The economies of every US state and DC, ranked from worst to best

Justin Setterfield / Getty

The US is a massive, complex economy, and so too are the component economies of the 50 states and Washington, DC, that make up the whole.

Business Insider combined six measures of labour-market and general economic health for all the states and the District of Columbia. They are the unemployment rate, job growth, per-capita GDP, GDP growth, average weekly wages, and wage growth. By putting all those on a common scale and combining them, we came up with an overall score for each state’s economy.


Click here to see our detailed sources and methods.

Here’s how the economy of each state and DC is doing right now, along with one of each state’s official symbols, according to Wikipedia – just for fun:


51. South Dakota

Ezra Shaw/GettySouth Dakota’s state animal is the coyote.

South Dakota was only one of two states with negative GDP growth in Q4 2017, with the state’s GDP declining by 0.5%. The state’s April 2018 average weekly wage of $US754 was fourth-lowest in the country, but its unemployment rate of 3.4% was lower than the average rate of 4.0% among the states and DC.


50. North Dakota

Nadiatalent via Wikimedia CommonsNorth Dakota’s state fruit is the chokecherry.

North Dakota had the worst year-over-year change in its labour market among the 50 states and DC, with the number of non-farm payroll jobs declining by 1.8% between April 2017 and April 2018. The state also had the worst economic growth, with GDP falling 1.3% in Q4 2017.


49. Mississippi

Trisha M. Shears via Wikimedia CommonsMississippi’s state fish is the largemouth bass.

Mississippi’s Q4 2017 GDP per capita of $US37,997 and April 2018 average weekly wage of $US709 were both the lowest among the states and DC.


48. New Mexico

New Mexico’s April 2018 unemployment rate of 5.4% was tied for third-highest among the 50 states and DC, while its average weekly wage of $US744 was third-lowest.


47. Kentucky

Luke Sharrett/Getty ImagesCoal is Kentucky’s state mineral.

Kentucky had the sixth-lowest rate of jobs growth among the 50 states and DC, with non-farm payroll jobs increasing just 0.4% between April 2017 and April 2018. The state’s Q4 2017 GDP per capita of $US46,234 was the seventh-lowest in the country.


46. Delaware

Hans Hillewaert via Wikimedia CommonsDelaware’s state marine animal is the horseshoe crab.

Delaware’s Q4 2017 GDP growth of 0.2% was the fourth-lowest among the 50 states and DC, and its average hourly wage growth of 0.8% between April 2017 and April 2018 was the fifth-lowest. However, the state’s Q4 2017per capita GDP of $US77,945 was the fourth-highest in the country.


45. Alaska

Rob LudacerAlaska’s state fossil is the woolly mammoth.

Alaska’s April 2018 unemployment rate of 7.3% was the highest among the 50 states and DC, and it was one of the only two states to lose jobs between April 2017 and April 2018, with non-farm payroll employment declining by 0.2%.


44. Arkansas

Gtapp via Wikimedia CommonsArkansas’ state musical instrument is the fiddle.

Arkansas’ Q4 2017 per capita GDP of $US42,028 and April 2018 average weekly wage of $US743 were both the second-lowest among the 50 states and DC.


43. Montana

Montana’s job growth rate of 0.6% between April 2017 and April 2018, its Q4 2017 per capita GDP of $US46,268, and its April 2018 average weekly wage of $US790 were all the eighth-lowest among the 50 states and DC.


42. Iowa

Wocypke via Wikimedia CommonsIowa’s state rock is the geode.

Iowa’s Q4 2017 GDP growth rate of 0.7% was the fifth-lowest among the 50 states and DC, and its wage growth rate of 1.0% between April 2017 and April 2018 was the sixth-lowest. On the bright side, the state’s 2.8% unemployment rate in April 2018 was the fifth-best in the country.


41. West Virginia

Ryan Somma via Wikimedia CommonsWest Virginia’s state flower is the Rhododendron.

West Virginia’s Q4 2017 per capita GDP of $US43,377 was the fourth-lowest among the 50 states and DC, and its April 2018 unemployment rate of 5.4% was tied for third-highest.


