Columbus Metro’s GDP vs. the Midwest and National Peers

**Originally posted on 7/22/2014, updated 9/20/2016.

Rank of Major Midwest Metros and Columbus National Peers by GDP, 2001, 2010 and 2015
In Millions
2001——————————————–2010————————————-2015
1. Chicago, IL: $416,444————-1. Chicago: $533,825————–1. Chicago: $640,656
2. Detroit, MI: $190,921———–2. Minneapolis: $199,606——-2. Minneapolis: $248,779
3. Minneapolis, MN: $148,192—–3. Detroit: $197,973—————–3. Detroit: $245,607
4. San Jose, CA: $125,037———4. San Jose: $163,836———–4. San Jose: $235,222
5. St. Louis, MO: $102,385———5. Portland: $141,233————5. Portland: $158,770
6. Pittsburgh, PA: $88,769———-6. St. Louis: $133,888———6. St. Louis: $155,077
7. Cleveland: $87,796————-7. Pittsburgh: $117,895———-7. Charlotte: $152,447
8. Portland, OR: $80,753———8. Charlotte: $114,500————8. Pittsburgh: $138,873
9. Cincinnati: $79,638————-9. Indianapolis: $111,084——-9. Indianapolis: $134,081
10. Kansas City, MO: $79,544—-10. Cleveland: $109,365—–10. Cleveland: $128,448
11. Charlotte, NC $78,675———11. Kansas City: $107,265—11. Cincinnati: $127,057
12. Indianapolis, IN: $78,009——-12. Cincinnati: $104,314—-12. Kansas City: $125,618
13. Columbus: $74,172————-13. Orlando: $101,307——–13. Columbus: $124,381
14. Sacramento, CA: $66,696—–14. Columbus: $96,475——14. Orlando: $121,329
15. Orlando, FL: $66,644———–15. Sacramento: $96,015—-15. Austin: $119,949
16. Milwaukee, WI: $65,033——–16. Austin: $87,473———-16. Sacramento: $118,822
17. Nashville, TN: $58,245———17. Milwaukee: $86,569—–17. Nashville: $113,680
18. Las Vegas, NV: $57,035——-18. Las Vegas: $85,020—–18. San Antonio: $108,879
19. Virginia Beach, VA: $54,040—-19. Nashville: $84,804—19. Las Vegas: $103,343
20. Austin, TX: $53,915——20. Virginia Beach: $82,685—–20. Milwaukee: $102,209
21. San Antonio, TX: $53,248—21. San Antonio: $81,722—21. Virginia Beach: $95,680
22. Providence, RI: $49,997——-22. Providence: $67,754—-22. Providence: $78,694
23. Grand Rapids, MI: $35,248—-23. Omaha: $47,711——-23. Omaha: $59,090
24. Omaha, NE: $32,044——–24. Grand Rapids: $41,221–24. Grand Rapids: $53,949
25. Dayton: $29,658————–25. Dayton: $34,226————25. Dayton: $39,206
26. Toledo: $22,216————–26. Akron: $28,628————–26. Akron: $34,419
27. Akron: $21,684—————27. Toledo: $27,158————-27. Toledo: $34,019
28. Youngstown: $15,314——28. Youngstown: $17,293——28. Youngstown: $21,417

Rank by Total Change in Millions 2001-2015
1. Chicago: +$224,212
2. San Jose: +$110,185
3. Minneapolis: +$100,587
4. Portland: +$78,017
5. Charlotte: +$73,772
6. Austin: +$66,034
7. Indianapolis: +$56,072
8. San Antonio: +$55,631
9. Nashville: +$55,435
10. Detroit: +$54,686
11. Orlando: +$54,685
12. St. Louis: +$52,692
13. Sacramento: +$52,126
14. Columbus: +$50,209
15. Pittsburgh: +$50,104
16. Cincinnati: +$47,419
17. Las Vegas: +$46,308
18. Kansas City: +$46,074
19. Virginia Beach: +$41,640
20. Cleveland: +$40,652
21. Milwaukee: +$37,176
22. Providence: +$28,697
23. Omaha: +$27,046
24. Grand Rapids: +$18,701
25. Akron: +$12,735
26. Toledo: +$11,803
27. Dayton: +$9,548
28. Youngstown: +$6,103

