Ranked: The Best and Worst State Economies
View the high resolution version of today’s graphic by clicking here.
On a global scale, the U.S. economy is massive at close to $19 trillion in size.
However, the United States is also the sum of its parts. America represents the union of 50 states and other jurisdictions such as D.C., and all of these state-level economies have their own unique problems to overcome, drivers of growth, and local resources that factor into their prosperity.
How can we compare these state economies on an even playing field?
Ranked: State Economies
Using absolute numbers, it’s hard to directly compare California ($2.75 trillion GDP, 39.5 million people) to a state like Vermont ($33 billion, 0.6 million people). By leveling the playing field, we can get an idea of how states contrast in terms of relative economic strength that companies and workers would better recognize.
Today’s infographic uses 27 metrics from WalletHub to rank state economies. These metrics are grouped into three major categories, which are evenly weighted:
1. Economic Activity: GDP growth, startup activity, exports per capita, and three other metrics
2. Economic Health: Labor force changes, median household income, unemployment, and 13 other metrics
3. Innovation Potential: Entrepreneurial activity, R&D investment, patents per capita, and three other metrics
Note: the full methodology with all 27 factors can be found here.
Here’s how the rankings shake down, for all 50 state economies and D.C.:
|Overall||State||Total Score||Economic Activity||Economic Health||Innovation Potential|
|5||District of Columbia||67.1||3||6||13|
Topping the list for overall score were the states of Washington, California, and Utah, and the first place state in each major category includes Washington (Economic Activity), Utah (Economic Health), and Massachusetts (Innovation Potential).
Case in Point
Looking at statistics and scoring methodologies alone can be a bit esoteric, so let’s look at some individual cases to see some contrast.
Utah (Rank: #3)
Utah consistently ranks as one of the top states for business, in the country, as well as a top state for job growth and employment. It’s also pretty unique in that it has a fairly diversified economy, with major sectors in the tourism, agriculture, tech, manufacturing, finance, energy, and mining industries.
Utah has a higher median household income ($65,977), and a blistering 3.4% employment growth rate.
Florida (Rank: #22)
Using this methodology, Florida falls somewhere in the middle of the rankings. The good news is the state has good employment growth (2.9%) and a myriad of thriving industries like aerospace. The bad news? Florida has the second-highest level of poverty in the union at 19%, and it also has a lower median household income ($50,860) than the national average.
Maine (Rank: #45)
Economic activity is sluggish in the country’s most northeastern state. With an aging population, slow employment growth (0.8%), and a number of lost manufacturing jobs over the last 15 years, the state is trying to rebound. Maine isn’t helped by having one of the highest tax burdens for its citizens and businesses in the country, either.
The Economies Adding the Most to Global Growth in 2019
Global economics is effectively a numbers game – here are the countries and regions projected to contribute the most to global growth in 2019.
The Economies Adding the Most to Global Growth in 2019
Global economics is effectively a numbers game.
As long as the data adds up to economic expansion on a worldwide level, it’s easy to keep the status quo rolling. Companies can shift resources to the growing segments, and investors can put capital where it can go to work.
At the end of the day, growth cures everything – it’s only when it dries up that things get hairy.
Breaking Down Global Growth in 2019
Today’s chart uses data from Standard Chartered and the IMF to break down where economic growth is happening in 2019 using purchasing power parity (PPP) terms. Further, it also compares the share of the global GDP pie taken by key countries and regions over time.
Let’s start by looking at where global growth is forecasted to occur in 2019:
|Country or Region||Share of Global GDP Growth (PPP) in 2019F|
|Other Asia (Excl. China/Japan)||29%|
|Middle East & North Africa||4%|
|Latin America & Caribbean||3%|
|Rest of World||8%|
The data here mimics some of the previous estimates we’ve seen from Standard Chartered, such as this chart which projects the largest economies in 2030.
