Not a Story: Red States Dominate Government's 2013 GDP Growth Report

June 13th, 2014 12:46 AM

On Tuesday, the Associated Press carried a regional story about the status of North Dakota's planting season. Readers will be pleased to know that 93 percent, 78 percent, and 92 percent of the state's wheat, potato and corn crops have been planted.

Of course, farm news is important in the Roughrider State. But so is the latest information on its stratospheric economic growth, as well as looking at last year's growth in the nation's other 49 states and DC as reported by the government's Bureau of Economic Analysis yesterday. But I could not locate a national AP story on state-by-state gross domestic product growth, and there have been almost no national-scope stories anywhere else. Perhaps that's because the country's top performers are predominantly deep-red states, while its significant laggards, at least based on who they supported for president in 2008 and 2012, are mostly blue.

Here is the nation's top 10 in GDP growth in 2013:

North Dakota — 9.7 percent
Wyoming — 7.6 percent
West Virginia — 5.1 percent
Oklahoma — 4.2 percent
Idaho — 4.1 percent
Colorado — 3.8 percent
Utah — 3.8 percent
Texas — 3.7 percent
South Dakota — 3.1 percent
Nebraska — 3.0 percent

Only Colorado and West Virginia could be considered something other than deep-red states — and despite having several prominent Democrats in statewide and national office, they both arguably lean red.

Nationwide GDP growth in 2013 was 1.9 percent; the government's calculated figure for comparability to individual state results was 1.84 percent, which it rounded to 1.8 percent. Excluding the states listed above, GDP growth in the rest of the U.S. was less than 1.5 percent:


Excluding only Texas, GDP growth in the rest of the country was 1.67 percent. The Lone Star State's GDP grew by 6.9 percent in 2012. The Houston Chronicle headlined the state's 2013 performance thusly: "GDP growth slowed in Texas last year." We all should have such "problems."

Among consistently blue states, only Minnestota (2.8%), Washington (2.7%) and Oregon (2.7%) turned in performances significantly ahead of the 1.9% national average. Notable blue laggards with significant populations — again, based on 2008 and 2012 presidential election preferences — included New Jersey (1.1%), Connecticut (0.9%), Illinois (0.9%), New York (0.7%), Pennsylvania (0.7%), Virginia (0.1%), and Maryland (0.0%).

Connecticut's performance is particularly putrid because the previous three years were also miserable. The Nutmeg State's economy has only grown by 1.7 percent in the past four years. Governor Dannel Malloy's 75 tax increases in 2011 and the state's position as a "leader" in advancing job-killing minimum-wage legislation are surely factors contributing to this awful track record.

I can see why the press wouldn't want to pay attention to these results. If they did, people might start thinking that they owe the outperformers listed above gratitude for propping up a mostly mediocre to miserable economy. Since they're predominantly deep red — and especially since the bug cahuna star of the show is Texas — we can't have that.

Cross-posted at