Rank by Total Change in Millions 2010-2015
1. Chicago: +$106,831
2. San Jose: +$71,386
3. Minneapolis: +$49,173
4. Detroit: +$47,634
5. Charlotte: +$37,947
6. Austin: +$32,476
7. Nashville: $28,876
8. Columbus: +$27,906
9. San Antonio: +$27,157
10. Indianapolis +$22,997
11. Sacramento: +$22,807
12. Cincinnati: +$22,743
13. St. Louis: +$21,189
14. Pittsburgh: +$20,978
15. Orlando: +$20,022
16. Cleveland: +$19,083
17. Kansas City: +$18,353
18. Las Vegas: +$18,323
19. Portland: +$17,537
20. Milwaukee: +$15,640
21. Virginia Beach: +$12,995
22. Grand Rapids: +$12,728
23. Omaha: +$11,379
24. Providence: +$10,940
25. Toledo: +$6,861
26. Akron: +$5,791
27. Dayton: +$4,980
28. Youngstown: +$4,124

Total Rank by % Change 2001-2015
1. Austin: +122.48%
2. San Antonio: +104.48%
3. Portland: +96.61%
4. Nashville: +95.18%
5. Charlotte: +93.77%
6. San Jose: +88.12%
7. Omaha: +84.40%
8. Orlando: +82.06%
9. Las Vegas: +81.19%
10. Sacramento: +78.15%
11. Virginia Beach: +77.05%
12. Indianapolis: +71.88%
13. Minneapolis: +67.88%
14. Columbus: +67.69%
15. Cincinnati: +59.54%
16. Akron: +58.73%
17. Kansas City: +57.92%
18. Providence: +57.40%
19. Milwaukee: +57.16%
20. Pittsburgh: +56.44%
21. Chicago: +53.84%
22. Toledo: +53.13%
23. Grand Rapids: +53.06%
24. St. Louis: +51.46%
25. Cleveland: +46.30%
26. Youngstown: +39.85%
27. Dayton: +32.19%
28. Detroit: +28.64%

Total Rank by % Change 2010-2015
1. San Jose: +43.57%
2. Austin: +37.13%
3. Nashville: +34.05%
4. San Antonio: +33.23%
5. Charlotte: +33.14%
6. Grand Rapids: +30.88%
7. Columbus: +28.93%
8. Toledo: +25.26%
9. Minneapolis: +24.64%
10. Detroit: +24.06%
11. Omaha: +23.85%
12. Youngstown: +23.85%
13. Sacramento: +23.75%
14. Cincinnati: +21.80%
15. Las Vegas: +21.55%
16. Indianapolis: +20.70%
17. Akron: +20.23%
18. Chicago: +20.01%
19. Orlando: +19.76%
20. Milwaukee: +18.07%
21. Pittsburgh: +17.79%
22. Cleveland: +17.45%
23. Kansas City: +17.11%
24. Providence: +16.15%
25. St. Louis: +15.83%
26. Virginia Beach: +15.72%
27. Dayton: +14.55%
28. Portland: +12.42%

Finally, let’s take a look at per-capita GDP and income.

Rank of Metros by Per-Capita GDP in Dollars, 2015
1. San Jose: $112,851
2. Minneapolis: $63,474
3. Portland: $62,229
4. Chicago: $59,688
5. Indianapolis: $59,479
6. Milwaukee: $58,219
7. Omaha: $57,334
8. Cleveland: $56,013
9. Nashville: $55,841
10. Charlotte: $55,610
11. Pittsburgh: $55,335
12. Austin: $55,323
13. Columbus: $55,005
14. Kansas City: $54,097
15. Cincinnati: $52,649
16. Detroit: $51,428
17. Virginia Beach: $49,606
18. Toledo: $49,428
19. St. Louis: $49,258
20. Sacramento: $46,697
21. Grand Rapids: $46,677
22. Orlando: $45,756
23. Akron: $44,246
24. Dayton: $43,748
25. Providence: $43,744
26. Las Vegas: $43,476
27. San Antonio: $42,169
28. Youngstown: $34,960

