Note: This post was updated on 12/21/2010 to fix an error in the maps related to Montana. Also, by request, the data behind the maps can be downloaded here.
Gross Domestic Product is the basic measure of economic output. The government released 2009 GDP data for US states recently, so it’s worth taking a look. Here’s a map of percent change in total real GDP from 2000 to 2009, with increases in blue, decreases in red, color intensity proportional to change:
As you can see, Michigan actually experienced a decline in its total real output over the last decade. Given the restructuring of the auto industry, that’s not surprising.
Here’s another view, this one a similar percent change view of real per capita GDP:
Here you can see that Michigan is not alone. Some of the fast growing Sun Belt states added people at a faster rate than they grew economic output. Georgia in particular is worth noting, because even metro Atlanta has been showing declining real per capita GDP. In fact, Georgia actually declined by more than Michigan did on this metric, so obviously all is not well down there. Texas, despite its vaunted jobs engine, is expanding almost totally horizontally. It is 9th lowest in the US on real per capita GDP growth, with a nearly flat 2% performance over the last decade.
North Dakota is also interesting. They are leading the charts, I presume driven by energy and high tech. (Thanks to Great Plains software, I believe Fargo is now Microsoft’s biggest software development center in the US outside Redmond).