Ranked: The economies of all 50 US states and Washington, DC, from worst to best

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The US has an enormous economy, and that economy is the sum of the economies of 50 states and the District of Columbia.

We ranked the economies of all the states and DC on seven measures: unemployment rates; GDP per capita; average weekly wages; recent growth rates for nonfarm payroll jobs; GDP; house prices; and wages. For more on our methodology, click here.

In addition to looking at some of the economic metrics that went into the ranking, we identified a symbol for each state and DC, according to Wikipedia.


51. West Virginia

West Virginia was the only state with a decline in home prices between Q3 2014 and Q3 2015, with prices falling by 0.1%. The state's labor market is also suffering: The November 2015 unemployment rate of 6.5% was the third highest in the country, and West Virginia was one of only five states to see a drop in nonfarm payroll employment between November 2014 and November 2015, with a 1.4% decline.

50. New Mexico

New Mexico's November unemployment rate of 6.8% was the highest among the states and DC. Wages are low and stagnant: The October 2015 average weekly wage of $709 was the third lowest in the country. Wages fell 0.7% between October 2014 and October 2015, the seventh-worst change.

49. Oklahoma

Oklahoma has been a huge oil-producing state, and while drilling-heavy states have tended to do well in previous editions of our rankings, the collapse in oil prices and in active drilling rigs is starting to hurt.

Oklahoma was one of just four states with negative GDP growth in Q2 2015, and its annualized decline of 2.4% was the worst in the country. The state 0.1% decline in nonfarm payroll jobs between November 2014 and November 2015, the fifth-worst rate among the states and DC. The average weekly wage in the state fell 0.9% during that same period.

48. Louisiana

Louisiana was one of just five states that had a net loss of nonfarm payroll jobs between November 2014 and November 2015, with a 0.6% decline over that period. Correspondingly, the state's 6.3% November 2015 unemployment rate was well above the national rate of 5.0%. Wage growth in the state was flat at 0.0%.

47. Wyoming

Wyoming was one of four states with negative GDP growth in Q2 2015 with an annualized growth rate of -2.3%, the second lowest among the states and DC. The average weekly wage fell 1.8% between November 2014 and November 2015, also the second-worst rate in the country. On the brighter side, the state's 4.1% unemployment rate was well below average.

46. Mississippi

Mississippi's 2014 GDP per capita of $31,551 was the lowest in the country, and the average weekly wage of $699 was the second lowest. Mississippi's unemployment rate of 6.0% was tied for ninth-worst among the states and DC.

Click through to see the state of the economy around the country:

