Skip to main content

Main Area

Main

States with the most diverse economies

1/
Jenson // Shutterstock

States with the most diverse economies

Industrial development is a thorny issue. While the promise of new jobs can secure votes, these deals are typically shaped to give benefits to the employer that may exceed the economic value of the move.

Take, for example, the Foxconn deal in Wisconsin. Under former Gov. Scott Walker, the state approved the largest subsidy deal to a foreign firm in history—between $3 billion and $4.8 billion, depending on if Foxconn meets certain targets—in exchange for a $10 billion factory that would employ 3,000 state employees. The deal dictates that employment would grow to 13,000 as early as 2022. The deal was criticized from the start, with independent analysts suggesting that the deal would not break even until 2043 (reported by the Verge), that Foxconn has broken similar deals with other locations in the past (reported by CNN), and that the state is paying between $231,000 and $346,000 per job. However, desperation from the deal allowed the Walker administration to ignore red flags and to waive environmental protections.

Despite the deal, Foxconn has indicated that it is reconsidering its manufacturing plans due to labor costs. As the end of 2018, Foxconn only employed 200 in-state employees in spite of significant drains to local and state coffers. Wisconsin reflects a cautionary tale about the importance of state industry on the economics of the state. But, is there a way to measure the health of a state's industrial base?

Stacker examined data from the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis data (last updated in 2017) to determine the nation's most diverse economies. To weigh this, we relied on the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index—a measure to determine a firm's or industry's concentration in a market. HHI index was calculated with 14 private industries and government/government enterprises. The more likely a firm or industry has a monopoly on the market, the higher the score would be. Full dominance of a market would be reflected by a score of 10,000. The US Department of Justice uses HHI scores to determine if a firm is a monopoly. The national HHI is 945.5.

Results are ranked by HHI index from high to low, with a low index representing a more diverse economy. Stacker's gallery shows how much of the state's/territory's GDP is government spending, what are the state's largest private industries, and how many industries contribute more than 4% to the state's gross domestic product (GDP).

Keep reading to find out if your state is the most or least economically diverse state on our list.

You may also like: Cany you answer these real Jeopardy questions about the economy?

2/
Cvandyke // Shutterstock

#51. District of Columbia

- HHI index: 2,000.5
- Industries over 4% GDP: 7
- Government and government enterprises: $44.8 billion, 33.5% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Professional and business services: $33.1 billion, 24.7% of state GDP
--- #2. Real estate and rental and leasing: $12.2 billion, 9.1%
--- #3. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $10.9 billion, 8.2%
--- #4. Other services (except government and government enterprises): $9.6 billion, 7.1%
--- #5. Information: $7.4 billion, 5.5%

The country's smallest territory is also the only fully urbanized territory or state in the U.S. As such, industries there naturally constitute large percentages of Washington D.C.'s gross domestic product. As the national capital, the territory's largest industry is, naturally, government and government services.

3/
Paul Brady Photography // Shutterstock

#50. Delaware

- HHI index: 1,580.9
- Industries over 4% GDP: 6
- Government and government enterprises: $7 billion, 9.7% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Finance and insurance: $22.7 billion, 31.6% of state GDP
--- #2. Real estate and rental and leasing: $10.4 billion, 14.4%
--- #3. Professional and business services: $8.2 billion, 11.4%
--- #4. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $5.8 billion, 8%
--- #5. Manufacturing: $4.2 billion, 5.8%

Delaware has become a hotspot for U.S. corporations because of its strong privacy laws, low reporting fees, and no corporate taxes for corporations incorporated in but not operating there. With virtually no mining in the state besides gravel, Delaware's only major non-commercial services industry is chemical and food processing.

4/
John Gress Media Inc // Shutterstock

#49. Indiana

- HHI index: 1,253.6
- Industries over 4% GDP: 7
- Government and government enterprises: $32.8 billion, 9.3% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Manufacturing: $97 billion, 27.5% of state GDP
--- #2. Real estate and rental and leasing: $33.9 billion, 9.6%
--- #3. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $33.7 billion, 9.6%
--- #4. Professional and business services: $30.3 billion, 8.6%
--- #5. Retail trade: $20.4 billion, 5.8%

Indiana is a manufacturing powerhouse: As the largest steel producer in the U.S., the state accounts for a quarter of all the country's steel production. Indiana is #2 for auto manufacturing and also manufactures pharmaceuticals, transportation equipment, chemicals, rubber products, petroleum and coal derivatives, and factory machinery. A lack of commercial development and limited urbanization limit the industrial diversity of the state.

5/
Pixabay

#48. Hawaii

- HHI index: 1,188.3
- Industries over 4% GDP: 7
- Government and government enterprises: $17.6 billion, 19.9% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Real estate and rental and leasing: $17.9 billion, 20.3% of state GDP
--- #2. Arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, and food services: $8.8 billion, 10%
--- #3. Professional and business services: $7.7 billion, 8.8%
--- #4. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $6.8 billion, 7.7%
--- #5. Retail trade: $5.8 billion, 6.6%

Hawaii is the only U.S. state that does not share a road connection with another state. With a healthy agricultural base, Hawaii's major exports are foodstuffs including coffee, pineapples, bananas, and honey. As the host of major Army, Navy, and Air Force bases, government services constitute another large part of the state's income. Hawaii also has one of the largest service industries as a percentage of the GDP for any state.

