich. Over half of its $31.2 billion in exports in 2017 were either crude petroleum, petroleum gas, or refined petroleum.

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Wisconsin
> GDP: $292.3 billion
> Country w/ similar GDP: Israel ($297.4 billion)
> Wis. population: 5.8 million (Israel: 8.7 million)
> Wis. GDP per capita: $50,431 (Israel: $34,135)

Like Arizona, the country that has the closest GDP to Wisconsin is Israel. Wisconsin is nearly eight times the size of Israel by landmass, but it has a smaller population, and the two areas have a similar economic output of more than $290 billion. Israel’s top export is diamonds, worth over $10 billion in 2017. The relatively young country on the western shore of the Mediterranean Sea also exports billions of dollars worth of chemical products like medicine, pesticides, and fertilizer. Meanwhile, Wisconsin’s manufacturing industry employs 17.9% of workers in the state, well above the sector’s 10.1% national average employment.

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Source: niyyie / Flickr

Wyoming
> GDP: $38.7 billion
> Country w/ similar GDP: Cote d’Ivoire ($39.5 billion)
> Wyo. population: 579,315 (Côte d’Ivoire: 24.3 million)
> Wyo. GDP per capita: $66,776 (Côte d’Ivoire: $1,626)

Wyoming has a $38.7 billion economy, nearly the same size as the economy of Cote d’Ivoire, or the Ivory Coast, a nation in West Africa. The largest exporter of cocoa beans in the world, Ivory Coast has a relatively well-developed economy and is wealthier than most countries in the region.

Wyoming’s economy is also largely resource based. About 40% of all coal in the United States is mined in Wyoming, and the state is also home to the largest uranium mining operations in the country.

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