Asia as a whole will account for 63% of all global GDP growth (PPP) this year, with the lion’s share going to China. Countries like India and Indonesia will contribute to the “Other Asia” share, and Japan will only contribute 1% to the global growth total.
In terms of developed economies, the U.S. will lead the pack (11%) in contributing to global growth. Europe will add 8% between its various sub-regions, and Canada will add 1%.
Share of Global Economy Over Time
Based on the above projections, we were interested in taking a look at how each region or country’s share of global GDP (PPP) has changed over recent decades.
This time, we used IMF projections from its data mapper tool to loosely approximate the regions above, though there are some minor differences in how the data is organized.
|Country or Region||Share of GDP (PPP, 1980)||Share of GDP (PPP, 2019F)||Change|
|Developing Asia||8.9%||34.1%||+25.2 pp|
|European Union||29.9%||16.0%||-13.9 pp|
|United States||21.6%||15.0%||-6.6 pp|
|Latin America & Caribbean||12.2%||7.4%||-4.8 pp|
|Middle East & North Africa||8.6%||6.5%||-2.1 pp|
|Sub-Saharan Africa||2.4%||3.0%||+0.6 pp|
In the past 40 years or so, Developing Asia has increased its share of the global economy (in PPP terms) from 8.9% to an estimated 34.1% today. This dominant region includes China, India, and other fast-growing economies.
The European Union and the United States combined for 51.5% of global productivity in 1980, but they now account for 31% of the total economic mix. Similarly, the Latin America and MENA regions are seeing similar decreases in their share of the economic pie.
Which Countries Are Set to Attract the Highest Skilled Workers from Abroad?
The world’s most innovative companies want to get the best talent at any cost. See whether their home countries are helping or hurting their odds.
For the world’s most innovative companies, the stated goal of attracting top talent is not simply an HR mantra – it’s a matter of survival.
Whether we’re talking about a giant like Google that is constantly searching to add world-class engineers or we’re talking about a startup that needs a visionary to shape products of the future, innovative companies require access to high-skilled workers to stay ahead of their competition.
The Global Search for Talent
There’s no doubt that top companies will go out of their way to bring in highly-skilled workers, even if they must look internationally to find the best of the best.
However, part of this recruitment process is not necessarily under their control. The reality is that countries themselves have different policies that affect how easy it is to attract people, educate and develop them, and retain the best workers – and these factors can either empower or undermine talent recruitment efforts.
Today’s infographic comes from KDM Engineering, and it breaks down the top 25 countries in attracting high-skilled workers.
If attracting the best people isn’t hard enough, there is another factor that can complicate things: the best people are sometimes not found locally or even nationally.
For top companies, recruitment is a global game – and it’s partially driven by the policies of governments as well as the quality of life within their countries’ borders.
Top Countries for Attracting High-Skilled Workers
Using data from the United Nations and the Global Talent Competitive Index, here are the top 10 countries that are the best at attracting and retaining highly-skilled workers.
They are ordered by overall rank, but their sub-category ranks are also displayed:
|#3||🇬🇧 United Kingdom||#8||#11||#7||#5||8,543,120|
|#4||🇺🇸 United States||#11||#16||#2||#8||46,627,102|
The subcategory ranks are defined as follows:
- Enable: Status of regulatory and market landscapes in country
- Attract: Ability to attract companies and people with needed competencies
- Grow: Ability to offer high-quality education, apprenticeships, and training
- Retain: Indicates quality of life in country
According to the data, Switzerland (#1) and Singapore (#2) are the two best countries for attaining and keeping high-skilled workers.
While the regulatory environments in both of these countries are well-known by reputation, perhaps what’s more surprising is that Singapore scores the #1 rank in the “Attract” subcategory, while Switzerland is the #1 country for retaining talent based on quality of life.
Another data point that stands out?
The United States has a higher total migrant population (46.6 million) than all of the countries on the top 10 list combined. Not surprisingly, the massive U.S. economy also has a high ranking in the “Grow” category, which represents available opportunities to bring high-skilled workers to the next level through education and training.
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