One of the strengths of the United States is its diverse economy, which comprises many industries that contribute to overall economic development and greater stability. Total U.S. economic output topped $16 trillion in 2015, and each state’s contribution to overall GDP was unique, both in terms of size and industrial composition.
For example, California, New York, and Texas each generated over $1 trillion in economic output in 2015. Combined, these three states accounted for 31% of the nation’s total economic output. Each state’s unique economic landscape is shaped by a range of factors, from legal regulations to the presence natural resources. For example, with the nation’s largest oil reserves, oil and gas extraction drives Texas’s economy. Meanwhile, since removing certain banking restrictions, credit intermediation drives the South Dakota economy
> Largest industry: Oil and gas extraction
> Industry GDP contribution: $12.7 billion
> Industry output as pct. of GDP: 4.4%
> Industry workforce: 10,287
While many might not immediately associate Colorado with oil and gas extraction, the industry was the state’s largest in 2015, and a boon to its economy. The industry’s total economic output totalled $12.7 billion, up 24.8% from the previous year and 92.2% from five years earlier. Due in part to the industry’s robust growth, Colorado’s GDP climbed 3% in 2015, more than the vast majority of states.
Real estate is by far the largest industry in the United States and the largest contributor to GDP in most states. But since housing is a universal need irrespective of geography, it fails to illuminate regional economic differences. In order to capture the unique economic features of each state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the largest industry in each state by GDP contribution — excluding real estate.