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Ranked: The economies of all 50 US states and Washington, DC, from worst to best
In this July 29, 2015 photo, volunteer Peggy Bragg, of Des Moines, Iowa, unloads donated baked goods at the Des Moines Area Religious Council food pantry in Des Moines, Iowa. Food banks across the country are seeing surging demand for free groceries despite a growing economy and steadily declining unemployment rate, leading some charities to reduce the amount of food they offer each family. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
A job seeker fills out paperwork while waiting to meet with representatives during a weekly job fair event in Dallas, Texas, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015. Filings for U.S. unemployment benefits rose more than forecast to an eight-week high, representing a pause in a trend of more muted firings. Photographer: Laura Buckman/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Job seekers wait in line to meet with representatives during a weekly job fair event in Dallas, Texas, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015. Filings for U.S. unemployment benefits rose more than forecast to an eight-week high, representing a pause in a trend of more muted firings. Photographer: Laura Buckman/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 04: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on September 4, 2015 in New York City. The Dow Jones industrial average finished the day down over 250 points, furthering losses for the week. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
FILE - in this Feb. 13, 2015 file photo, a forklift operator moves a pallet of goods at a Amazon.com fulfillment center in DuPont, Wash. An Illinois corporate tax credit program suspended earlier this summer amid a state budget crisis has since been offered to Amazon because of a previous commitment to the online retailer. Amazon announced its plans in August for a Joliet warehouse that will create 1,000 full-time jobs when it opens. The 500,000-square-foot fulfillment center is its first in Illinois. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
The silhouette of a Federal Reserve police officer is seen walking past the Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve building in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015. While economists are almost equally divided on whether Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen will raise U.S. interest rates this week, the bond market suggests policy makers will wait. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A Federal Reserve police officer walks past the Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve building in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015. Bill Gross said the Federal Reserve has waited so long to raise interest rates that any move now may be labeled 'too little too late' as market turmoil restricts the room for policy makers to act. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 08: A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during the afternoon of September 8, 2015 in New York City. The Dow jumped nearly 400 points by the time of the closing bell. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 24: A man pauses by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on August 24, 2015 in New York City. As the global economy continues to react from events in China, markets dropped significantly around the world on Monday. The Dow Jones industrial average briefly dropped over 1000 points in morning trading and closed down 588 points. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
EXETER, NH - SEPTEMBER 10: Former Florida Governor and Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush holds a tax policy event at R.E Prescott on September 10, 2015 in Exeter, New Hampshire. Here an attendee at the event hold's a JEB sign. (Photos by Charles Ommanney/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 29: Republican presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is flanked by more than 74,000 pieces of paper representing the size of the U.S. tax code as he speaks during a campaign stop at an Embassy Suites hotel on June 29, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Paul made stops in four cities in Nevada on Monday as he campaigns for the battleground state against 12 other Republican candidates in the 2016 presidential race. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 25: Senate Budget ranking member Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., holds a news conference to introduce legislation 'to make millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share of estate taxes and close loopholes that have allowed billionaires to avoid billions in taxes' on Thursday, June 25, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Registered nurses and community activists hold a vigil on April 8, 2015 in Los Angeles, part of a nationwide day of action, calling for a Robin Hood tax on Wall Street which they claim will help raise hundreds of billions of dollars to help social and economic justice. AFP PHOTO / MARK RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 4: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) speaks next to Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) during a news conference to introduce their proposal for an overhaul of the tax code, March 4, 2015 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. One part of the plan proposes to reduce seven tax brackets for income tax to two: 15 percent and 35 percent. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
An employee arranges copies of U.S. President Barack Obama's Fiscal Year 2016 Budget on display at the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Feb. 2, 2015. Obama sent Congress a $4 trillion budget that would raise taxes on corporations and the nationÃs top earners, spend more on infrastructure and housing, and stabilize, but not eliminate, the annual budget deficit. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Seth Hahn shouts in a megaphone as he leads a large group of fellow union members as they march to the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J., Thursday, June 12, 2014. Hundreds of union members marched to protest Gov. Chris Christie's proposed cuts to mandated state pension contributions. Some said to pay the pension contributions, the state should cut business incentive programs that Gov. Chris Christie's administration has been using heavily. Since December, the state has pledged just over $1 billion in tax credits to companies to move or remain in New Jersey. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
DORAL, FL - DECEMBER 10: Glenn Rehn (C) and Sandy Lleo (R) along with other protesters rally together outside the office of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on December 10, 2012 in Doral, Florida. The protesters are hoping that Senators like Rubio will not cut medicare/social security benefits and will agree to raise taxes on the top 2% of earners in the country. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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45. Alabama

Alabama's 2014 GDP per capita of $37,593 was well below that of most states. The November 2015 unemployment rate of 6.0% was tied for ninth highest in the country. On the brighter side, wages grew 2.2% between November 2014 and November 2015.

44. Arkansas

Arkansas' November 2015 average weekly wage of $689 was the lowest among the states and DC, and the state's 2014 GDP per capita of $37,334 was the fifth lowest. The November 2015 unemployment rate of 5.0% was in line with the national rate of 5.0%.

43. North Dakota

North Dakota had an incredibly rough fall from grace. The state came in at the top of our August ranking but now sits near the bottom.

