Economic Progress

These US states have the same size economy as entire countries

People make their way through snow in New York's Times Square, February 8, 2013. A blizzard slammed into the northeastern United States on Friday, snarling traffic, disrupting thousands of flights and prompting five governors to declare states of emergency in the face of a fearsome snowstorm. REUTERS/Keith Bedford (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENVIRONMENT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTR3DIUQ

Many of America's metro areas rank among the world's largest economies Image: REUTERS/Keith Bedford

Alex Gray
Senior Writer, Formative Content
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Economic Progress

The US has the largest economy in the world. Its GDP for 2015, according to World Bank data, is over US$18 trillion. This is $7 billion more than China’s, which is in second place.

To put this into perspective, here are three maps.

Some US states have GDPs the size of countries

The first map shows seven areas of the US that have the same GDP as entire countries.

It shows that California has the same size economy as France. Both have nearly $2.54 trillion in output.

Together, the remaining western states produce $1.8 trillion in GDP, almost the equivalent of Italy’s, the world’s eighth-largest economy, with $1.81 trillion in output.

The economy of the north-east states – Massachusetts and Pennsylvania up to Maine and including New York – amounts to $4.2 trillion, similar to Japan’s at $4.12 trillion.

Florida and Alabama, with $1.087 trillion in GDP, almost match Mexico at $1.14 trillion, while Texas’s economy, $1.59 trillion, is close to that of Brazil at $1.74 trillion.

Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, has a GDP roughly the same as 12 of the eastern states, at $3.35 trillion in 2015.

 US state borders redrawn and renamed for countries with similar GDPs (2015)
Image: World Bank/Bureau of Economic Analysis

The GDP of US cities

The next map matches the economies of metropolitan areas of the United States to entire countries.

New York’s GDP matches that of Canada, both around $1,500 billion. Los Angeles produces a similar amount to Indonesia, at around $900 billion in GDP each. Miami’s GDP of around $300 billion is comparable to that of South Africa.

 Top 20 US metro areas by economic activity renamed for countries with similar GDPs (2015)
Image: World Bank/Bureau of Economic Analysis

Over half of US GDP in cities

This final map shows how America’s economic output is concentrated in metropolitan areas. It shows that just over half of the $18 trillion in GDP comes from the country’s 23 largest metro areas.

 America's $18 trillion economy (2015) divided in half
Image: Bureau of Economic Analysis

The top five are New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Washington.

 Top US metro areas, 2015
Image: Bureau of Economic Analysis/World Bank

In fact, America’s 19 largest metro economies, if taken as separate nations, would all rank in the top 50 of the world’s largest economies, and all 20 metro areas in the table above would rank in the world’s 60 largest economies, according to the creators of the map.

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