40. Minnesota

Minnesota was one of only two states with negative wage growth, with the state’s average weekly wage declining 0.4% between April 2017 and April 2018. Minnesota’s Q4 2017 GDP growth rate of 1.5% was also somewhat below the average rate of 2.3% among the 50 states and DC.


39. Michigan

USFWS Mountain-Prairie via Wikimedia CommonsThe painted turtle is Michigan’s state reptile.

Michigan’s April 2018 unemployment rate of 4.7% was tied for eighth-highest in the country. The state’s April 2018 average weekly wage of $US885 was slightly below the average of $US908 among the 50 states and DC.


38. New York

Getty Images/Allison ShelleyNew York’s state mammal is the beaver.

While New York’s Q4 2017 per capita GDP of $US78,810 was the second-highest among the 50 states and DC, its flat GDP growth rate of 0.0% during that quarter was the third-lowest.


37. Ohio

USDA via Wikimedia CommonsThe Ohio Buckeye is the state tree of Ohio.

Ohio’s Q4 2017 per capita GDP of $US56,703 was a bit below the average of $US60,263 among the 50 states and DC, while its 4.1% wage growth between April 2017 and April 2018 was a bit above the average growth rate of 3.3%.


36. Nebraska

Flickr/BreibeestNebraska’s state soft drink is Kool-Aid.

Nebraska’s Q4 2017 GDP growth rate of 0.9% was the sixth-lowest among the states and DC, and its April 2018unemployment rate of 2.8% was tied for fifth-lowest.

Nebraska fell pretty far since our last ranking of the state economies earlier this year, when it came in as the eighth-best economy in the country on the strength of high wage growth in that quarter.


35. Vermont

Dave Pape via Wikimedia CommonsVermont’s state tree is the sugar maple.

While Vermont had the third-lowest rate of job growth among the states and DC, with non-farm payroll jobs increasing just 0.2% between April 2017 and April 2018, the state’s April 2018 unemployment rate of 2.8% was tied for fifth-best.


34. Alabama

Wikimedia CommonsAlabama’s state fossil is the Basilosaurus.

Alabama’s Q4 2017 per capita GDP of $US43,880 was the fifth-lowest among the states and DC. The state’s April 2018unemployment rate of 3.8% was slightly lower than the average rate of 4.0%.


33. New Hampshire

Áine Cain/Business InsiderNew Hampshire’s state fruit is the pumpkin.

New Hampshire was one of only two states to see negative wage growth, with the average weekly wage falling 1.8% between April 2017 and April 2018. On the bright side, the state’s April 2018 unemployment rate of 2.6% was tied for second-best among the 50 states and DC.


32. Missouri

Flickr/m01229Missouri’s state dessert is the ice cream cone.

Missouri’s April 2018 average weekly wage of $US838 was a bit below the average of $US908 among the 50 states and DC, while its April 2018 unemployment rate of 3.6% was a bit better than the average rate of 4.0%.


31. Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s Q4 2017 GDP growth rate of 3.3% was the sixth-highest among the states and DC, but its average weekly wage growth rate of 1.0% between April 2017 and April 2018 was the seventh-lowest.


30. Louisiana

Louisiana’s average weekly wage growth of 4.9% between April 2017 and April 2018 was the ninth-highest among the states and DC, but its April 2018 unemployment rate of 4.5% was above the average rate of 4.0%.


28. Pennsylvania

ShutterstockPennsylvania’s state dog is the Great Dane.

Pennsylvania’s April 2018 unemployment rate of 4.7% was tied for eighth-highest in the country, and its Q4 2017 per capita GDP of $US59,941 was close to the average per capita GDP of $US60,263 among the 50 states and DC.


28. Nevada

Andrew Barna via Wikimedia CommonsNevada’s state animal is the desert bighorn sheep.

Nevada had the fastest job growth among the 50 states and DC, with the number of non-farm payroll jobs increasing 3.4% between April 2017 and April 2018. However, the state’s April 2018 average weekly wage of $US783 was the sixth-lowest in the country.


27. Connecticut

ShutterstockThe praying mantis is Connecticut’s state insect.

