Special Report

Fastest Growing Local Economy in Every State

Samuel Stebbins

The United States is in a period of historic, continuous economic growth, with GDP climbing every quarter since mid-2009. Steady economic growth on a national level is the direct result of growth in local economies across the country — and in nearly every state, there is at least one county where the economy has surged faster than that of the nation as a whole. 

Using data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed GDP change from 2013 through 2018 at the county and county equivalent level to identify the fastest growing local economy in every state. For context, the U.S. economy grew by 13.0% over that period. 

In each of the three counties on this list with the greatest GDP growth, resource extraction was the fastest growing industry. Overall, the mining, quarrying, and oil extraction industry — which is especially subject to volatility — was the fastest growing industry in 11 counties on this list. In Loving County — the county with greatest five-year GDP growth in Texas and the U.S. — a surge in shale drilling in the Permian Basin has contributed to a nearly 1,000% increase in the area’s economic output.

Notably, while the decline of U.S. manufacturing has gutted cities across the Midwest and Northeast, in 10 counties on this list, the manufacturing industry had greater GDP growth than any other industry over the last half decade. Here is a list of U.S. cities where manufacturing is making a comeback

Nationwide, sustained economic growth has led to historic lows in unemployment. While economic growth does not always translate to job growth, the unemployment rate declined in nearly every county on this list between 2013 and 2018. In just over half of the counties on this list, the annual 2018 unemployment rate was as low or lower than the comparable 3.9% national rate. Here is a look at the cities adding the most jobs in every state.

Click here to see the fastest growing economies in every state
Click here to see the fastest shrinking local economy in every state
Click here to read our methodology