RANKED: Here's How All 50 State Economies Are Doing, Ranked From Slowest To Fastest

Now that the recovery appears to finally be taking hold, Business Insider decided to see how that recovery was being felt across the country.

We ranked each state on how eight economic measures have grown or shrunk in recent years: the unemployment rate, the number of non-farm payroll jobs, gross domestic product, average wages, the working age (18-64) population, value of international exports, house prices, and auto sales.

Check out how we made the ranking here.

50. Alaska

The petroleum sector is a major part of the Alaskan economy, but many of Alaska's oil deposits have been depleted over the years. This depletion has dropped the state's crude oil production to 4th place. Other major employment sectors include the federal government, and the fishing and tourism industries. Here's a bit more about Alaska:

48. New Mexico

New Mexico has major petroleum and natural gas deposits in the northwest and southeast corners of the state. Plus, agriculture and mining are other major sectors. Additionally, the healthcare industry employs the 'largest percentage of New Mexico's workforce'.

46. Rhode Island

The majority of Rhode Island's economy is service-based, specifically focusing on healthcare and education. The state has seen a decline in manufacturing 'after the textile industry moved South and the jewelry industry has been outstripped by foreign competitors. According to our data:

45. Alabama

Alabama is growing into a major automotive producer with three major international auto manufacturers. Other major industries include aerospace, chemicals, food processing, and rubber and plastics. Plus, the University of Alabama is the state's largest employer and is a 'global leader in healthcare and medical research'.

44. West Virginia

The primary industry in West Virginia is the coal mining industry, but other major industries include chemicals, primary metals, and lumber. Here's how West Virginia did in our measures:

42. Missouri

Missouri's major industries include service industries, wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing, and agriculture. Plus, Missouri is a leading producer of transportation equipment, beer and beverages, and aerospace technology.

40. New Hampshire

According to the New Hampshire state government report 'Measuring New Hampshire's Economic Health,' the state was less impacted by the Great Recession than other states were. Nonfarm jobs faired better than the rest of the nation, and 'employment decline was shorter in New Hampshire than in the rest of the nation'.

39. Wisconsin

According to the Wisconsin Economic Outlook, the state's economy 'grew at a moderate pace in 2013' and 'jobs recovery continued at a moderate pace in 2013'. Additionally, 'the forecast anticipates stronger growth'. Major industries that drive the Wisconsin economy include manufacturing, agriculture, and healthcare.

38. Mississippi

Mississippi's 'recovery has yet to blossom as labour market fundamentals remain relatively weak', according to a Wells Fargo outlook report. As of February 2014, the government employed one in five residents, making it the largest source of jobs.

36. New Jersey

The housing crisis affected New Jersey more than other states, and subsequently the state's economy struggled more, according to a Wells Fargo report. And Hurricane Sandy did not help, as 'it diverted resources toward rebuilding activity rather than promoting economic growth'. According to the report: 'part of the slowdown of New Jersey's economy can be traced to the ongoing consolidation of the pharmaceutical industry', which is a major economic powerhouse in the state.

35. Connecticut

Connecticut's economy is centered around the finance and insurance industries, followed by the manufacturing industry. According to the Connecticut Economic Digest, the state's 'baseline forecast suggests slower growth in 2014 and 2015'.

34. Illinois

According to a JP Morgan Chase report, 'Illinois' recovery is expected to strengthen gradually into 2014 and 2015', and its economy is 'growing again in line with the national trend'.

33. Nebraska

Nebraska GOP Rally

The agriculture industry is the major economic focal point in Nebraska -- including crop and livestock production. Other major Nebraska industries include manufacturing, and health and business services.

32. Maryland

According to a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, 'recent reports of Maryland's economy were mixed, with some labour market contraction, but some improvement in household conditions and in housing markets'. Additionally, 'jobs were added in logging, mining, and construction, financial activities, education and health services, leisure and hospitality'.

31. Pennsylvania

According to a JP Morgan Chase report, Pennsylvania's economy is 'on the mend and likely will continue to expand at a moderate pace in 2014 and 2015'. Additionally, the report notes that the state is 'on the front lines of new energy development' which should help 'move the state's economic performance to the front pages in coming years'.

30. Kentucky

'Financial strains built up during the recession, but the improving economy is relieving pressure on local businesses,' according to a JP Morgan Chase report. Additionally, the strength of the motor vehicle industry is now a 'plus for the state'.

29. Louisiana

Louisiana is the 'third largest producer of petroleum' in the U.S. and the 'third leading state in petroleum refining'. Other major industries include natural gas, agriculture, petrochemicals, and fishing, shrimp oysters.

28. Kansas

Major Kansas industries include agriculture and manufacturing. A JP Morgan Chase report states that, 'the state's expected to parallel the broad contour of the national recovery in 2014 and 2015'.

27. South Dakota

Motorists ride on U.S. Interstate 90 near Sturgis, South Dakota.