6/
Peabody Energy, Inc. // Wikimedia Commons

#47. Wyoming

- HHI index: 1,168.9
- Industries over 4% GDP: 9
- Government and government enterprises: $6.3 billion, 17.6% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction: $7.6 billion, 21.2% of state GDP
--- #2. Real estate and rental and leasing: $4.3 billion, 12.1%
--- #3. Transportation and warehousing: $3.2 billion, 9%
--- #4. Retail trade: $2.1 billion, 5.8%
--- #5. Construction: $2 billion, 5.7%

Wyoming is a sparsely populated state located on the rangelands of the Rocky Mountains. As such, mineral extraction and agriculture are the major industries in the state. While limited urbanization prevents the development of service industries in the state, the high percentage of federal government land ownership in the state and the existence of two national parks, two national monuments, and a wide array of national forests and wildlife refuges will keep Wyoming in a state of natural preservation for the foreseeable future.

7/
Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

#46. Maryland

- HHI index: 1,160.2
- Industries over 4% GDP: 9
- Government and government enterprises: $80.8 billion, 20.2% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Real estate and rental and leasing: $70.1 billion, 17.5% of state GDP
--- #2. Professional and business services: $55.6 billion, 13.9%
--- #3. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $36.2 billion, 9.1%
--- #4. Manufacturing: $23.1 billion, 5.8%
--- #5. Finance and insurance: $19.9 billion, 5%

Maryland's proximity to beaches, polished suburbs, farm country, and the Washington and Baltimore metropolitan areas gives the state some of the most expensive land values in the nation with the highest median household income. Access to Washington D.C. also means Maryland hosts a large number of government facilities, such as the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis. Maryland is also a major manufacturing state, with a focus on biotechnology.

8/
Jon Bilous // Shutterstock

#45. Virginia

- HHI index: 1,155.5
- Industries over 4% GDP: 7
- Government and government enterprises: $94.1 billion, 18.4% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Professional and business services: $96.9 billion, 19% of state GDP
--- #2. Real estate and rental and leasing: $72.8 billion, 14.3%
--- #3. Manufacturing: $43.7 billion, 8.6%
--- #4. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $37.8 billion, 7.4%
--- #5. Finance and insurance: $26 billion, 5.1%

Virginia is a tale of two states. Northern Virginia has land values and household wealth on par with Maryland, while Southeastern Virginia is more industrialized with heavy development in military infrastructure. With the Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Department of Defense headquartered in Virginia, the state has the highest per capita defense spending in the nation.

9/
US DOD // Wikimedia Commons

#44. New Mexico

- HHI index: 1,127.7
- Industries over 4% GDP: 7
- Government and government enterprises: $22.4 billion, 23.7% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Real estate and rental and leasing: $12.7 billion, 13.5% of state GDP
--- #2. Professional and business services: $10.2 billion, 10.8%
--- #3. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $8 billion, 8.5%
--- #4. Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction: $7.6 billion, 8.1%
--- #5. Retail trade: $5.5 billion, 5.8%

New Mexico relies on land availability for its industry, which includes mining extraction, oil drilling, cattle ranching, and lumber. The state also has a significant military presence with Los Alamos and the Sandia National Laboratories and the White Sands Missile Range. The state is also a major regional retail center, with a number of distribution hubs based there.

10/
Gillfoto // Wikimedia Commons

#43. Alaska

- HHI index: 1,126.8
- Industries over 4% GDP: 6
- Government and government enterprises: $10.8 billion, 20.9% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction: $7.9 billion, 15.3% of state GDP
--- #2. Transportation and warehousing: $6.5 billion, 12.6%
--- #3. Real estate and rental and leasing: $5.4 billion, 10.4%
--- #4. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $4.3 billion, 8.3%
--- #5. Professional and business services: $3.3 billion, 6.4%

Alaska is the largest state by area, with a geographic span big enough to stretch from Savannah, Ga., to Sacramento, Calif., and a combined area greater than Texas, California, and Montana combined. Despite this, it is the third-smallest state by population. As with most sparsely populated states, Alaska's industry largely relies on the land, with mineral extraction and transportation taking top positions. The state's oil and natural gas extraction sectors are so prolific that state residents receive an annual cash refund from the state's drilling operations.

11/
TierneyMJ // Shutterstock

#42. New York

- HHI index: 1,085.2
- Industries over 4% GDP: 9
- Government and government enterprises: $160 billion, 10% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Finance and insurance: $306.9 billion, 19.1% of state GDP
--- #2. Real estate and rental and leasing: $227.9 billion, 14.2%
--- #3. Professional and business services: $208.6 billion, 13%
--- #4. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $148.5 billion, 9.2%
--- #5. Information: $131.9 billion, 8.2%

The fourth-largest state by population, New York's GDP is larger than all states except California and Texas. If New York State was an independent nation, it would be the 11th largest by gross production. The state has industrial footprints in every sector, from steel refining and auto manufacturing to wine-making to computer technologies. The Rust Belt state did suffer heavily from the industrial shrinkage that defined the late 20th century, with several of its Lake Ontario-regional cities such as Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo seeing negative or stalled growth. Also, as 40% of New York's population is located in New York City, the state places a high emphasis on the Big Apple's industrial output.

12/
Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

#41. Rhode Island

- HHI index: 1,084.4
- Industries over 4% GDP: 8
- Government and government enterprises: $7.9 billion, 13.8% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Real estate and rental and leasing: $8.8 billion, 15.4% of state GDP
--- #2. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $7.8 billion, 13.6%
--- #3. Professional and business services: $7.6 billion, 13.3%
--- #4. Finance and insurance: $5.8 billion, 10.2%
--- #5. Manufacturing: $5.1 billion, 9%

The smallest state by area, Rhode Island is also located in the Boston-New York City-Washington joint metropolitan areas (also known as the I-95 Corridor). This region is not only highly urbanized but among the wealthiest land areas in the nation regarding land values and infrastructure development. This means that service industries such as healthcare are the largest in the state, although Rhode Island also has a strong maritime manufacturing base and is the home of international toy manufacturer Hasbro.

