Economics Charts Index > Gross Domestic Product by State - Explanation, discussion, and questions

Explanation     Discussion and Questions

Explanation

Here is a fragment of a chart for reference while reading this explanation:

State20002005GDP per Capita
Growth
2000-2005
State
Gross Domestic Product ($Millions)Population (estimated)GDP per CapitaGross Domestic Product ($Millions)Population (estimated)GDP per Capita
United States

9,749,103

282,216,952

34,545

12,409,555

296,507,061

41,852

21.2

United States
Alabama114,5764,452,37525,734151,6104,548,32733,33329.5Alabama

The Gross Domestic Product entries are in millions of dollars. So for Alabama, for example, the 2000 GDP value of 114,576 should be read as $114,576,000,000 (about 114 billion dollars).

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, "GDP is measured as the expenditures of households on goods and services plus business investment, government expenditures,and net exports." They have much, much more to say in Gross Domestic Product by State Estimation Methodology (PDF, 1.45Mbytes) Note: GDP by State was formerly called Gross State Product (GSP).

The length of the colored bars represent percentages of the highest GDP of any state in the country. For example, the state with the highest GDP (California) has a colored bar that fills the cell. A state with half that GDP would have a colored bar that fills half the cell. For small percentages the bar does not appear.

The entries under the Population headings are totals as estimated by the Census Department.

Similarly to GDP, the lengths of the colored bars are proportional to the state having the highest population (California again).

GDP per Capita is calculated by dividing the GDP by the population.

Similarly to GDP and Population, the lengths of the colored bars are proportional to the state having the highest GDP per capita (Delaware in this case).

GDP per Capita Growth is expressed as a percentage, calculated by dividing the 2005 GDP per capita by 2000 GDP per capita and multiplying by 100.

The lengths of the colored bars are proportional to the percentage value in the table cell.

Please note that if you set your browser to display very large text sizes, the table cell sizes will change, and the lengths of the colored bars will not be accurate, although they will still show proportions.

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Discussion & Questions

The charts highlight some interesting facts:

They also raise some questions. I am a chartmaker and not an economist, so I'm not going to do more than guess at the answers to these:

If you have any thoughts on these questions, or anything else on this site, please let me know.

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