Total Growth 2001-2015 by Rank, in Dollars
1. San Jose: +$40,677
2. Portland: +$18,225
3. Pittsburgh: +$10,064
4. Austin: +$9,925
5. Toledo: +$7,414
6. Virginia Beach: +$7,256
7. Nashville: +$7,071
8. Cleveland: +$6,767
9. Milwaukee: +$6,744
10. Omaha: +$6,581
11. Akron: +$6,167
12. Minneapolis: +$5,900
13. Providence: +$5,560
14. Chicago: +4,663
15. San Antonio: +$4,652
16. Cincinnati: +$4,426
17. Youngstown: +$4,391
18. Sacramento: +$3,210
19. Columbus: +$3,182
20. Indianapolis: +$2,984
21. Grand Rapids: +$2,971
22. Charlotte: +$2,880
23. Kansas City: +$2,770
24. St. Louis: +$2,699
25. Detroit: +$2,011
26. Dayton: +$162
27. Orlando: -$1,630
28. Las Vegas: -$5,041

Total Per-Capita GDP Growth 2010-2015, in Dollars
1. San Jose: +$23,814
2. Toledo: +$6,242
3. Pittsburgh: +$6,172
4. Nashville: +$5,643
5. Detroit: +$5,459
6. Austin: +$5,307
7. Grand Rapids: +$5,158
8. Youngstown: +$4,987
9. San Antonio: +$4,878
10. Columbus: +$4,864
11. Minneapolis: +$4,644
12. Charlotte: +$4,578
13. Chicago: +$4,004
14. Cleveland: +$3,992
15. Cincinnati: +$3,986
16. Akron: +$3,774
17. Milwaukee: +$2,913
18. Omaha: +$2,863
19. Sacramento: +$2,680
20. Providence: +$1,902
21. St. Louis: +$1,884
22. Dayton: +$1,439
23. Kansas City: +$1,270
24. Indianapolis: +$1,186
25. Virginia Beach: +$998
26. Las Vegas: +$206
27. Portland: -$992
28. Orlando: -$1,345

What the numbers suggest is that Columbus was performing at a middle-mediocre level in the first half of the 2001-2015 period, and has generally been performing significantly better in the latter half. In Ohio, Columbus is poised to become Ohio’s largest metro economy over the next few years.

State GDP 2014

New state-level GDP figures were recently released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Where does Ohio stand?

First, let’s look at the top 20 states for total GDP in 2014

2014 Total, in Millions
1. California: 2,311,616
2. Texas: 1,648,036
3. New York: 1,404,518
4. Florida: 839,944
5. Illinois: 745,875
6. Pennsylvania: 662,890
7. Ohio: 583,261
8. New Jersey: 549,099
9. North Carolina: 483,126
10. Georgia: 476,483
11. Virginia: 463,613
12. Massachusetts: 459,937
13. Michigan: 451,516
14. Washington: 427,052
15. Maryland: 348,631
16. Indiana: 317,840
17. Minnesota: 316,204
18. Colorado: 306,663
19. Tennessee: 300,604
20. Wisconsin: 292,891

Ohio maintained its 7th-place position through 2014.
Now let’s look at the 20 states that had the biggest increases.

Total GDP Growth in Millions 2013-2014
1. California: +98,625
2. Texas: +90,843
3. New York: +62,927
4. Florida: +39,247
5. Pennsylvania: +22,596
6. Illinois: +21,080
7. Ohio: +20,416
8. Georgia: +20,000
9. Washington: +19,892
10. Massachusetts: +18,470
11. Colorado: +18,325
12. Michigan: +16,842
13. North Carolina: +16,051
14. New Jersey: +11,703
15. Oregon: +10,810
16. Tennessee: +10,479
17. Arizona: +9,422
18. Maryland: +9,222
19. Minnesota: +8,934
20. Virginia: +8,629

So Ohio is growing at the same position as its overall ranking. No states below it are set to pass it anytime in the near future. In fact, the gap is widening from its nearest threats.

What about per-capita GDP, which is a measure of the state’s total GDP divided by its population?

Per-Capita GDP, in Dollars 2014
1. Alaska: 66,160
2. North Dakota: 65,225
3. New York: 64,818
4. Connecticut: 64,676
5. Wyoming: 64,309
6. Massachusetts: 63,005
7. Delaware: 60,551
8. New Jersey: 56,405
9. Washington: 55,298
10. California: 54,462
11. Texas: 54,433
12. Maryland: 53,759
13. Illinois: 52,827
14. Minnesota: 52,801
15. Nebraska: 52,724
16. Colorado: 52,214
17. Virginia: 51,338
18. Oregon: 51,329
19. New Hampshire: 49,951
20. Hawaii: 49,686

27. Ohio: 45,887

Ohio is in the bottom half. Not great, as it indicates that it’s actually underperforming in GDP given its population.