13/
Linda Parton // Shutterstock

#40. Michigan

- HHI index: 1,049.6
- Industries over 4% GDP: 7
- Government and government enterprises: $54 billion, 10.6% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Manufacturing: $98.6 billion, 19.4% of state GDP
--- #2. Professional and business services: $68 billion, 13.4%
--- #3. Real estate and rental and leasing: $59.8 billion, 11.8%
--- #4. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $47.2 billion, 9.3%
--- #5. Wholesale trade: $33.6 billion, 6.6%

Michigan is defined by automotive manufacturing. With the Big Three American automakers all located in the Detroit metropolitan area, the state is the beating heart of domestic automotive production in the U.S. While the decline of this industry has eroded communities in Michigan and throughout the Great Lakes region, a lack of significant industrial infrastructure in other sectors left the automotive industry the core of the state's economic profile. Despite this, the state is resource-rich, with mining, lumber, manufacturing, and high-tech industries all having significant presences.

14/
Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

#39. Massachusetts

- HHI index: 1,043.4
- Industries over 4% GDP: 8
- Government and government enterprises: $53.5 billion, 9.9% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Professional and business services: $94.5 billion, 17.4% of state GDP
--- #2. Real estate and rental and leasing: $78.2 billion, 14.4%
--- #3. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $67.3 billion, 12.4%
--- #4. Manufacturing: $51.5 billion, 9.5%
--- #5. Finance and insurance: $48.1 billion, 8.9%

Massachusetts was a historical industrial hotspot during the Industrial Revolution. With Raytheon, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Biogen, and Boston Scientific located in the state, the state has emerged as a hub for biotechnology, information technology, health care, and defense contracting—even if it has a smaller traditional industrial footprint than its northern neighbors Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

15/
digidreamgrafix // Shutterstock

#38. North Carolina

- HHI index: 1,031.7
- Industries over 4% GDP: 7
- Government and government enterprises: $71.1 billion, 13.2% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Manufacturing: $100.2 billion, 18.5% of state GDP
--- #2. Professional and business services: $63.7 billion, 11.8%
--- #3. Real estate and rental and leasing: $60.1 billion, 11.1%
--- #4. Finance and insurance: $47 billion, 8.7%
--- #5. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $42.9 billion, 7.9%

North Carolina is one of the fastest growing states in the union. Charlotte, for example, is now largest banking center outside of New York City; and the “Research Triangle” area of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill has seen a growth in the technological industry, research, and government contracting. This growth in the major cities, however, has come at a cost to shrinkage in jobs and population in the rural parts of the state. North Carolina has a well-developed textile, chemicals, paper, and electrical equipment manufacturing sector and is the leading domestic producer of tobacco and tobacco products.

16/
Philip Arno Photography // Shutterstock

#37. Alabama

- HHI index: 1,012.3
- Industries over 4% GDP: 7
- Government and government enterprises: $35.5 billion, 16.8% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Manufacturing: $35.5 billion, 16.8% of state GDP
--- #2. Real estate and rental and leasing: $23.3 billion, 11%
--- #3. Professional and business services: $21 billion, 9.9%
--- #4. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $17.1 billion, 8.1%
--- #5. Retail trade: $14.3 billion, 6.8%

Education remains the bane of Alabama's industrial aspirations. A largely diversified economy, the state draws revenue from automotive manufacturing, the aerospace industry, mineral and steel extraction, and government contracting. Being largely rural, Alabama does not have the service industry presence of neighbors Georgia and Tennessee, in part due to a lack of sufficient infrastructure to train STEM-ready workers. The state's high poverty rate also frustrates business development, leaving Alabama prone to accept less-than-favorable tax deals from major corporations in order to bring in jobs from out-of-state.

17/
Akhenaton06 // Wikimedia Commons

#36. South Carolina

- HHI index: 1,007.9
- Industries over 4% GDP: 9
- Government and government enterprises: $34.2 billion, 15.4% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Manufacturing: $36.6 billion, 16.5% of state GDP
--- #2. Real estate and rental and leasing: $27.8 billion, 12.5%
--- #3. Professional and business services: $24.0 billion, 10.8%
--- #4. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $16.1 billion, 7.3%
--- #5. Retail trade: $14.8 billion, 6.7%

South Carolina has an industrial profile smaller than its sibling state North Carolina, which means the Palmetto State has leaned harder on traditional industries such as agriculture, fishing, and lumber in recent years. Lacking the educational infrastructure North Carolina has, South Carolina has found it harder to cultivate economic investment to the state, although the service industry is more than four-fifths South Carolina's economy all told. That high proportion is in large part thanks to foreign firms like BMW, which has a significant presence throughout the state.

18/
mandritoiu // Shutterstock

#35. New Jersey

- HHI index: 1,007.2
- Industries over 4% GDP: 8
- Government and government enterprises: $63 billion, 10.5% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Real estate and rental and leasing: $101.6 billion, 16.9% of state GDP
--- #2. Professional and business services: $96.2 billion, 16%
--- #3. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $54.6 billion, 9.1%
--- #4. Manufacturing: $50.5 billion, 8.4%
--- #5. Wholesale trade: $48.6 billion, 8.1%

New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the union and second wealthiest by median household income. While most of the New Jersey's income comes from the service economy, the state does have a significant industrial infrastructure in information technology, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, telecommunications, food production, chemicals, printing, and publishing.

