BEA data shows steep declines in state GDP in Q2 of 2020

The depth of the recession is coming into clearer view with the recent release of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data for the second quarter of 2020. A press release from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) shows that real GDP decreased by double digits in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.; ranging from a 42.2 percent drop in Hawaii and Nevada to a 20.4 percent drop in the District of Columbia.

Useful Stats: Post-recession GDP recovery by state, 2000-2019

As the world begins to emerge from the “Great Lockdown” and governments increasingly turn their efforts towards reopening economies, many will look to past recessions for lessons on recovery. This edition of Useful Stats examines the rate of real GDP recovery by state following the recessions of 2001 and 2008.

Useful Stats: Per Capita County-level GDP

Although changes in gross domestic product (GDP) give us an idea of how economies are changing, this measure fails to tell the full story. This edition of Useful Stats examines county-level GDP-per-capita, the measure of economic output for each resident in an area. What we see is strongly skewed data with high 2018 GDP-per-capita levels and high 10-year growth rates concentrated primarily in low population-high output counties. We also see that rural populations have declined over the period while metropolitan areas have grown, yet the median GDP-per-capita growth rates between the groups are essentially the same.

Useful Stats: 10-year Changes in Real GDP by County and Industry, 2009-2018

Building on SSTI’s recent analysis of county-level GDP by industry, this edition moves beyond a single year and examines the changes in real — adjusted for inflation — county GDP and the changes in industry-specific contributions to county GDP for the 10-year period from 2009 to 2018. As shown in the interactive map below, the total 10-year growth rate for counties averaged approximately 21 percent.

Useful Stats: GDP by County and Industry Contribution

This edition of Useful Stats examines the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ first full release of county-level gross domestic product (GDP) data. Specifically, this analysis considers total county GDP in 2018 and the contributions to each county’s GDP by industry.

While finance and insurance in New York ($222.5 billion) accounted for the single largest contribution to both total county GDP and total U.S. GDP in 2018 — followed by real estate and rental and leasing in Los Angeles ($150.2 billion) — the manufacturing sector was the highest contributor to county GDP in the greatest number of counties. Manufacturing was the primary source for county GDP in 927 out of more than 3100 counties — accounting for nearly $2.3 trillion of total U.S. GDP in 2018. Government and government enterprises (768 counties) accounted for the second most frequent leader in county GDP contributions — totaling $2.4 trillion nationally — followed by real estate and rental and leasing (647 counties) — totaling $2.7 trillion nationally. The next closest industry was agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting which was the top contributor to GDP in only 209 counties — and only accounting for a national total of $138.4 billion.

The map below shows counties with manufacturing, government, real estate, mining, and agriculture  as their predominant industry. The map shows that manufacturing is the leading industry in counties in the Midwest and South while agriculture is centered primarily within the Plains region.

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