While the state's unemployment rate of 2.7% remains the lowest among the states and DC, nonfarm payroll jobs have fallen dramatically, dropping 2.9% between November 2014 and November 2015. Meanwhile, North Dakota's GDP fell at an annualized rate of 1.2% in Q2 2015, one of only four states with negative growth.

42. Missouri

Missouri's average weekly wage of $755 was the 10th lowest among the states and DC. Wages fell by 1.3% between November 2014 and November 2015, putting Missouri in a group of just nine states with negative wage growth over the year.

41. Kansas

Wages in Kansas fell 0.8% between November 2014 and November 2015, one of just nine states to have negative wage growth over that year. The state's Q2 2015 GDP growth rate of 2.8% was the 10th lowest among the states and DC. In better news, the state's 4.0% unemployment rate was well below average.

40. Alaska

Alaska's unemployment rate of 6.4% was the fifth highest among the states and DC, and its Q2 2015 GDP growth rate of just 0.4% was the fifth lowest, including among those states with negative growth. On the bright side, the state's average weekly wage of $972 was the seventh highest in the country.

39. Kentucky

Kentucky's average weekly wage of $745 was the sixth lowest, and the state's GDP per capita of $38,938 was the 11th lowest. Kentucky's unemployment rate of 4.9% was just below the national rate of 5.0%.

38. Illinois

Job growth in Illinois was slower than in other states: Nonfarm payrolls grew by just 0.6% between November 2014 and November 2015, the ninth-worst growth rate in the country. However, the state's average weekly wage of $915 was the 12th highest among the states and DC.

37. Tennessee

Tennessee's average weekly wage of $752 was the ninth lowest among the states and DC. The state's unemployment rate of 5.6% was a bit higher than the national rate of 5.0%.

36. Indiana

Wages in Indiana fell by 0.5% between November 2014 and November 2015, making the state one of just nine to see negative wage growth over the year. Indiana's unemployment rate of 4.4% was well below the national rate of 5.0%.

35. South Carolina

South Carolina's 2014 GDP per capita of $36,125 was the third lowest among the states and DC, and the state's $758 weekly wage was the 12th lowest. However, South Carolina's number of nonfarm payroll jobs grew by 2.6% between November 2014 and November 2015, the sixth-best rate of job creation in the country.

34. Maine

Housing prices in Maine grew just 1.8% between Q3 2014 and Q3 2015, the third-lowest growth rate among the states and DC. Maine's 2014 GDP per capita of $38,328 was the seventh lowest. However, the state's 4.1% unemployment rate was well below the national rate of 5.0%.

33. Rhode Island

Many of Rhode Island's metrics fell in the middle of the road. Rhode Island's 5.2% unemployment rate was just above the national rate of 5.0%. The state's average weekly wage was $837, just below the national average of $871.

32. Pennsylvania

Housing prices in Pennsylvania grew just 2.6% between Q3 2014 and Q3 2015, the seventh-lowest growth rate among the states and DC. Nonfarm payroll jobs grew just 0.7% between November 2014 and November 2015, the 11th-slowest rate. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania's average weekly wage grew by 3.2% over that year, higher than the 2.0% growth nationwide.

31. Montana

Montana's average weekly wage of $749 was the eighth lowest in the country, as was the state's 2014 GDP per capita of $38,539. However, Montana's unemployment rate of 4.0% was well below the national 5.0% rate.

30. Wisconsin

The number of nonfarm payroll jobs in Wisconsin grew 1.0% between November 2014 and November 2015, slightly slower than the national growth rate of 1.9%. However, Wisconsin's 4.2% unemployment rate was much lower than the national rate of 5.0%.

29. Texas

Texas' housing market has been improving, with housing prices rising 7.5% between Q3 2014 and Q3 2015, the 10th-highest growth rate among the states and DC. However, as in many other oil-producing states, GDP growth was weak. Texas GDP grew at an annualized rate of just 0.5% in Q2 2015, the sixth lowest in the country.

