Special Report

The Fastest Growing and Shrinking State Economies

Photo by David McNew / Getty Images

The pace of economic growth in the United States slowed to 2.1% in the sec ond quarter, down from 3.1% in the first three months of 2019. The relatively modest second quarter growth was nonetheless historic, marking over 10 years of economic expansion — the longest continual stretch on record.

The U.S. economy is no more than the sum of its parts, and the unprecedented GDP growth nationwide is attributable to local economic success stories across the 50 states. Of course, not all state economies are growing at the same rate — or even at all. 

Using data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed 2018 GDP growth by state to identify the fastest growing and shrinking state economies. States are ranked from weakest GDP growth to strongest. 

The professional and business services industry contributed more to overall economic growth than any other industry last year. While much has been made of the decline of the American manufacturing industry in recent years, manufacturing was the second largest economic driver in 2018. In just over half of all states, the manufacturing sector contributed more to GDP growth than any other industry. These states include Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan — states that are home to some of America’s most iconic manufacturing hubs. These are the cities where manufacturing is making a comeback

It is important to note that GDP growth is not the only indicator of a state’s economic vitality. Other factors like the unemployment rate, poverty rate, incomes, and education level of the labor force are also useful in any assessment of a given state economy’s strengths and weaknesses. Still, rapid GDP growth is often indicative of strong fundamentals, and many of the highest ranking states on this list have healthy economies overall. Based on these broader measures, these are the states with the best and worst economies.

Click here to see the fastest growing and shrinking state economies
Click here to read our methodology

Source: AngelSchwai / Getty Images

50. Alaska
> 2018 GDP change: -0.3%
> 2018 GDP: $52.3 billion (6th smallest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Educational services, health care, and social assistance
> 1-yr. pop. change: -0.3% (4th lowest)

See all stories featuring: Alaska

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Source: undefined undefined / Getty Images

49. Wyoming
> 2018 GDP change: +0.3%
> 2018 GDP: $38.4 billion (2nd smallest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Real estate and rental and leasing
> 1-yr. pop. change: -1.1% (the lowest)

See all stories featuring: Wyoming

Source: mdgmorris / Getty Images

48. Delaware
> 2018 GDP change: +0.3%
> 2018 GDP: $63.9 billion (9th smallest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Manufacturing
> 1-yr. pop. change: +1.0% (13th highest)

See all stories featuring: Delaware

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

47. Rhode Island
> 2018 GDP change: +0.6%
> 2018 GDP: $53.7 billion (7th smallest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Real estate and rental and leasing
> 1-yr. pop. change: +0.3% (15th lowest)

See all stories featuring: Rhode Island

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Source: jimthoburn / Flickr

46. Montana
> 2018 GDP change: +0.9%
> 2018 GDP: $44.8 billion (3rd smallest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Real estate and rental and leasing
> 1-yr. pop. change: +0.8% (16th highest)

See all stories featuring: Montana

Source: Belinda Hankins Miller from U.S.A., upload by Herrick 10:33, 15 November 2007 (UTC) / Wikimedia Commons

45. Arkansas
> 2018 GDP change: +0.9%
> 2018 GDP: $115.9 billion (17th smallest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Manufacturing
> 1-yr. pop. change: +0.5% (24th highest)

See all stories featuring: Arkansas

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Source: Kirkikis / iStock

44. Connecticut
> 2018 GDP change: +1.0%
> 2018 GDP: $242.2 billion (23rd largest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Manufacturing
> 1-yr. pop. change: +0.3% (16th lowest)

See all stories featuring: Connecticut

Source: maximkabb / Getty Images

43. Hawaii
> 2018 GDP change: +1.0%
> 2018 GDP: $80.8 billion (13th smallest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Real estate and rental and leasing
> 1-yr. pop. change: -0.1% (7th lowest)

See all stories featuring: Hawaii

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

42. Mississippi
> 2018 GDP change: +1.0%
> 2018 GDP: $101.6 billion (15th smallest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Educational services, health care, and social assistance
> 1-yr. pop. change: -0.2% (5th lowest)

See all stories featuring: Mississippi

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Source: pedrosz / Flickr

41. Louisiana
> 2018 GDP change: +1.1%
> 2018 GDP: $231.2 billion (24th largest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Professional and business services
> 1-yr. pop. change: +0.1% (9th lowest)

See all stories featuring: Louisiana

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock

40. Vermont
> 2018 GDP change: +1.2%
> 2018 GDP: $30.0 billion (the smallest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Manufacturing
> 1-yr. pop. change: -0.2% (6th lowest)

See all stories featuring: Vermont

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Source: collins_family / Flickr

39. South Dakota
> 2018 GDP change: +1.3%
> 2018 GDP: $45.9 billion (4th smallest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Manufacturing
> 1-yr. pop. change: +0.5% (24th lowest)

See all stories featuring: South Dakota

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

38. Kentucky
> 2018 GDP change: +1.4%
> 2018 GDP: $186.1 billion (22nd smallest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Manufacturing
> 1-yr. pop. change: +0.4% (23rd lowest)

