Visualized: The U.S. $20 Trillion Economy by State
A sum of its parts, every U.S. state plays an integral role in the country’s overall economy.
Texas, for example, generates an economic output that is comparable to South Korea’s, and even a small geographical area like Washington, D.C. outputs over $129 billion per year.
The visualization above uses 2022 annual data out of the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) to showcase each state or district’s real gross domestic product (GDP) in chained 2012 dollars, while also highlighting personal income per capita.
A Closer Look at the States
California is by far the biggest state economy in the U.S. at $2.9 trillion in real GDP—and when comparing its nominal value ($3.6 trillion) with national GDPs worldwide, the Golden State’s GDP would rank 5th overall, just below Germany and Japan.
Here’s an up-close look at the data:
|Rank||State||Real GDP (chained 2012 dollars)|
|3||New York||$1.6 trillion|
|T9||New Jersey||$582 billion|
|11||North Carolina||$560 billion|
|25||South Carolina||$226 billion|
|34||District of Columbia||$129 billion|
|38||New Mexico||$95 billion|
|40||New Hampshire||$83 billion|
|42||West Virginia||$72 billion|
|45||Rhode Island||$55 billion|
|46||North Dakota||$53 billion|
|47||South Dakota||$50 billion|
|United States||$20 trillion|
Altogether, California, New York, and Texas account for almost one-third of the country’s economy, combining for $6.3 trillion in real GDP in 2022. The only other state that reached the trillion dollar mark is Florida with $1.1 trillion.
Texas’ economy is driven largely by industries like advanced manufacturing, biotech, life sciences, aerospace, and defense. The state is also home to a number of large companies, like Tesla and Texas Instruments, which make it a hub for jobs, innovation, and opportunity.
New York state is a leader in the insurance, agribusiness, clean energy, and cyber security industries, among many others. Zooming into the New York City area reveals huge sources of economic output from the tourism, media, and financial services sectors.
While the aforementioned states are the big hitters, the median GDP per state was much lower at $217 billion in 2022.
Under the BEA’s eight region breakdown, all states in the Great Lakes region had GDPs that were higher than the median, reflecting the industrial strength of states like Illinois and Ohio. Most of the states in the Mideast region including New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland also have GDPs higher than the country median.
Comparatively, many states in the Plains region had lower GDPs, including Iowa and Kansas. Other states with lower GDPs (and generally lower populations) were spread around the country, including lowest-ranked Vermont in New England.
Personal Income per Capita
In addition to real GDP, this voronoi diagram has been color-coded in terms of personal income per capita in each state. Here’s a closer look at those figures:
|Rank||State||Personal Income per Capita|
|1||District of Columbia||$96,728|
Economic Engines and Future Growth
Many of the largest state economies are fueled by strong urban populations. These metropolitan cities are the economic engines of the country, driving innovation and attracting new talent.
The NYC-Newark-Jersey City metropolitan area is a great example of this, generating over $2 trillion in economic output alone. Los Angeles generated $1.1 trillion.
While these are the obvious and expected hubs, some new cities and states are beginning to attract new business and are anticipating significant economic growth. North Carolina, for example, has been ranked as the best U.S. state to do business in, thanks to a number of factors like ease of access to capital and a strong culture of tech and innovation.
Over time, the centers of economic power may be slowly shifting in the U.S., but for now the top contributors to the nation’s GDP far outpace the rest.
Top U.S. Food Imports by Origin Country
This infographic shows the top exporting countries for U.S. food imports, ranging from exotic fruits to meat, oils, spices, and more.
Top U.S. Food Imports by Origin Country
The U.S. is a major producer and exporter of food products, but did you know that it’s also one of the world’s largest food importers?
Due to seasonality and climate, some foods can’t be grown on home soil, at least enough to fulfill consumption demands. Indeed, many familiar grocery items come from other countries.
This infographic from Julie Peasley uses data from the Chatham House Resource Trade Database (CHRTD) to show where the U.S. gets its food from, highlighting the top exporting countries of various imported food items.
The Types of Imported Foods
The U.S. imported around $148 billion worth of agricultural products in 2020, and according to the USDA, this has since risen to $194 billion in 2022.