28. Georgia

The average wage in Georgia dropped 0.1% between November 2014 and November 2015, making the state just one of nine to see a decline in wages. Meanwhile, housing prices in the state increased by 8.0% between Q3 2014 and Q3 2015, the ninth-highest growth rate among the states and DC.

27. North Carolina

North Carolina saw a 2.2% increase in nonfarm payroll jobs between November 2014 and November 2015, slightly above the national growth rate of 1.9%. Despite that growth, the state's unemployment rate of 5.7% remains well above the national rate of 5.0%.

26. Michigan

Michigan fell in the middle of the road on most of our metrics. The state's Q2 2015 annualized GDP growth rate of 4.5% was the 13th highest among the states and DC, while its unemployment rate of 5.1% was just above the national rate of 5.0%.

25. Arizona

Housing prices in Arizona rose 8.3% between Q3 2014 and Q3 2015, the seventh-highest growth rate in the country. However, the state's 6.0% unemployment rate was the ninth highest among the states and DC, and the 2014 GDP per capita of $38,743 was well below the national level of $54,299.

24. Vermont

Vermont's unemployment rate of 3.7% was the 10th lowest among the states and DC. However, the state's job-growth rate was somewhat below average, with a 1.3% increase in nonfarm payroll jobs between November 2014 and November 2014, a bit lower than the national increase of 1.9%.

23. Ohio

Ohio's 4.5% unemployment rate was a little below the national rate of 5.0%, while its average weekly wage of $801 was slightly under the national average of $871.

22. Maryland

Maryland's average weekly wage of $952 was the ninth highest among the states and DC. On the other hand, housing prices in the state rose just 3.1% between Q3 2014 and Q3 2015, the eighth lowest change in the country.

21. Hawaii

Hawaii's 3.2% unemployment rate was tied for fourth lowest among the states and DC, and its annualized Q2 2015 GDP growth rate of 5.1% was sixth highest. However, the average weekly wage in Hawaii fell 0.9% between November 2014 and November 2015, making the state just one of nine with negative wage growth.

20. Delaware

Delaware's annualized Q2 2015 GDP growth rate of 5.7% was the third highest among the states and DC, and its 2014 GDP per capita of $60,551 was the eighth highest. Despite that high GDP and growth, the state's November 2015 average weekly wage of $756 was well below the national average of $871.

19. New Jersey

New Jersey's November 2015 average weekly wage of $963 was the eighth highest in the country, and its 2014 GDP per capita of $56,405 was the 11th highest. On the other hand, house prices rose just 2.2% between Q3 2014 and Q3 2015, the fourth-lowest change among the states and DC.

18. Virginia

Virginia's unemployment rate of 4.2% was well below the national rate of 5.0%, and its average weekly wage of $941 was above the national average wage of $871.

17. Connecticut

Connecticut's average weekly wage of $1,011 was the fourth highest in the country, and the state's 2014 GDP per capita of $64,676 was the fifth highest. However, housing prices rose just 1.1% between Q3 2014 and Q3 2015, the second-lowest change among the states and DC.

16. Iowa

Iowa's November 2015 unemployment rate of 3.4% was the sixth lowest among the states and DC, and its average weekly wage grew 4.7% between November 2014 and November 2015, the sixth-highest growth rate in the country. The state's 2014 GDP per capita of $49,075 was a bit below the national GDP per capita of $54,299.

15. Minnesota

Minnesota's November 2015 unemployment rate of 3.5% was tied for seventh lowest among the states and DC, and the state's Q2 2015 GDP growth rate of 4.5% was tied for 13th highest. However, nonfarm payroll jobs increased by 1.1% in Minnesota between November 2014 and November 2015, lower than the national growth rate of 1.9% over that year.