19/
Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

#34. Connecticut

- HHI index: 992.2
- Industries over 4% GDP: 8
- Government and government enterprises: $27.3 billion, 10.3% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Real estate and rental and leasing: $37.8 billion, 14.3% of state GDP
--- #2. Finance and insurance: $35.7 billion, 13.5%
--- #3. Professional and business services: $32.5 billion, 12.3%
--- #4. Manufacturing: $28.4 billion, 10.8%
--- #5. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $27.5 billion, 10.4%

The wealthiest nation by per capita personal income, Connecticut is a study in contrasts. Due to highly permissive investment tax laws—where income and investment taxes are both capped at a maximum of 4%—the state has become a hub for finance and banking, with many of the nation's largest hedge funds based in the state. As an I-95 state, Connecticut also has some of the highest land values in the nation. However, Connecticut only lags behind New York in wealth inequality, meaning the lack of non-specialized manufacturing jobs in the state has a more painful sting.

20/
Pixabay

#33. Iowa

- HHI index: 990.2
- Industries over 4% GDP: 9
- Government and government enterprises: $21.3 billion, 11.6% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Manufacturing: $32.8 billion, 17.8% of state GDP
--- #2. Finance and insurance: $26.4 billion, 14.4%
--- #3. Real estate and rental and leasing: $18.5 billion, 10.1%
--- #4. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $14 billion, 7.6%
--- #5. Professional and business services: $12.1 billion, 6.6%

Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri make up the breadbasket of the nation, with much of the nation's agricultural output centered around this region. In most of the Iowa, agribusiness is the major driver of the economy. Despite this, Des Moines and the metropolitan area of Omaha, which includes the southwestern-most counties in Iowa, are heavy manufacturing hotspots with concentrations of biotechnology, green energy production, advanced manufacturing, and information technology.

21/
Thye-Wee Gn // Shutterstock

#32. Oregon

- HHI index: 988.3
- Industries over 4% GDP: 9
- Government and government enterprises: $29.6 billion, 13% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Real estate and rental and leasing: $35.2 billion, 15.5% of state GDP
--- #2. Manufacturing: $32.1 billion, 14.1%
--- #3. Professional and business services: $26.9 billion, 11.8%
--- #4. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $21.7 billion, 9.6%
--- #5. Wholesale trade: $12.6 billion, 5.5%

Oregon is largely dwarfed by its neighbors California and Washington State. With fishing, lumber, and hydroelectric production the state's largest economic drivers, industrial manufacturing is a minor part of the state's economic portfolio. However, with Nike, Adidas, Intel, and Tektronix based in the state, the state does have a strong technology and textile infrastructure. Intel is Oregon's top employer, with 18,600 employees in the state.

22/
Carol M. Highsmith // Library of Congress

#31. Wisconsin

- HHI index: 984.9
- Industries over 4% GDP: 8
- Government and government enterprises: $35 billion, 10.9% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Manufacturing: $59.6 billion, 18.6% of state GDP
--- #2. Real estate and rental and leasing: $37.9 billion, 11.8%
--- #3. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $31.3 billion, 9.7%
--- #4. Professional and business services: $30.9 billion, 9.6%
--- #5. Finance and insurance: $26.5 billion, 8.2%

Like many Midwestern states, Wisconsin is driven by agriculture. The state has a reputation for being the leading producer of dairy and cheese in the nation. Large swaths of forest in the state have yielded an impressive timber and paper products industry. Wisconsin is also home to a fledgling electronics manufacturing sector, which is currently the subject of controversy surrounding the state's $4.5 billion deal with Foxconn.

23/
U.S. Department of Agriculture // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Mississippi

- HHI index: 983.3
- Industries over 4% GDP: 8
- Government and government enterprises: $19.1 billion, 17.5% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Manufacturing: $17.1 billion, 15.7% of state GDP
--- #2. Real estate and rental and leasing: $11.5 billion, 10.6%
--- #3. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $9.6 billion, 8.7%
--- #4. Retail trade: $9 billion, 8.3%
--- #5. Professional and business services: $8 billion, 7.3%

Mississippi is the poorest state in the union. Its economic coffers are driven by agriculture, Gulf of Mexico fishing, and aquaculture. The state's catfish aquaculture farms provide most of the catfish available throughout the country. Like its neighbor Alabama, Mississippi has poor educational attainment, meaning that the state cannot easily train new skilled workers. This has effectively stalled industrial development, making the state prone to seek low tax deals for jobs.

24/
NOAA's National Ocean Service // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Maine

- HHI index: 980.8
- Industries over 4% GDP: 8
- Government and government enterprises: $8.5 billion, 13.8% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Real estate and rental and leasing: $9.2 billion, 14.8% of state GDP
--- #2. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $8.3 billion, 13.4%
--- #3. Professional and business services: $6.4 billion, 10.4%
--- #4. Manufacturing: $5.9 billion, 9.6%
--- #5. Retail trade: $5 billion, 8.1%

Maine is the largest and most sparsely populated New England state. Its vast woodland areas made Maine the leading timber and paper products producer in the U.S. This is supplemented by shipbuilding, commercial fishing, leather-making, textiles, and biotechnology industries. Maine also has major ice-free ports, making air and sea shipping essential to the state's economy.

25/
RussellStone // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Vermont

- HHI index: 976.0
- Industries over 4% GDP: 8
- Government and government enterprises: $4.7 billion, 14.5% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Real estate and rental and leasing: $4.8 billion, 14.6% of state GDP
--- #2. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $4.5 billion, 13.7%
--- #3. Professional and business services: $3.3 billion, 10.1%
--- #4. Manufacturing: $2.9 billion, 8.9%
--- #5. Retail trade: $2.4 billion, 7.4%

Vermont's capital, Montpellier, is the smallest state capital by population while the state's largest city, Burlington, is the smallest city to be the major city of a state. In spite of these low numbers, Vermont has managed to develop an industrial portfolio beyond agriculture and timber. King Arthur Flour, Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream, Burton Snowboards, Cabot Cheese, and the Vermont Teddy Bear Company are all based in the state.