See all stories featuring: Kentucky

Source: Davel5957 / Getty Images

37. Iowa
> 2018 GDP change: +1.4%
> 2018 GDP: $170.7 billion (21st smallest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Manufacturing
> 1-yr. pop. change: +0.4% (21st lowest)

See all stories featuring: Iowa

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Source: Davel5957 / Getty Images

36. Nebraska
> 2018 GDP change: +1.5%
> 2018 GDP: $112.2 billion (16th smallest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Manufacturing
> 1-yr. pop. change: +0.7% (21st highest)

See all stories featuring: Nebraska

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

35. Maryland
> 2018 GDP change: +1.6%
> 2018 GDP: $367.9 billion (15th largest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Professional and business services
> 1-yr. pop. change: +0.6% (23rd highest)

See all stories featuring: Maryland

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

34. South Carolina
> 2018 GDP change: +1.6%
> 2018 GDP: $202.8 billion (25th smallest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Manufacturing
> 1-yr. pop. change: +1.3% (7th highest)

See all stories featuring: South Carolina

Source: ferrantraite / Getty Images

33. New Mexico
> 2018 GDP change: +1.8%
> 2018 GDP: $92.6 billion (14th smallest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction
> 1-yr. pop. change: +0.3% (19th lowest)

See all stories featuring: New Mexico

Source: traveler1116 / Getty Images

32. Ohio
> 2018 GDP change: +1.8%
> 2018 GDP: $601.5 billion (7th largest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Manufacturing
> 1-yr. pop. change: +0.4% (22nd lowest)

See all stories featuring: Ohio

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Source: Davel5957 / Getty Images

31. Oklahoma
> 2018 GDP change: +1.8%
> 2018 GDP: $193.0 billion (23rd smallest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Manufacturing
> 1-yr. pop. change: +0.2% (11th lowest)

See all stories featuring: Oklahoma

Source: Maksymowicz / Getty Images

30. Indiana
> 2018 GDP change: +1.9%
> 2018 GDP: $326.1 billion (18th largest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Manufacturing
> 1-yr. pop. change: +0.5% (25th lowest)

See all stories featuring: Indiana

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

29. Kansas
> 2018 GDP change: +1.9%
> 2018 GDP: $152.3 billion (19th smallest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Manufacturing
> 1-yr. pop. change: +0.2% (12th lowest)

See all stories featuring: Kansas

Source: Ron and Patty Thomas / Getty Images

28. Maine
> 2018 GDP change: +1.9%
> 2018 GDP: $56.7 billion (8th smallest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Professional and business services
> 1-yr. pop. change: +0.3% (17th lowest)

See all stories featuring: Maine

Source: bluebeat76 / Getty Images

27. New Jersey
> 2018 GDP change: +2.0%
> 2018 GDP: $554.7 billion (8th largest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Professional and business services
> 1-yr. pop. change: +0.7% (20th highest)

See all stories featuring: New Jersey

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Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

26. Alabama
> 2018 GDP change: +2.0%
> 2018 GDP: $196.9 billion (24th smallest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Manufacturing
> 1-yr. pop. change: +0.2% (13th lowest)

See all stories featuring: Alabama

Source: Terabass / Wikimedia Commons

25. New York
> 2018 GDP change: +2.1%
> 2018 GDP: $1.4 trillion (3rd largest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Information
> 1-yr. pop. change: +0.5% (25th highest)

See all stories featuring: New York

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Source: S. Greg Panosian / Getty Images

24. Pennsylvania
> 2018 GDP change: +2.1%
> 2018 GDP: $712.1 billion (6th largest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Information
> 1-yr. pop. change: +0.2% (10th lowest)

See all stories featuring: Pennsylvania

Source: lhongfoto / Getty Images

23. Illinois
> 2018 GDP change: +2.1%
> 2018 GDP: $764.2 billion (5th largest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Manufacturing
> 1-yr. pop. change: +0.0% (8th lowest)

See all stories featuring: Illinois

Source: RudyBalasko / Getty Images

22. Minnesota
> 2018 GDP change: +2.2%
> 2018 GDP: $331.4 billion (17th largest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Manufacturing
> 1-yr. pop. change: +1.0% (14th highest)

See all stories featuring: Minnesota

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Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

21. New Hampshire
> 2018 GDP change: +2.2%
> 2018 GDP: $75.6 billion (12th smallest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Manufacturing
> 1-yr. pop. change: +0.6% (22nd highest)

See all stories featuring: New Hampshire

Source: JTGrafix / Getty Images

20. Missouri
> 2018 GDP change: +2.3%
> 2018 GDP: $282.2 billion (22nd largest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Manufacturing
> 1-yr. pop. change: +0.3% (18th lowest)

See all stories featuring: Missouri

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Source: benedek / Getty Images

19. West Virginia
> 2018 GDP change: +2.4%
> 2018 GDP: $71.3 billion (11th smallest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Construction
> 1-yr. pop. change: -0.8% (2nd lowest)

