by Nicholas Dobbins

A county, state, or region’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) represents the market value of goods and services produced within the area. GDP has become a primary measure of economic activity in the United States. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BES) recently released its state-by-state GDP information for 2012, and their findings provide some interesting and encouraging news for Minnesota.


rulerPerhaps the most striking thing about Minnesota’s GDP is the speed with which it grew in 2012. According to the BEA, Minnesota’s economy had the fifth-fastest growth rate in the country (tied with California) with a 3.5 percent increase over the year. North Dakota, with its booming oil industry, ranked first at 13.4 percent, which is nearly three times the 4.8 percent growth in second-place Texas. GDP increased in 49 states plus the District of Columbia; the only decline was in Connecticut.

Minnesota also performs quite well in per capita GDP, a measure of how much value a state produces per resident. Among our regional neighbors we trail only North Dakota, with its small population and growing economy.

The total value of Minnesota’s GDP in 2012 was $253 billion, the 17th highest in the country.