26/
yhelfman // Shutterstock

#27. California

- HHI index: 974.6
- Industries over 4% GDP: 9
- Government and government enterprises: $327.7 billion, 11.7% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Real estate and rental and leasing: $468.6 billion, 16.8% of state GDP
--- #2. Professional and business services: $365 billion, 13%
--- #3. Manufacturing: $297.5 billion, 10.6%
--- #4. Information: $271.1 billion, 9.7%
--- #5. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $205.2 billion, 7.3%

With an economy larger than the United Kingdom or France, California is an economic force within itself. The largest state by population, California is also the largest economically, with three of the world's 10 largest companies by market capitalization located in the state. The state introduced many of the world's leading industries, including the internet, personal computing, quick-service restaurants, and the film industry. Despite this, more than 58% of the state's economy is service-based. To put the scale of the California economy in perspective, California's agriculture sector is the most productive for any state, with many nuts and fruits—such as figs and almonds—almost exclusively grown in the state. Despite this, the agriculture sector only makes up less than 2% of the state's economy.

27/
Syda Productions // Shutterstock

#26. Nevada

- HHI index: 973.1
- Industries over 4% GDP: 10
- Government and government enterprises: $17.7 billion, 11.2% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, and food services: $26.3 billion, 16.6% of state GDP
--- #2. Real estate and rental and leasing: $23.7 billion, 14.9%
--- #3. Professional and business services: $17.6 billion, 11.1%
--- #4. Retail trade: $11 billion, 7%
--- #5. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $10.3 billion, 6.5%

Nevada is largely empty. About 85% of the state is controlled by military or civilian authorities within the federal government. The 15% not federally managed is divided between the Las Vegas and Reno metropolitan areas. Besides legalized gambling and prostitution in some areas, Nevada's major industry is tourism. However, the Reno area is emerging as a hotspot for tech startups, while entertainment and food service—along with energy generation—drive Las Vegas. Nevada is the fourth-largest producer of gold and has significant mining and cattle-raising sectors.

28/
Jeff Kubina // Flickr

#25. Kentucky

- HHI index: 964.9
- Industries over 4% GDP: 9
- Government and government enterprises: $27.6 billion, 13.7% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Manufacturing: $36.6 billion, 18.1% of state GDP
--- #2. Real estate and rental and leasing: $21.3 billion, 10.5%
--- #3. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $18.8 billion, 9.3%
--- #4. Professional and business services: $17 billion, 8.4%
--- #5. Wholesale trade: $13.9 billion, 6.9%

While known for horse racing and fried chicken, Kentucky has a strong industrial underfooting fueled largely by coal extraction. The hub for bourbon production, Kentucky is also a major automotive manufacturing state. Military infrastructure and tobacco also make up a significant part of the state's economy.

29/
Pixabay

#24. New Hampshire

- HHI index: 963.9
- Industries over 4% GDP: 9
- Government and government enterprises: $8.6 billion, 10.5% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Real estate and rental and leasing: $12 billion, 14.7% of state GDP
--- #2. Professional and business services: $10.4 billion, 12.7%
--- #3. Manufacturing: $9.4 billion, 11.5%
--- #4. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $9.3 billion, 11.4%
--- #5. Finance and insurance: $6.6 billion, 8.1%

A largely mountainous state, New Hampshire traditionally had industrial interests in textile productions, papermaking, and shoemaking. Its proximity to Boston and the establishment of the state as a bedroom community has led military contractors and manufacturers of rubber and plastic products and electrical equipment to set up residence there. Renewable energy and hydroelectricity are also major industries in New Hampshire.

30/
KennStilger47 // Shutterstock

#23. Tennessee

- HHI index: 947.1
- Industries over 4% GDP: 9
- Government and government enterprises: $39.3 billion, 11.2% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Manufacturing: $54 billion, 15.4% of state GDP
--- #2. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $40.6 billion, 11.6%
--- #3. Professional and business services: $39.1 billion, 11.2%
--- #4. Real estate and rental and leasing: $37.8 billion, 10.8%
--- #5. Wholesale trade: $24.5 billion, 7%

Tennessee is the center of the country music scene in America. Nashville's Grand Ole' Opry and Pigeon Forge's Dollywood, for example, are major country music tourist attractions. Besides this, however, Tennessee has been a major coal mining state and (since World War I) a hub for technological innovation. The Tennessee Valley Authority and Oak Ridge National Laboratories played major roles during World War II and in the years afterward.

31/
Miune // Shutterstock

#22. Washington

- HHI index: 946.7
- Industries over 4% GDP: 8
- Government and government enterprises: $68.6 billion, 13.1% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Real estate and rental and leasing: $68.7 billion, 13.1% of state GDP
--- #2. Information: $65.8 billion, 12.6%
--- #3. Manufacturing: $59.4 billion, 11.3%
--- #4. Professional and business services: $54.9 billion, 10.5%
--- #5. Retail trade: $44.6 billion, 8.5%

Washington is a wealthy state that has made its way to the forefront of many social changes. It was the first state to legalize recreational marijuana; one of the first states before Roe v. Wade to permit abortions; one of the only states to permit physician-assisted suicides; and was one of the first states to embrace same-sex marriage. Washington's economy is highly service-based but is also home base for the likes of Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon, Nintendo of America, T-Mobile, Valve, Weyerhaeuser, Starbucks, Nordstrom, Eddie Bauer, Costco, Expedia, and R.E.I. High-tech manufacturing—especially in the Seattle metropolitan area—drives the state's economy.

