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Useful Stats: 2020 metro and micropolitan area GDP by industry

February 24, 2022
By: Colin Edwards

This edition of SSTI’s Useful Stats explores Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the nation’s urban areas and the top industry contributors to GDP in these areas. Specifically, this analysis explores both metropolitan area (defined by the Office of Management and Budget as areas with an urban core of more than 50,000 population) and micropolitan area (defined as areas with an urban core of between 10,000 and 50,000 population) GDP in 2020, as well as the top contributing industry to area GDP.

METROPOLITAN AREAS

The largest of the nation’s urban areas, metro areas of more than 50,000 residents account for the greatest portion of the country’s GDP. As seen in the interactive map below, the metro area that had the greatest total GDP in 2020 was New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($1.81 trillion); followed by Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($1.01 trillion); Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI ($693 billion); San Francisco-Oakland-Berkely, CA ($588 billion); and, Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($561 billion).

The interactive map below also shows that there was a large range in total metro area GDP in 2020. Compared to the metros listed above with the highest levels of GDP — each accounting for hundreds of billions of dollars of GDP in 2020 — the metro areas that had the lowest total GDP in 2020 were Grants Pass, OR ($3.1 billion); Gadsden, AL ($3.0 billion); Lewiston, ID-WA ($2.9 billion); Sebring-Avon Park, FL ($2.7 billion); and, Enid, OK ($2.6 billion).

Hover the cursor over a metro in the interactive map below to see additional area details. Use the Zoom and Search options in the toolbar to the upper left to get a closer look at specific metros.

There was also a wide variety in the industries that contributed the most to metro area GDP in 2020. Across all metro areas in 2020, the industry that contributed the most to metro GDP was real estate and rental and leasing ($2.33 trillion); followed by government and government enterprises ($2.25 trillion); professional and business services ($1.92 trillion); manufacturing ($1.73 trillion); and, finance and insurance ($1.58 trillion).

As shown in the interactive map below, the industry that accounted for the greatest share of metro area GDP in the greatest number of areas was government and government enterprises (141 metros); followed by manufacturing (118 metros); real estate and rental and leasing (64 metros); educational services, health care, and social assistance (21 metros); and, professional and business services (17 metros).

Hover the cursor over a metro in the interactive map below to see additional details, including the 10-year GDP history for the area’s top 2020 industry. Use the Zoom and Search options in the toolbar to the upper left to get a closer look at specific metros. Click on an industry in the color key to highlight them in the map. Click in empty “ocean” space or reload the webpage to reset the visualization.

MICROPOLITAN AREAS

For micropolitan areas (those with populations between 10,000 and 50,000) as seen in the interactive map below, the micropolitan area with the greatest total GDP in 2020 was Lebanon, NH-VT ($12.4 billion); followed by Concord, NH ($10.3 billion); Torrington, CT ($8.6 billion); Hilo, HI ($8.4 billion); and, Ottawa, IL ($7.7 billion). The interactive map also shows that the micropolitan areas with the lowest levels of total GDP in 2020 were Helena-West Helena, AR ($556 million); West Point, MS ($532 million); Summerville, GA ($532 million); Raymondville, TX ($495 million); and, Zapata, TX ($484 million).

Note the GDP scale change as compared to the previous metro area map. Hover the cursor over a metro in the interactive map below to see additional area details. Use the Zoom and Search options in the toolbar to the upper left to get a closer look at specific metros.

There was also a wide variety in the industries that contributed the most to micropolitan area GDP in 2020. Across all micropolitan areas in 2020, the industry that contributed the most to metro GDP was manufacturing ($200 billion); followed by government and government enterprises ($185 billion); real estate and rental and leasing ($145 billion); educational services, health care, and social assistance ($93 billion); and retail trade ($83 billion).

As shown in the interactive map below however, the industry that accounted for the greatest share of micropolitan area GDP in the greatest number of areas was manufacturing (170 micropolitan areas); followed by government and government enterprises (109 micropolitan areas); real estate and rental and leasing (46 micropolitan areas); mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (14 micropolitan areas); and agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (12 micropolitan areas). Hover the cursor over a metro area in the interactive map below to see additional details, including the 10-year GDP history for the area’s top 2020 industry.

Hover the cursor over a micropolitan area in the interactive map below to see additional details, including the 10-year GDP history for the area’s top 2020 industry. Use the Zoom and Search options in the toolbar to the upper left to get a closer look at specific areas. Click on an industry in the color key to highlight them in the map. Click in empty “ocean” space or reload the webpage to reset the visualization.

To better identify regional industry trends, the following interactive graphic combines the previous metropolitan and micropolitan data into a single map for total area GDP and another for the top industry contributor to area GDP. This combined visualization shows the degree of GDP concentration for several large metro areas, as well as the difference in top industry contributors to area GDP as compared to smaller surrounding metro and micropolitan areas. For example, manufacturing was the top contributor to area GDP in much of the Midwest and Great Lakes region except for the larger metro areas of Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI; Columbus, OH; and Pittsburgh, PA, where professional and business services were the top contributors.

Other similar examples where areas stand out from their regional neighbors in their top contributing industries to area GDP include:

  • Finance and insurance in New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA and in Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC;
  • Professional and business services in Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH, and in Houston, TX;
  • Real estate and rental and leasing in Atlanta, GA, and in St. Louis MO-IL; and
  • Information in Seattle, WA.

The final interactive graphic provides additional details on the total levels of industry contribution to area GDP across all areas. The graphic shows metropolitan area data in the top half and micropolitan area data in the bottom. Each section includes one chart detailing the total industry contributions to area GDP and another chart showing the 10-year industry GDP contribution data from 2011 to 2020.

 

Click here for the data used in this analysis.

useful stats, gdp, metros