So there you have it, a quick 2014 GDP update. To find out more, check out the BEA site at http://www.bea.gov/index.htm It has tons of economic information for states and metro areas.

The Big Lie: The Midwest vs. The South

For 50 years now, the story has been how the South has been booming while the Midwest has languished in perpetual decline. Nearly every day, a new ranking or story comes about how great the South is in relation to its Northern neighbors, but the more I’ve looked at the numbers, the more I realize that the hype is built upon lies, half-truths and cherry-picking data.

The first data point we’re going to look at is Gross Domestic Product, or GDP, a measure of the total economic output, for the Midwest vs. the South.
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So on this measure, the South is doing pretty well vs. the Midwest… or so it seems at first. The advantage the South has, however, is Texas. Without the behemoth state, the South has had growth on pace with the Midwest, though the recession did knock the Midwest down a bit from a fairly wide gap. Even so, the Midwest is ahead of the South without Texas, making it pretty clear that Texas is a HUGE reason for the South’s growth. All by itself, it nearly double’s the region’s GDP. The Midwest has no such massively dominant state. So does this mean that the South has Texas to thank for all the attention it gets? More light will be shed on this as we go.

Now let’s look at GDP growth by decade for the regions.
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Again, on the surface the South does well. The 2000s were especially kind to the South, while the Midwest declined some, likely due to the double recessions that occurred. However, during the 2010s so far, the Midwest has been growing a bit faster than the South (without Texas), something which hasn’t happened since the 1970s. Once more, Texas shows up as being the main contributor by FAR vs. all other Southern states combined.

Taking GDP further, what does it look like per-capita for the regions?
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First of all, the data only goes back to 1987, and the 1997 jump is because the data collection sources changed. In any case, the Midwest region is the leader here. The South has been stagnant for the last decade or so, while the Midwest, aside from during the recession, has seen a steady rise. Since the recession, the pace of per-capita GDP growth has accelerated, and the gap between the region and the South has widened. The Midwest has reached the US average, while the South, with or without Texas, is well below it and not catching up. What does this mean? Well, that despite relatively healthy GDP total growth in the South, it has simply not been fast enough to keep pace with either the national average or the Midwest. The Midwest has a much stronger economic output per its population than the South does, by almost $10,000 per person.

What about income?
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I know this chart is a bit hard to see, but it runs from 1930-2013. What it shows is that the Midwest has long had the highest per-capita income of the two regions. In fact, the gap between the two has grown steadily wider over years, and has accelerated in the last 5. The Midwest, while just below the national average now, is ahead of the South as a whole, Texas alone and the South without Texas.

To illustrate the income change over the 1930-2013 period further, let’s look at % growth by decade.
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This chart actually shows that the South generally performed much better by rate of growth from the 1970s and earlier. Since then, the rate of growth between the regions has been much closer, and in the 1990s and 2010s, the Midwest grew faster. What this seems to indicate is that the long term growth rate in income is gradually turning more strongly towards the Midwest after a long period where the South had faster growth. The Midwest has also seen faster growth than the national average since the 1980s, not exactly an indication of some kind of sustained decline.

So far, the picture is not quite as one-sided as we’ve been told.

What’s more interesting, especially from a total GDP standpoint, is that the Midwest is smaller than the South as a whole. To be more equal, you’d have to include the Northeastern states. This throws the entire dynamic out the window. In fact, the North combined is still the largest regional economy of the 3 (North, South, West) by about 13 percentage points.

Ohio vs. the Midwest GDP and Income

The Bureau of Economic Analysis recently issued GDP numbers for 2012, along with revised data for previous years.

First, let’s look at how Ohio is doing in relation to the other Midwest states.

2012 Gross Domestic Product By State in Millions, Highest to Lowest
1. Illinois: $695,238
2. Ohio: $509,393
3. Michigan: $400,504
4. Indiana: $298,625
5. Minnesota: $294,729
6. Wisconsin: $261,548
7. Missouri: $258,832
8. Iowa: $152,436
9. Kansas: $138,953
10. Nebraska: $99,557
11. North Dakota: $46,016
12. South Dakota: $42,464

Total Midwest GDP in 2012 in Millions: $3,198,295

So Ohio has the 2nd largest economy in the Midwest, only behind Illinois and its Chicago powerhouse. Ohio has also reclaimed its spot as the 7th largest state economy after catching up to and surpassing New Jersey, which passed Ohio in 2006.