32/
Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Ohio

- HHI index: 946.0
- Industries over 4% GDP: 7
- Government and government enterprises: $70.4 billion, 10.9% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Manufacturing: $104.6 billion, 16.2% of state GDP
--- #2. Professional and business services: $74.3 billion, 11.5%
--- #3. Real estate and rental and leasing: $72.4 billion, 11.2%
--- #4. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $62.4 billion, 9.7%
--- #5. Finance and insurance: $59.1 billion, 9.2%

Ohio is a blue-collar, industrial state along the Rust Belt. The state has limited growth along the Lake Erie coastline. Further downstate, however, Ohio's healthy pro-business climate has encouraged a strong automotive manufacturing base along with bioscience, renewable energy and materials, plastic, rubber, and appliance manufacturing. The state offers the third-largest workforce after California and Texas.

33/
Mia2you // Shutterstock

#20. Florida

- HHI index: 931.0
- Industries over 4% GDP: 10
- Government and government enterprises: $111.3 billion, 11.4% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Real estate and rental and leasing: $161.1 billion, 16.5% of state GDP
--- #2. Professional and business services: $126.6 billion, 13%
--- #3. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $94.1 billion, 9.6%
--- #4. Retail trade: $70.4 billion, 7.2%
--- #5. Wholesale trade: $67.2 billion, 6.9%

With land values in Florida higher than the national average, real estate is a major driver of the state's economy. A service economy, finance, insurance, and real estate rental and leasing are among the largest economic sectors in the state. Florida also has significant infrastructure in aerospace, phosphate mining, boating equipment, fishing, tourism, and agriculture.

34/
Frank McMains // Shutterstock

#19. Louisiana

- HHI index: 926.4
- Industries over 4% GDP: 9
- Government and government enterprises: $27.6 billion, 11.7% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Manufacturing: $42.3 billion, 17.9% of state GDP
--- #2. Real estate and rental and leasing: $25.2 billion, 10.7%
--- #3. Professional and business services: $21.4 billion, 9.1%
--- #4. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $21.3 billion, 9%
--- #5. Retail trade: $15.6 billion, 6.6%

Louisiana's infrastructure is among the worst in the nation. Poor road design, extensive damage from storms, and a lackluster recovery effort have left the state's transportation infrastructure—among other systems—in a critical state. Despite this, Louisiana is small business-friendly, with a large number of tax incentives available. New Orleans and Shreveport, for example, have emerged as hubs of the film industry. Louisiana also controls the Mississippi River delta, making shipping critical to the state's health. Gulf fishing and petroleum drilling and refinement are also important parts of the state's economy.

35/
f11photo // Shutterstock

#18. Illinois

- HHI index: 926.1
- Industries over 4% GDP: 8
- Government and government enterprises: $80 billion, 9.7% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Professional and business services: $113.8 billion, 13.8% of state GDP
--- #2. Real estate and rental and leasing: $103.8 billion, 12.6%
--- #3. Manufacturing: $101.5 billion, 12.3%
--- #4. Finance and insurance: $82.4 billion, 10%
--- #5. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $71.5 billion, 8.7%

Illinois' economy is largely driven by its major city Chicago, the monopolization is not as severe as New York City driving its home state. Chicago is a major transportation hub and a principal relay points to the Midwest. Besides being a spoke of the service economy, Chicago is also a major food and meat-processing center. The rest of the state is a leading manufacturer, trailing only behind California, Texas, and Ohio. The state produces chemicals, machinery, fabricated metal, food products, transportation equipment, and electronics products.

36/
Checubus // Shutterstock

#17. Minnesota

- HHI index: 922.4
- Industries over 4% GDP: 7
- Government and government enterprises: $35.1 billion, 10% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Manufacturing: $48.9 billion, 14% of state GDP
--- #2. Professional and business services: $46.7 billion, 13.3%
--- #3. Real estate and rental and leasing: $38.7 billion, 11.1%
--- #4. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $37.3 billion, 10.6%
--- #5. Finance and insurance: $30.2 billion, 8.6%

Minnesota has been in the midst of runaway economic growth for more than a decade now. Particularly in the Capital Metro area, the surge has created a housing shortage, triggering major spikes in new home construction. Another “city-state” situation, almost 60% of all Minnesotans live in the Metro area, making Minneapolis and Saint Paul the major drivers of the state's economy. Minneapolis has been a major food processing center, as flour mills were powered by st. Anthony Falls, with General Mills, Hormel, Cargill, and Land O'Lakes being located there. Target, Ameriprise, Best Buy, and 3M are also in the state.

37/
Valentin Valkov // Shutterstock

#16. Missouri

- HHI index: 912.0
- Industries over 4% GDP: 9
- Government and government enterprises: $36.4 billion, 12% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Professional and business services: $39.9 billion, 13.1% of state GDP
--- #2. Manufacturing: $38.2 billion, 12.6%
--- #3. Real estate and rental and leasing: $34.5 billion, 11.4%
--- #4. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $31.2 billion, 10.3%
--- #5. Finance and insurance: $22.4 billion, 7.4%

Unlike many states, Missouri has two hubs for industrialization: Kansas City and St. Louis. As the “Gateway to the West,” Missouri has been key to shipping to and from the Western states. The agricultural-driven state produces aerospace manufacturing, chemicals transportation equipment, printing, publishing, and alcoholic beverages.

38/
mark reinstein // Shutterstock

#15. Kansas

- HHI index: 911.3
- Industries over 4% GDP: 8
- Government and government enterprises: $20.8 billion, 13.1% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Manufacturing: $24.4 billion, 15.3% of state GDP
--- #2. Real estate and rental and leasing: $18.5 billion, 11.6%
--- #3. Professional and business services: $16.8 billion, 10.5%
--- #4. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $13.1 billion, 8.3%
--- #5. Wholesale trade: $10.7 billion, 6.7%

The state with the other Kansas City, Kansas is one of the most productive agricultural states. With more than 90% of its land dedicated to farming, Kansas' remaining area is committed to petroleum extraction, aeronautics manufacturing, food processing, mineral extraction, clothing, chemicals, machinery manufacturing, and natural gas production.

