C&B Notes

Pennsylvania = Turkey

This map, which labels U.S. states with the names of countries that have comparably-sized GDPs, leaves a lasting impression and is a great reminder of how large the U.S. economy is.



It’s pretty amazing how ridiculously large the U.S. economy is, and the map above helps put America’s GDP of $18 trillion in 2015 into perspective by comparing the GDP of U.S. states to other countries’ entire national GDP.  For example:

  1. America’s largest state economy is California, which produced $2.46 trillion of economic output in 2015, just slightly above the GDP of France during the same period of $2.42 trillion.  Consider this: California has a workforce of about 19 million compared to an employment level in France of slightly more than 25 million workers.  Amazingly, it required 32% (and 6 million) more workers in France to produce the same economic output last year as California!  That’s a testament to the superior, world-class productivity of the American worker.  Further, California as a separate country would have been the 6th largest economy in the world last year, ahead of France ($2.42 trillion) and India ($2.09 trillion) and not too far behind No. 5 UK at $2.85 trillion.
  2. America’s second largest state economy — Texas — produced $1.59 trillion of economic output in 2015, which would have ranked the Lone Star State as the world’s 10th largest economy last year. GDP in Texas was also slightly higher than Canada’s GDP last year of $1.55 trillion. However, to produce about the same amount of economic output as Texas required a workforce in Canada (18 million) that was 50% larger than employment in the state of Texas (12 million).  That is, it required 6 million more workers in Canada to produce the same output as Texas last year.  Another example of the world-class productivity of the American workforce.
  3. Even with all of its oil wealth, Saudi Arabia’s GDP in 2015 at $653 billion was below the GDP of U.S. states like Pennsylvania ($689 billion) and Illinois ($775 billion).
  4. America’s third largest state economy — New York with a GDP in 2015 of $1.44 trillion — produced slightly more economic output last year than South Korea ($1.38 trillion).   As a separate country, New York would have ranked as the world’s 11th largest economy last year, ahead of both No. 12 South Korea and No. 13 Russia ($1.32 trillion).  Amazingly, it took almost three times as many workers in South Korea (26 million) to produce roughly the same amount of economic output that required only 9.2 million New York workers!  More evidence of the world-class productivity of American workers.
  5. Other comparisons: Florida ($883 billion) produced about the same amount of GDP in 2015 as Indonesia ($859 billion), even though Florida’s workforce of 9.3 million is only about 8% of the size of Indonesia’s workforce of 115 million employees.  GDP in Illinois last year of $775 billion was just slightly higher than economic output in the Netherlands ($738 billion), even though employment in Illinois (6.2 million workers) is about 25% below the employment level in the Netherlands (8.34 million workers).