America’s Enormous $19.4T Economy

  1. America’s largest state economy is California, which produced $2.75 trillion of economic output in 2017, more than the United Kingdom’s GDP last year of $2.62 trillion. Consider this: California has a labor force of 19.3 million compared to the labor force in the UK of 33.8 million (World Bank data here). Amazingly, it required a labor force 75% larger (and 14.5 million more people) in the UK 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 5th largest economy in the world last year, ahead of the UK ($2.62 trillion), India ($2.61 trillion) and France ($2.58 trillion).
  2. America’s second largest state economy – Texas – produced nearly $1.7 trillion of economic output in 2017, which would have ranked the Lone Star State as the world’s 10th largest economy last year. GDP in Texas was slightly higher than Canada’s GDP last year of $1.65 trillion. However, to produce about the same amount of economic output as Texas required a labor force in Canada (20 million) that was nearly 50% larger than the labor force in the state of Texas (13.5 million). That is, it required a labor force of 6.5 million more workers in Canada to produce roughly 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 2017 at $683 billion was below the GDP of US states like Pennsylvania ($752 billion) and Illinois ($820 billion).
  4. America’s third largest state economy – New York with a GDP in 2017 of $1.55 trillion – produced slightly more economic output last year than South Korea ($1.54 trillion). As a separate country, New York would have ranked as the world’s 11th largest economy last year, ahead of No. 12 South Korea, No. 13 Russia ($1.53 trillion) and No. 14 Australia ($1.38 trillion). Amazingly, it required a labor force in South Korea of 27.9 million that was nearly three times larger than New York’s (9.7 million) to produce roughly the same amount of economic output last year! More evidence of the world-class productivity of American workers.
  5. Other comparisons: Florida ($967 billion) produced almost the same amount of GDP in 2017 as Indonesia ($1 trillion), even though Florida’s labor force of 10.1 million is less than 8% of the size of Indonesia’s workforce of 127.1 million. GDP in Illinois last year of $820 billion was just slightly higher than economic output in the Netherlands ($825 billion), even though the labor force in Illinois (6.5 million workers) is 28% smaller than the labor force in the Netherlands (9 million workers).

Source: Putting America’s enormous $19.4T economy into perspective by comparing US state GDPs to entire countries – AEI

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