39/
Steve Heap // Shutterstock

#14. West Virginia

- HHI index: 911.3
- Industries over 4% GDP: 8
- Government and government enterprises: $12.1 billion, 16.3% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $8.2 billion, 11.1% of state GDP
--- #2. Real estate and rental and leasing: $7.7 billion, 10.4%
--- #3. Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction: $7.6 billion, 10.3%
--- #4. Manufacturing: $7.5 billion, 10.2%
--- #5. Professional and business services: $5.9 billion, 8%

The state most associated with “Appalachia,” West Virginia is a mix of steep mountains and rolling hills: popular for coal mining and mineral extraction. West Virginia's industrial base is shallow, while tourism and green energy production are sectors in demand.

40/
Dreamframer // Unsplash

#13. Arizona

- HHI index: 909.3
- Industries over 4% GDP: 9
- Government and government enterprises: $41.5 billion, 12.7% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Real estate and rental and leasing: $50.6 billion, 15.5% of state GDP
--- #2. Professional and business services: $37.3 billion, 11.4%
--- #3. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $32 billion, 9.8%
--- #4. Manufacturing: $27.4 billion, 8.4%
--- #5. Retail trade: $23.9 billion, 7.3%

Historically, Arizona's economy relied on “the Five C's”: copper, cattle, citrus, cotton, and climate (tourism). While the state has largely become a service economy, tourism and copper are still major economic drivers. While there are major employers situated in the state like Intel and American Airline, the state's industrial base can be easily overlooked compared to neighbors California and Nevada.

41/
Tyler McEntee // Unsplash

#12. South Dakota

- HHI index: 905.2
- Industries over 4% GDP: 8
- Government and government enterprises: $5.5 billion, 11.1% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Finance and insurance: $8.1 billion, 16.3% of state GDP
--- #2. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $5.1 billion, 10.2%
--- #3. Real estate and rental and leasing: $4.8 billion, 9.7%
--- #4. Manufacturing: $4.7 billion, 9.4%
--- #5. Wholesale trade: $3.7 billion, 7.3%

South Dakota is a service industry state. Favorable banking regulations have encouraged many banks and financial firms to set up business in the state. The top three drivers of the South Dakota economy are the service industry, government spending, and agriculture. The state engages in meat packaging, ethanol production, and mineral extraction, as well.

42/
Bob Pool // Shutterstock

#11. Colorado

- HHI index: 899.9
- Industries over 4% GDP: 10
- Government and government enterprises: $42.3 billion, 12.3% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Real estate and rental and leasing: $51.2 billion, 14.8% of state GDP
--- #2. Professional and business services: $51.1 billion, 14.8%
--- #3. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $25.3 billion, 7.3%
--- #4. Manufacturing: $23 billion, 6.7%
--- #5. Wholesale trade: $20 billion, 5.8%

Cattle, wheat, corn, and hay are Colorado's leading exports. Food production is also a major driver of the state's economy, with Coors, Jolly Rancher, Holly Sugar, Swift, and Celestial Seasonings all based there. Government spending is also a major presence in the state's GDP, with Colorado acting as home base for the Air Force Academy, NORAD, NOAA, the Denver Mint, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

43/
Andy Pernick // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Arkansas

- HHI index: 899.6
- Industries over 4% GDP: 8
- Government and government enterprises: $16 billion, 13% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Manufacturing: $18 billion, 14.6% of state GDP
--- #2. Professional and business services: $13.2 billion, 10.8%
--- #3. Real estate and rental and leasing: $13 billion, 10.6%
--- #4. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $11.6 billion, 9.5%
--- #5. Wholesale trade: $9.5 billion, 7.8%

Home to Walmart, the world's largest retailer, Arkansas is also base camp for several Fortune 500 companies including Tyson Foods, J.B. Hunt, and Windstream. While largely an agricultural state, the state also produces electrical equipment, metal products, paper products, natural gas, oil, and bromine. The state also is a large automotive producer and timber provider.

44/
Martha Marks // Shutterstock

#9. Idaho

- HHI index: 895.2
- Industries over 4% GDP: 8
- Government and government enterprises: $9.7 billion, 13.5% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Real estate and rental and leasing: $9.6 billion, 13.3% of state GDP
--- #2. Manufacturing: $8.4 billion, 11.7%
--- #3. Professional and business services: $7.4 billion, 10.2%
--- #4. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $6.5 billion, 9%
--- #5. Retail trade: $5.8 billion, 8%

Idaho is responsible for one-third of all the potatoes sold in this nation, as well as the production of all three varieties of wheat. While agriculture is a key industry in the state, Idaho also produces food products, wood products, electronics mined silver, machinery, and chemicals. The technology sector is the state's largest, accounting for 70% of Idaho's exports. Micron is based in Idaho.

45/
ESB Professional // Shutterstock

#8. Pennsylvania

- HHI index: 891.9
- Industries over 4% GDP: 9
- Government and government enterprises: $73 billion, 9.7% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Professional and business services: $98.8 billion, 13.1% of state GDP
--- #2. Real estate and rental and leasing: $92.6 billion, 12.2%
--- #3. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $90.2 billion, 11.9%
--- #4. Manufacturing: $88.3 billion, 11.7%
--- #5. Information: $51.6 billion, 6.8%

Pennsylvania has the sixth largest economy in the nation. The state's industry ranges from mining and oil extraction to steel refinement and food production to financial and insurance products. H.J. Heinz, GE Transportation Systems (the largest producer of train locomotives in the U.S.), and PPG Industries are all based in Pennsylvania.