See all stories featuring: West Virginia

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

18. North Dakota
> 2018 GDP change: +2.5%
> 2018 GDP: $51.2 billion (5th smallest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction
> 1-yr. pop. change: -0.3% (3rd lowest)

See all stories featuring: North Dakota

Source: Ron and Patty Thomas / Getty Images

17. Wisconsin
> 2018 GDP change: +2.5%
> 2018 GDP: $299.8 billion (21st largest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Manufacturing
> 1-yr. pop. change: +0.3% (14th lowest)

See all stories featuring: Wisconsin

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Source: ferrantraite / Getty Images

16. Georgia
> 2018 GDP change: +2.6%
> 2018 GDP: $522.4 billion (9th largest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Manufacturing
> 1-yr. pop. change: +1.2% (12th highest)

See all stories featuring: Georgia

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

15. Massachusetts
> 2018 GDP change: +2.7%
> 2018 GDP: $501.3 billion (11th largest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Professional and business services
> 1-yr. pop. change: +0.7% (18th highest)

See all stories featuring: Massachusetts

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Source: SolomonCrowe / Getty Images

14. Michigan
> 2018 GDP change: +2.7%
> 2018 GDP: $468.4 billion (14th largest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Manufacturing
> 1-yr. pop. change: +0.3% (20th lowest)

See all stories featuring: Michigan

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

13. Virginia
> 2018 GDP change: +2.8%
> 2018 GDP: $476.4 billion (13th largest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Professional and business services
> 1-yr. pop. change: +0.7% (19th highest)

See all stories featuring: Virginia

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

12. North Carolina
> 2018 GDP change: +2.9%
> 2018 GDP: $496.1 billion (12th largest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Manufacturing
> 1-yr. pop. change: +1.2% (8th highest)

See all stories featuring: North Carolina

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

11. Tennessee
> 2018 GDP change: +3.0%
> 2018 GDP: $322.9 billion (19th largest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Professional and business services
> 1-yr. pop. change: +1.0% (15th highest)

See all stories featuring: Tennessee

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

10. Texas
> 2018 GDP change: +3.2%
> 2018 GDP: $1.7 trillion (2nd largest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Professional and business services
> 1-yr. pop. change: +1.6% (6th highest)

See all stories featuring: Texas

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Source: f11photo / Getty Images

9. Nevada
> 2018 GDP change: +3.2%
> 2018 GDP: $146.2 billion (18th smallest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Manufacturing
> 1-yr. pop. change: +2.0% (2nd highest)

See all stories featuring: Nevada
Source: 4nadia / Getty Images

8. Oregon
> 2018 GDP change: +3.4%
> 2018 GDP: $213.7 billion (25th largest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Manufacturing
> 1-yr. pop. change: +1.2% (10th highest)

See all stories featuring: Oregon

Source: milehightraveler / Getty Images

7. Colorado
> 2018 GDP change: +3.5%
> 2018 GDP: $336.4 billion (16th largest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Professional and business services
> 1-yr. pop. change: +1.2% (11th highest)

See all stories featuring: Colorado

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Source: pedrosz / Flickr

6. California
> 2018 GDP change: +3.5%
> 2018 GDP: $2.7 trillion (the largest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Information
> 1-yr. pop. change: +0.7% (17th highest)

See all stories featuring: California

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

5. Florida
> 2018 GDP change: +3.5%
> 2018 GDP: $917.0 billion (4th largest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Professional and business services
> 1-yr. pop. change: +1.8% (3rd highest)

See all stories featuring: Florida

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Source: Davel5957 / Getty Images

4. Arizona
> 2018 GDP change: +4.0%
> 2018 GDP: $309.1 billion (20th largest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Manufacturing
> 1-yr. pop. change: +1.2% (9th highest)

See all stories featuring: Arizona

Source: knowlesgallery / Getty Images

3. Idaho
> 2018 GDP change: +4.1%
> 2018 GDP: $69.9 billion (10th smallest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Manufacturing
> 1-yr. pop. change: +2.0% (the highest)

See all stories featuring: Idaho

Source: 129834441@N06 / Flickr

2. Utah
> 2018 GDP change: +4.3%
> 2018 GDP: $157.2 billion (20th smallest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Professional and business services
> 1-yr. pop. change: +1.7% (4th highest)

See all stories featuring: Utah

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Source: RomanKhomlyak / Getty Images

1. Washington
> 2018 GDP change: +5.7%
> 2018 GDP: $506.7 billion (10th largest)
> Largest contributor to growth: Information
> 1-yr. pop. change: +1.6% (5th highest)

See all stories featuring: Washington

Methodology

To determine the states with the fastest growing and fastest shrinking economies, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed 2018 real GDP growth rates for all 50 states based on data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The real gross domestic product measurement accounts for the effects of inflation on growth. Real GDP and industry-specific GDP figures also came from the BEA. GDP figures published by the BEA for 2018 are preliminary and subject to annual revision. Real GDP figures for past years have already been revised. Population estimates and one-year change in median household income, poverty rate, and other census measures were derived from the American Community Survey 2017 1-Year Estimates. One-year change in employment is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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