The state of California is the richest in the United States, helping to prop-up the US economy and putting many small nations to shame. But just how does it compare to other states, how would the US fair without it and what’s providing the state economy with such a boost?

Californian Economy vs Other States

The GDP of California is $2.8 trillion, with most of this centered on the coastal cities, which are some of the richest in the United States. The state of Texas is the second largest, followed closely by New York, but together these two states contribute a total of $3.1 trillion, which isn’t a great deal more than California contributes on its own.

The fourth highest state, Florida, falls short of $1 trillion, and you have to go all the way down to the 15th highest, Maryland, for a state that falls short of half a trillion. The state with the lowest is Montana, which is about 1/50th the size of California’s GDP. In fact, even if you combined the total wealth of the 20 lowest GDP states, you still wouldn’t get close to California.

Californian Economy vs Countries

The true scale of California’s wealth doesn’t really become evident until you compare it to the GDP of other nations. If it was a country, California would have the 7th largest GDP in the world, just behind France and the United Kingdom, and ahead of India, which is one of the fastest growing countries in the world and has a population of over 1.1 billion!

If that’s not impressive enough, consider this, the GDP of California is nearly twice that of Spain; it’s the same as Spain and Australia combined, and it’s more than all countries in Scandinavia put together. It’s 5x higher than Belgium; 10x higher than New Zealand; and 100x times higher than Bhutan.

Needless to say, it’s massive, and the economy of the United States of America would be decidedly poorer without it—quite literally. In fact, if you take California out of the equation then according to the International Monetary Fund, the US would be knocked off its perch as the richest in the world and replaced by the European Union.

However, if you take California, Texas and New York out of the equation and still use the IMF’s list as a guide, the US would remain ahead of China. The same is true even if you go by lists created by the World Bank or the United Nations, in which case the EU is not included and the USA would therefore remain number 1.

Why is California so Rich?

There are a number of things cropping up the economy of the Golden State, including common things like agriculture and tourism. The real estate and finance sectors, combined, generate over half a trillion dollars, nearly a quarter of the state’s GDP.

The tech industry is also huge here, thanks to Silicon Valley and the foundation of many of the word’s biggest companies. Apple, Wells Fargo, Facebook, Oracle and Google are all based here, and the state also produces more entrepreneurs and start-ups than any other state. Traditionally these have originated from, or flocked to, San Francisco, but San Diego is also proving incredibly poplar.

Coworking spots are springing up to cater for these and are helping to nurture the next generation of Californian entrepreneurs. See this page on Coworking Spots San Diego to learn more.

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