46/
Eric Salard // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Georgia

- HHI index: 880.4
- Industries over 4% GDP: 9
- Government and government enterprises: $67.3 billion, 11.9% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Professional and business services: $68.4 billion, 12.1% of state GDP
--- #2. Real estate and rental and leasing: $66.5 billion, 11.8%
--- #3. Manufacturing: $61 billion, 10.8%
--- #4. Information: $47.8 billion, 8.5%
--- #5. Finance and insurance: $44.6 billion, 7.9%

In another “city-state” scenario, Atlanta represents 55% of Georgia's population. Atlanta's service industry includes Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world's busiest, is a major driver of the state's economy. Major corporations located here include Home Depot, Coca-Cola, UPS, Delta Air, Honeywell, and Aflac. Outside of Atlanta, Georgia is a major automotive producing state with significant textile, apparel, food processing, paper, chemicals, and electric equipment manufacturing, as well.

47/
Eric.Prado // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Utah

- HHI index: 875.5
- Industries over 4% GDP: 9
- Government and government enterprises: $20.5 billion, 12.5% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Real estate and rental and leasing: $21.9 billion, 13.3% of state GDP
--- #2. Professional and business services: $18.5 billion, 11.2%
--- #3. Manufacturing: $17.5 billion, 10.6%
--- #4. Finance and insurance: $14.3 billion, 8.7%
--- #5. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $12.2 billion, 7.4%

Utah's small population means its industries are largely based on land use. This includes salt collection, chemicals manufacturing, mining, cattle, and government services. The state has started to attract high-tech firms to the state, but poor educational attainment may serve as a barrier for industrial development.

48/
Pixabay

#5. Oklahoma

- HHI index: 875.0
- Industries over 4% GDP: 8
- Government and government enterprises: $30.3 billion, 16.0% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction: $22.8 billion, 12.1% of state GDP
--- #2. Real estate and rental and leasing: $18.3 billion, 9.7%
--- #3. Manufacturing: $16.5 billion, 8.8%
--- #4. Professional and business services: $15.9 billion, 8.4%
--- #5. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $14.9 billion, 7.9%

The vast majority of Oklahoma's residents live in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa metropolitan areas. This has led to the state's economy being driven by aviation, electronics, food processing, energy, telecommunication, and biotechnology. Oklahoma is also a significant producer of oil, natural gas, and agriculture.

49/
USDA NRCS // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Montana

- HHI index: 855.5
- Industries over 4% GDP: 10
- Government and government enterprises: $7.2 billion, 15.3% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Real estate and rental and leasing: $6.5 billion, 13.8% of state GDP
--- #2. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $5.2 billion, 11%
--- #3. Professional and business services: $3.6 billion, 7.6%
--- #4. Retail trade: $3.1 billion, 6.7%
--- #5. Construction: $2.7 billion, 5.8%

Montana is large and empty: the country's fourth largest, and third most sparsely populated state. The economy here is driven by mining, agriculture, oil and gas extraction, and lumber. The service industry is significant in the state's economy; but relative to its size, its industrial base is shallow.

50/
vaalaa // Shutterstock

#3. Nebraska

- HHI index: 827.9
- Industries over 4% GDP: 9
- Government and government enterprises: $15.1 billion, 12.7% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Manufacturing: $13 billion, 10.9% of state GDP
--- #2. Real estate and rental and leasing: $11.7 billion, 9.8%
--- #3. Finance and insurance: $11.7 billion, 9.8%
--- #4. Professional and business services: $11.2 billion, 9.4%
--- #5. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $9.8 billion, 8.2%

Nebraska is plainly an agricultural state: Beef, pork, corn, and soybeans comprise the state's main exports. Nebraska, however, also has Omaha—home to Berkshire Hathaway, Mutual of Omaha, TD Ameritrade, Woodmen of the World, Union Pacific, and Gallup. Nebraska is also a major telecommunication, insurance, information technology, and freight center.

51/
AevanStock // Shutterstock

#2. Texas

- HHI index: 826.3
- Industries over 4% GDP: 10
- Government and government enterprises: $181.4 billion, 11% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Manufacturing: $205.9 billion, 12.5% of state GDP
--- #2. Professional and business services: $194.8 billion, 11.8%
--- #3. Real estate and rental and leasing: $162.3 billion, 9.9%
--- #4. Wholesale trade: $134.8 billion, 8.2%
--- #5. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $117.2 billion, 7.1%

Texas' industry is without peer. While the state's industries historically centered around cattle, coffee, timber, and oil, a significant investment in Texas' educational system led to a technological renaissance throughout the state. It is the national leader in telecommunications, oil refinement, electronics, biomedical sciences, and aerospace development. The state also exports more than any other. Texas maintains a low HHI score not because of a lacking industrial base, but because of the size and diversity of the state's industry.

52/
Acroterion // Wikimedia Commons

#1. North Dakota

- HHI index: 774.4
- Industries over 4% GDP: 11
- Government and government enterprises: $6.1 billion, 11.7% of state GDP
- Top private industries:
--- #1. Real estate and rental and leasing: $6.2 billion, 11.8% of state GDP
--- #2. Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction: $5.1 billion, 9.7%
--- #3. Wholesale trade: $4.6 billion, 8.8%
--- #4. Educational services, health care, and social assistance: $4.4 billion, 8.4%
--- #5. Construction: $3.6 billion, 6.8%

The lowest HHI in this gallery, North Dakota's industry is also the most monolithic. The state has a significant technological infrastructure, hosting Microsoft's second largest campus. The major driver of North Dakota's industry, however, is oil production and coal extraction. The growth of these industries has been so dramatic that the state has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation. North Dakota also leads the nation in wind energy production.

2018 All rights reserved.