Connecticut’s Q4 2017 per capita GDP of $US74,098 was the fifth-highest among the 50 states and DC, and its April 2018 average weekly wage of $US1,086 was fourth-highest. However, the state’s non-farm payroll job growth rate of 0.5% between April 2017 and April 2018 was the seventh-lowest.


26. Arizona

Hmaag via Wikimedia CommonsArizona’s state firearm is the Colt Single Action Army.

Arizona’s Q4 2017 GDP growth rate of 3.1% was the eighth-highest among the states and DC, and its non-farm payroll job growth rate of 2.2% between April 2017 and April 2018 was the seventh-highest. However, the state’s April 2018 unemployment rate of 4.9% was tied for fifth-worst.


25. Maine

US Fish and Wildlife/Hagerty RyanThe moose is Maine’s state animal.

Maine’s April 2018 unemployment rate of 2.7% was the fourth-lowest among the states and DC, and its Q4 2017per capita GDP of $US46,799 was the tenth-lowest.


24. Kansas

TommyBrison/ShutterstockKansas’ state flower is the wild sunflower.

Kansas’ non-farm payroll job growth rate of 1.4% between April 2017 and April 2018 was just above the average rate among the states and DC of 1.3%, and its Q4 2017 GDP growth rate of 2.3% was equal to the average rate.


23. Tennessee

Shutterstock/NinekasTennessee’s state fruit is the tomato.

Tennessee’s April 2018 unemployment rate of 3.4% was below the average rate among the states and DC of 4.0%, but its Q4 2017 per capita GDP of $US52,407 was somewhat lower than the average of $US60,263.


22. Illinois

Dan/FlickrPopcorn is the state snack food of Illinois.

Illinois’ non-farm payroll job growth rate of 0.9% between April 2017 and April 2018 was a bit below the average rate of 1.3% among the 50 states and DC, but its Q4 2017 per capita GDP of $US65,274 was somewhat above the average of $US60,263.


21. Oregon

WikipediaThe Chinook salmon is the state fish of Oregon.

Oregon’s Q4 2017 GDP growth rate of 3.7% was the third-highest among the states and DC, but its average weekly wage growth of 1.1% between April 2017 and April 2018 was the eighth-lowest.


20. North Carolina

Noah Elhardt via Wikimedia CommonsThe Venus Flytrap is North Carolina’s state carnivorous plant.

North Carolina’s April 2018 unemployment rate of 4.4% was higher than the average rate among the states and DC of 4.0%, and its Q4 2017 GDP growth rate of 2.9% was higher than the average rate of 2.3%.


19. New Jersey

Rusla Ruseyn/ShutterstockNew Jersey’s state mammal is the horse.

New Jersey’s Q4 2017 per capita GDP of $US66,840 was the eleventh-highest among the states and DC, and its April 2018 average weekly wage of $US1,023 was the eighth-highest.


18. Virginia

Dakota L. via Wikimedia CommonsVirginia’s state bird is the cardinal.

Virginia’s April 2018 average weekly wage of $US994 was the tenth-highest in the country, and its unemployment rate of 3.3% was well below the average rate of 4.0% among the 50 states and DC.


17. Rhode Island

Wikimedia CommonsRhode Island’s state bird is the Rhode Island Red Chicken.

Rhode Island’s 5.3% average weekly wage growth between April 2017 and April 2018 was the seventh-highest in the country, but its April 2018 unemployment rate of 4.5% was higher than the average rate among the 50 states and DC of 4.0%.


16. Wyoming

Maddie Meyer/Getty ImagesWyoming’s state sport is rodeo.

Wyoming’s Q4 2017 per capita GDP of $US71,403 was the eighth-highest in the country, while its April 2018unemployment rate of 3.8% was just below the average rate among the 50 states and DC of 4.0%.


15. Indiana

KENPEI via Wikimedia CommonsIndiana’s state tree is the tulip tree.

Indiana’s Q4 2017 GDP growth rate of 2.7% was a bit higher than the average rate of 2.4% among the 50 states and DC, while its April 2018 unemployment rate of 3.2% was below the average 4.0% rate.


14. Maryland

Mdf via Wikimedia CommonsMaryland’s state bird is the Baltimore oriole.

