Numbers show Illinois economic growth in 2017

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis has published state gross domestic product (GDP) numbers for 2017 as compared with 2016. The federal data table has mixed numbers for Illinois. On the one hand, Illinois’ economy grew in real terms in 2017, with real (inflation-adjusted) GDP rising 1.2% as compared with 2016. The Land of Lincoln’s per capita numbers were even better, with Illinois residents enjoying real GDP in 2017 that was 1.5% greater than that of 2016. 

On the other hand, most U.S. states continued to outperform Illinois. The Prairie State scored 33rd in real 2017 GDP growth among the 50 states, with 32 states outperforming Illinois’ growth rate. Furthermore, Illinois’ good per-capita GDP numbers were helped out by our State’s declining population, with a smaller number of people sharing a slightly larger pie. 

Several neighboring states had faster 2017 real GDP growth than was enjoyed here in Illinois. Examples included Indiana (2.1%), Kentucky (1.8%), and Wisconsin (1.7%). Other Midwestern states that border Illinois had slower growth, with Missouri (1.1%) and Iowa (0.5%) not scoring well last year. 

As in previous years, the fastest-growing states tended to be in the so-called “Sunbelt,” with the top six states in terms of real 2017 GDP growth being Washington, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and California, in that order. These are states that are highly correlated with high-tech investment and in-migration by highly educated young professionals.

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