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: Computers and electronics manufacturing
> Industry GDP contribution: $93.1 billion
> Industry output as pct. of GDP: 4.2%
> Industry workforce: 264,698
California has several major industries that are large enough to dominate the economy of many other states. This includes farms, an $18.7 billion industry in the state, and motion pictures, which produce more than $50 billion annually for the state. Both of these pale in comparison to the state’s computers and electronics segment, the epicenter of which is the state’s famous Silicon Valley. The sector employs 265,000 Californians, roughly equivalent to the entire workforce of Wyoming.
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.