South Dakota continues to see some of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, with increasing non farm employment levels. Major South Dakota industries are in service sector industries like retail, finance, and health care.

26. Wyoming

Wyoming's major economic industries include mineral extraction and tourism, thanks to national parks like Yellowstone. A JP Morgan Chase economic report states that 'Wyoming's economy is forecast to speed up a bit in the coming year'.

25. Ohio

Ohio has a disproportionate number of manufacturing and health services jobs. Unfortunately, Ohio's scores on our measures were very much a mixed bag:

24. Hawaii

The view from Hawaii's Haiku Stairs

Hawaii, with its incredible tropical climate and island scenery, has always relied on tourism, whether or not said tourism is always safe, as a major factor in its economy. Here's how the youngest state measured up:

23. New York

New York City is the financial capital of the world, but changes in the state's economy have been mixed in the last couple years. Here's New York's standing in our ranking:

21. Indiana

From the cornfields throughout the state to the ailing former industrial giant of Gary, to the capital of Indianapolis, home of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, Indiana's economy is very much like those of the other Great Lakes states. Here's where Indiana stands in our measures:

20. Oklahoma

With its central location, Oklahoma is a major hub of the aviation and aerospace industries. A number of firms have a presence in the Oklahoma City area, and American Airlines runs a massive maintenance and repair facility in Tulsa. Here's how Oklahoma did on our indicators:

19. Minnesota

Minnesota is a major Midwestern corporate hub. Eighteen Fortune 500 companies operate out of the state. Minnesota fell largely in the middle of the road on most of our metrics:

17. Idaho

Idaho's economy is a fascinating mixture of traditional industries like agribusiness -- Idaho still produces nearly 3 in 10 of the country's potatoes -- and high tech firms like Micron Technologies, which, according to the Idaho Department of Commerce, is 'the only U.S. based memory chip maker.' Here's how Idaho fared in our ranking:

16. Michigan

Michigan has seen some very hard times in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, but there is some hope for the industrial powerhouse. Here's how they scored:

15. North Carolina

North Carolina is one of the major centres of the New South. Bank of America's headquarters are in Charlotte, which has become a huge banking hub. Add to that the technological powerhouse of the research triangle, and North Carolina's economic future looks bright. Here's where they fall on some of our indicators:

14. Delaware

Delaware has a reputation for being extremely friendly to corporations, and over half of the S&P 500 corporations are legally chartered in the state. Here's where Delaware stands on our measures:

13. North Dakota

A worker on the Bakken Shale.

North Dakota has spent the last few years in an oil boom, fuelled by the vast reserves in the Bakken Formation in the western part of the state. That boom translated into North Dakota coming in first in the country in three of our eight metrics:

12. Georgia

Georgia's economy is anchored by the Southern metropolis of Atlanta, home to the busiest airport in the world, and by a robust agribusiness sector. Here's how Georgia's economy measures up in our metrics:

11. Oregon

Oregon has an economy mirroring that of the U.S., with a mixture of agriculture, manufacturing, and services, Recent job growth in Oregon has been fuelled, as it has been throughout the country, by educational and health services, business services, and retail trade. Here's how Oregon looks in our ranking:

10. Massachusetts

Harvard's Class of 2014

Massachusetts, powered by its many prestigious colleges and universities, has a robust service economy, anchored by creative industries, financial services, information technology, and the life sciences. Here's how they scored in our rankings:

9. Nevada

Nevada was hit extremely hard by the implosion of the 2000's housing bubble, but its economy, including its housing market, is getting back on its feet. Here's where Nevada stands on our variables:

8. South Carolina

In recent months, South Carolina has begun booming its way out from the shadow of the Great Recession. Here's how the Palmetto State is doing based on our metrics:

6. Florida

Florida's sunny and hot climate has long made it a natural destination for tourists and retirees, and, largely owing to NASA's presence at Cape Canaveral, the state has a long history of being a center for aerospace industries. Here's how Florida scored:

5. Utah

The Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah.

With a state government focused on economic growth, Utah frequently shows up at or near the top of lists of states where it's good to do business. Here's why they're near the top of our list:

3. Texas

Since the discovery of vast oil reserves around the turn of the twentieth century, Texas has been an economic powerhouse. Energy continues to be a huge part of the Texas economy, but many industries have a large presence in the state. Here's how Texas did on our measures:

1. Colorado

Colorado was in the top ten states on five of our metrics, and in the top fifteen on the other three. As with many of the other top economies, Colorado's economy is highly diversified, and especially boasts a strong aerospace sector and a huge amount of federal investment, such as the NORAD complex. Here are some of the metrics where Colorado really shined:

  • Colorado saw 1.2% growth in its working age population from 2012 to 2013.
  • The state also had 2.8% growth in non-farm payroll jobs, adding 66,300 jobs between June 2013 and June 2014.
  • Colorado's GDP grew 3.8% year over year in 2013.

All in all, Colorado's economy is broadly growing at a healthy clip, and so it comes in as the overall winner.

Now, check out the most normal and least normal states!

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