Maybe you're considering a job change or a change of scenery. Maybe you're curious about the economic performance of various states heading into the electoral college tally. Maybe you made a bet.
There are plenty of good reasons to want to know which states' economies are growing fastest, so here are the top 10 (really 12, due to a three-way tie in the tenth slot) performers in the first quarter of 2016, according to Bureau of Economic Analysis data. (See also: Is GPD Really an Accurate Measure of Economic Growth?)
The Best-Performing State Economies
*Percent change in real GDP between the fourth quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016, seasonally adjusted at annual rates
To see how your state performed, you can hover over the map below. To orient yourself in terms of the color scheme, Nevada's pea-soup is a neutral 0.0%.
You may have noticed that North Dakota is in a predicament. Unfortunately it's not the only state to experience a contraction in the quarter. Below are the ten worst performers.
|Rank (1 is worst)||State||Rate|
What Went Right (and Wrong)
Retail was the stand-out industry in the first quarter, growing 4.8% and contributing to expansion in 47 states and DC. Nearly 0.6 percentage points of Washington State's 3.9% growth is due to the retail sector. Health care and social assistance grew 3.8%, contributing to growth in every state and DC. Construction grew 0.9% – its eighth consecutive quarter of expansion – and contributed to growth in 47 states and DC. The sector pitched in 1.1 percentage points to Hawaii's 1.7% growth.
Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting gave and took away. In Arkansas, the top performer in the country, it contributed 2.2 percentage points of 3.9% growth. But it subtracted more than 3.4 percentage points from Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota.
Mining declined 11.1%. It docked 1.8 percentage points from Wyoming's performance (-4.9%) and more than 2.0 percentage points from Alaska, North Dakota and West Virginia.Transportation and warehousing declined 8.8%, knocking performance in all states and DC, including a 1.6 percentage point subtraction in North Dakota.