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01 April 2008

GDP Equivalents of States with Countries

A friend, Paul Cohen, sent me this very interesting map with the States of the USA labeled with the names of countries having an equivalent GDP or gross domestic product. The GDP is defined as:

GDP = Consumption + Investment + Government Spending + (Exports - Imports)

So, Maryland and Hong Kong have GDPs of about the same size, which is actually something of a tribute to the economic freedom that Hong Kong still enjoys. North Carolina and Sweden are equivalents, California and France are also. Oklahoma and the Philippines are an equivalent, as Missouri is to Poland and the Czech Republic is to Nebraska. Idaho and Ukraine are also equivalent sized economies. Poor little Rhode Island is merely the equivalent of Vietnam. Tennessee with its country singers is the same as Saudi Arabia despite its oil wealth. Virginia is the same as Austria, once the center of the Austrian Empire, then the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Chavez's Venezuela is the same as Iowa, which makes corn the equal of oil! Minnesota is the same as Norway, the country from which so many Minnesotans emigrated. Big Montana is the same as Tunisia and big Oregon is the same as Israel, though it we would not wish Oregon to have to take on all the Arab states of the Middle East as Israel has had to do.

Russia and New Jersey are the same, which makes it hard to imagine that Russia was once a super power. To be sure, we should add in Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Belarus, which is to say add Idaho, Wyoming, and Alaska. Well, OK, Georgia, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and a few other parts are still unaccounted for from the old USSR, but this is probably because few U.S. states have such small economies. Of course, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland were in their orbit and these are the equivalent of Nebraska, New Mexico, and Missouri, but they were not very enthusiastic participants. Their economies have also grown substantially since they emerged from behind the Iron Curtain.

Florida and the Korea Republic, South Carolina and Singapore, Louisiana and Indonesia, Indiana and Denmark are among those hard to read on the map. Maine is Morocco.

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