Around 50% of all U.S. agricultural imports are horticultural products like fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and more. Other large import categories include sugar and tropical products, meat, grains, and oilseeds.
With that context in mind, we break down each category and highlight the five foods with the largest single-origin import value.
Farm Fresh: Fruit and Vegetable Imports
U.S. fruit and vegetable imports have been on a steady rise since 2000. In fact, between 2011 and 2021, fruits and nuts imports made up 44% of domestic consumption, while 35% of vegetables consumed in the U.S. came from outside the country.
Mexico is by far the largest exporter of fruits and vegetables to the United States.
|Fruit or Vegetable||Largest Exporting Country||U.S. Import Value (2020)|
The U.S. imported $2.5 billion worth of tomatoes from Mexico in 2020, representing 31% of international tomato trade. Avocados, native to central Mexico, were nearly as popular with $2.1 billion worth of imports.
Generally, the largest exporters of fruits and vegetables to the U.S. are North and South American countries, with products often coming from Guatemala, Chile, Peru, Costa Rica, and Brazil.
Beefed Up: Meat Imports
The U.S. is the world’s largest overall consumer of beef (or bovine meat), and the third-largest per capita consumer at nearly 37.9 kg (84 lbs) per person per year.
Therefore, despite being one of the top producers of beef, the country still imports a lot of it.
|Meat||Largest Exporting Country||U.S. Import Value (2020)|
|Bovine Cuts||🇨🇦 Canada||$1.4B|
|Bovine Cuts, Frozen||🇳🇿 New Zealand||$839M|
|Sheep Meat||🇦🇺 Australia||$643M|
|Swine Hams, Shoulders, and Cuts||🇨🇦 Canada||$559M|
|Bovine Cuts, Bone In||🇲🇽 Mexico||$449M|
Precisely, The U.S. imported $8.7 billion worth of meat in 2020. Canada was the largest source of imported beef, with the U.S. accounting for more than 70% of all Canadian beef exports.
The sources of meat imports are more geographically diverse than fruits and vegetables, with billions of dollars of imports coming from New Zealand and Australia.
Making Waves: Seafood Imports
Despite plenty of coastlines, the U.S. imports 70–85% of all its seafood and accounted for 15% of global seafood imports in 2020 at $21.8 billion.
Frozen shrimp and prawns were the top seafood import, with $1.9 billion worth from India.
|Fish and Seafood||Largest Exporting Country||U.S. Import Value (2020)|
|Shrimp and Prawns, Frozen||🇮🇳 India||$1.9B|
|Fish Fillet or Meat||🇨🇱 Chile||$1.4B|
|Fish Fillet or Meat, Frozen||🇨🇳 China||$884M|
|Crabs, Frozen||🇨🇦 Canada||$719M|
The largest source of U.S. seafood imports overall with $3.1 billion total was Canada, which leads in lobster, crab, and whole fish imports. It was followed by Chile at $2.1 billion, primarily for parts of fish (fillet or meat, fresh or chilled).
Other Foods: Oils, Grains, Coffee, and More
There are plenty of other types of foods and agricultural products that the U.S. relies on other countries for. Here are the largest single-origin U.S. food imports for the remaining categories:
|Food||Category||Largest Exporting Country||U.S. Import Value (2020)|
|Canola Oil, Refined||Oils||🇨🇦 Canada||$1.4B|
|Coffee, Not Roasted||Stimulants/Spices||🇨🇴 Colombia||$1.0B|
|Cashews, Shelled||Nuts/Seeds/Beans||🇻🇳 Vietnam||$960M|
|Raw Sugar, Refined||Sweetners||🇲🇽 Mexico||$723M|
Some of the highest and potentially surprising exports? Imports of refined Canadian canola oil totaled $1.4 billion in 2020, while Vietnam exported a whopping $960 million worth of cashews to America.
A Global Plate: The Diversity of U.S. Food Imports
The amount and value of food imported to the U.S. highlights the diversity of consumer preferences and the importance of global food stocks, considering America is one of the world’s leading food producers.
With countries having to rely on others to satisfy demand for limited production supply or exotic foods, the interconnectedness of the global food system is both vital and delicate.
What’s clear is that the U.S. food plate is indeed a global one, with many foods taking remarkable journeys from farm to fork.
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