Maryland’s April 2018 average weekly wage of $US1,042 was the sixth-highest among the 50 states and DC, and its wage growth rate of 7.5% between April 2017 and April 2018 was the highest.


13. South Carolina

DisneyNatureSouth Carolina’s state marine mammal is the bottlenose dolphin.

South Carolina’s average weekly wage growth rate of 6.4% between April 2017 and April 2018 was the fourth-highest among the states and DC, but its Q4 2017per capita GDP of $US44,228 was the sixth-lowest.


12. Florida

Jeremy Keith/FlickrFlorida’s state beverage is orange juice.

Florida’s Q4 2017 GDP growth rate of 3.7% was the third-highest among the states and DC, and its non-farm payroll job growth rate of 2.1% between April 2017 and April 2018 was the ninth-highest.


11. Georgia

iStock PhotoGeorgia’s state crop is the peanut.

Georgia’s average weekly wage growth rate of 6.0% between April 2017 and April 2018 was the sixth-highest in the country, and its non-farm payroll job growth rate of 1.5% over that year was slightly above the average rate of 1.3% among the 50 states and DC.


10. Wisconsin

MaxxyM/ShutterstockThe dairy cow is Wisconsin’s state domestic animal.

Wisconsin’s April 2018 unemployment rate of 2.8% was tied for fifth-lowest among the states and DC, and its Q4 2017 GDP growth rate of 3.1% was tied for eighth-highest.


9. Utah

Wikimedia CommonsThe Rocky Mountain Elk is Utah’s state animal.

Utah’s non-farm payroll job growth rate of 3.3% between April 2017 and April 2018 was the third-highest in the country, and its April 2018 unemployment rate of 3.1% was well below the average rate among the 50 states and DC of 4.0%.


8. Massachusetts

Cedricflorian via Wikimedia CommonsMassachusetts’ state dog is the Boston terrier.

Massachusetts’ Q4 2017 per capita GDP of $US78,300 and April 2018 average weekly wage of $US1,116 were both the third-highest among the 50 states and DC.


7. California

Marco Verch / FlickrCalifornia’s state fruit is the avocado.

California’s Q4 2017 GDP growth rate of 3.4% was the fifth-highest among the states and DC, as was its April 2018average weekly wage of $US1,073.


6. Idaho

Flickr/woodleywonderworksIdaho’s state vegetable is the potato.

Idaho’s non-farm payroll job growth rate of 3.3% between April 2017 and April 2018 was the second-highest among the states and DC, as was its Q4 2017 GDP growth rate of 4.8%.

Idaho fared much better in this quarter’s ranking than in our first-quarter ranking of the state economies, when it came in at number 20.


5. Hawaii

Ron Ardis via Wikimedia CommonsHula is Hawaii’s state dance.

Hawaii’s 2.0% unemployment rate in April 2018 was the lowest among the 50 states and DC, and its average weekly wage growth rate of 6.1% between April 2017 and April 2018 was the fifth-highest.


4. Texas

US Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikimedia CommonsTexas’ state small mammal is the nine-banded armadillo.

Texas’ Q4 2017 GDP growth rate of 5.2% was the highest among the 50 states and DC, and its non-farm payroll job growth rate of 2.7% between April 2017 and April 2018 was fifth-highest.


3. Colorado

Perry Quan via Wikimedia CommonsColorado’s state fossil is the Stegosaurus.

Colorado’s Q4 2017 GDP growth rate of 3.2% was the seventh-highest among the states and DC, and its April 2018unemployment rate of 2.9% was the ninth-lowest.


2. Washington

Washington state’s April 2018 average weekly wage of $US1,168 was the second-highest among the states and DC, and its non-farm payroll job growth rate of 2.8% between April 2017 and April 2018 was the fourth-highest.


1. Washington, DC

US Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikimedia CommonsThe wood thrush is the District of Columbia’s official bird.

The District of Columbia’s Q4 2017 per capita GDP of $US193,091 and April 2018 average weekly wage of $US1,552 were far and away the highest in the country. However, DC’s April 2018 unemployment rate of 5.6% was the second-highest among the states and DC.

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