Ohio’s more than half-trillion economy is also growing faster than almost every state in the Midwest, as shown below.

Total GDP Change 2000-2012 in Millions, Highest to Lowest
1. Illinois: +$220,718
2. Ohio: +$128,498
3. Minnesota: +$105,911
4. Indiana: +$100,387
5. Wisconsin: +$84,193
6. Missouri: +$77,865
7. Michigan: +$63,045
8. Iowa: +$59,124
9. Kansas: +$53,231
10. Nebraska: +$42,224
11. North Dakota: +$27,750
12. South Dakota: +$18,426

Difference in Millions Between Ohio’s GDP and that of Other States 2000 and 2012
Ohio vs. Illinois
2000: -$93,865
2010: -$185,845
Ohio vs. Indiana
2000: $182,657
2010: $210,768
Ohio vs. Iowa
2000: $287,583
2010: $356,957
Ohio vs. Kansas
2000: $295,173
2010: $370,440
Ohio vs. Michigan
2000: $43,436
2010: $108,889
Ohio vs. Minnesota
2000: $192,077
2010: $214,664
Ohio vs. Missouri
2000: $199,928
2010: $250,561
Ohio vs. Nebraska
2000: $323,562
2010: $409,836
Ohio vs. North Dakota
2000: $362,629
2010: $463,377
Ohio vs. South Dakota
2000: $356,857
2010: $466,929
Ohio vs. Wisconsin
2000: $203,540
2010: $247,845

So Ohio has increased its GDP lead over every Midwest state except for Illinois.

Per-Capita GDP, however, is not Ohio’s strong point.

2012 Per-Capita GDP in Dollars, Highest to Lowest
1. North Dakota: $55,250
2. Minnesota: $47,028
3. Illinois: $46,161
4. Nebraska: $44,943
5. South Dakota: $43,181
6. Iowa: $42,222
7. Kansas: $41,070
8. Wisconsin: $39,308
9. Indiana: $39,065
10. Ohio: $37,690
11. Missouri: $36,815
12. Michigan: $35,298

Per-Capita GDP, does not tell us income, however.

2012 Per-Capita Income By State, Highest to Lowest
1. North Dakota: $51,893
2. Minnesota: $46,227
3. Illinois: $44,815
4. South Dakota: $43,659
5. Nebraska: $43,143
6. Iowa: $42,126
7. Kansas: $41,835
8. Wisconsin: $40,537
9. Ohio: $39,289
10. Missouri: $39,049
11. Michigan: $37,497
12. Indiana: $36,902

Ohio does slightly better here. The question would be, why is Ohio’s so low in comparison? It may have a bit to do with the overall cost of living, at least according to the following link.
http://www.missourieconomy.org/indicators/cost_of_living/index.stm

Cost of Living Rank by State (out of 50), 2nd Quarter 2013
Nebraska: 2
Indiana: 5
Iowa: 9
Kansas: 11
Ohio: 13
Missouri: 16
Michigan: 19
Illinois: 20
Wisconsin: 23
North Dakota: 30
South Dakota: 31
Minnesota: 34

Ohio is less expensive to live in than 7 of the other Midwest states and is cheaper than 37 states in total. This almost certainly plays a role in wages. All in all, perhaps the state is far better off economically than the perception may indicate, at least by these metrics.

In Part 2, I’ll look at metro areas specifically.



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GDP and Columbus

Recently the US Bureau of Economic Analysis released GDP numbers for metro areas for 2011. Below is a chart for Ohio’s 3-Cs of GDP from 2001 to 2011.

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All the metros saw GDP growth during this period, and all saw dips during the recession before growing again the past few years.

Total Growth (in Millions) 2001-2011
Cincinnati: $24,795
Columbus: $22,850
Cleveland: $21,518

GDP % Growth 2001-2011
Columbus: 32.1%
Cincinnati: 31.9%
Cleveland: 25.2%

So this shows that the Columbus metro has had the fastest growth the past 10 years in its GDP, albeit only a bit faster than Cincinnati.

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The graph above shows the metro GDP per capita. Columbus was clearly ahead the first half of the last decade, but has fallen since. There are two reasons for this: Continuously growing population and the recession. A growing population and stagnant GDP during the recession meant that the GDP was diluted between more people. Neither of the other two faced the strong population growth during the recession. I expect the trends will reverse again over the next few years, however.