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: Insurance
> Industry GDP contribution: $16.2 billion
> Industry output as pct. of GDP: 7.1%
> Industry workforce: 57,031
Though Connecticut’s economic output accounts for only about 1.4% of total U.S. GDP, the state’s insurance industry accounts for a disproportionate 3.6% share of all insurance activity nationwide. Indeed, the state capital of Hartford is also commonly referred to as the insurance capital of the world. Though the state’s insurance industry expanded by a healthy 4.5% in 2015, the industry may not continue to be a boon for the state’s economy for long. Earlier this year, insurance giant Aetna, which was founded in Hartford over 150 years ago, announced plans to move its headquarters out of the city.
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.