14. New Hampshire

New Hampshire's 3.2% unemployment rate was tied for fourth lowest in the country. Wages rose 5.0% between November 2014 and November 2015, the fourth-highest growth rate among the states and DC. However, the number of nonfarm payroll jobs in the state grew by just 0.6% over that year, the 10th-lowest rate.

13. Oregon

House prices in Oregon went up 10.1% between Q3 2014 and Q3 2015, the fourth-biggest growth rate among the states and DC. The number of nonfarm payroll jobs in the state increased 2.8% between November 2014 and November 2015, the fifth-largest increase in the country. Despite that, Oregon's 5.7% unemployment rate remains higher than the national rate of 5.0%.

12. New York

New York's 2014 GDP per capita of $64,819 was the fourth highest in the country, and the Q2 2015 GDP growth rate of 5.0% was the eighth highest. The average weekly wage of $993 was the sixth highest among the states and DC.

11. Idaho

The number of nonfarm payroll jobs in Idaho grew 4.2% between November 2014 and November 2015, the highest growth rate among the states and DC, and the state's 3.9% unemployment rate was well below the national rate of 5.0%. Keeping Idaho from the absolute top tier, however, were its seventh lowest in the country average weekly wage of $748 and second lowest GDP per capita of $35,235.

10. California

California's average weekly wage of $996 was the fifth highest among the states and DC. The number of nonfarm payroll jobs in the state grew 2.6%, the seventh-highest growth rate in the country. However, California's 5.7% unemployment rate was somewhat higher than the 5.0% national rate.

9. Florida

The number of nonfarm payroll jobs in Florida grew 3.0% between November 2014 and November 2015, the third-highest growth rate in the country. The state's housing market is also recovering nicely, with housing prices rising 10.0% between Q3 2014 and Q3 2015, the fifth-highest rate among the states and DC.

8. South Dakota

South Dakota's GDP grew at an annualized rate of 5.8% in Q2 2015, the second-highest growth rate among the states and DC, and its unemployment rate of 3.0% was third lowest. However, the state's average weekly wage of $734 was the fifth lowest in the country.

7. Nevada

Nevada saw average weekly wages grow by a whopping 6.7% between November 2014 and November 2015, the highest growth rate in the country. The state's GDP grew 5.5% at an annualized rate in Q2 2015, the fourth highest rate. However, Nevada's unemployment rate of 6.5% was the fourth highest among the states and DC.

6. Massachusetts

Massachusetts' average weekly wage of $1,056 was the third highest among the states and DC, and its GDP per capita of $63,004 was seventh highest.

5. Nebraska

Nebraska's unemployment rate of 2.9% was the second lowest in the country, and the state's average weekly wage growth of 6.0% between November 2014 and November 2015 was the second highest.

4. Utah

The number of nonfarm payroll jobs in Utah went up 3.6% between November 2014 and November 2015, the second-highest growth rate among the states and DC. The state's unemployment rate of 3.5% was the seventh lowest in the country, and its Q2 2015 annualized GDP growth rate of 5.2% was the fifth highest.

3. Colorado

Housing prices in Colorado increased 12.7% between Q3 2014 and Q3 2015, the second-highest growth rate among the states and DC. Colorado's 3.6% unemployment rate was well below the national rate of 5.0% and its average weekly wage of $932 was above the national average of $871.

2. District of Columbia

DC's November 2015 average weekly wage of $1,342, GDP per capita of $159,386, and increase in house prices of 15.4% were all the highest in the country. However, that weekly wage was 8.1% lower than it had been in November 2014, the largest drop in wages in the country, and the district's 6.6% unemployment rate was the second highest.

1. Washington

Washington state scored extremely well on most of our metrics. Its Q2 2015 annualized GDP growth rate was a stunning 8.0%, by far the highest among the states and DC. The November 2015 average weekly wage of $1,073 was the second highest in the country, and was 5.6% higher than the weekly wage in November 2014, the third highest wage growth rate.


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