The Bureau of Economic Analysis releases 2008 GDP data for America's 366 metropolitan statistical areas. Overall, 2008 wasn't a complete wash: the 366 MSAs averaged 0.8% GDP growth. 146 of those metros (about 40%) matched or bettered their 2007 GDP growth. Unfortunately, 116 (32%) saw zero growth or actual declines in 2008. This BEA map shows how the nation's MSAs ranked by quintile (top fifth to bottom fifth—click to enlarge!):
The economy is apparently like fashion: it takes longer for trends to get to the Great Plains. The best GDP growth was right down the great American midsection. Rapid City made the top 20%; Sioux Falls stayed ahead of the curve, making the top 40%. Compare these rankings for cities of interest in our neighborhood:
|MSA||% change real GDP, 2008||rank|
|Grand Junction, CO||12.3||1|
|Sioux City, IA-NE-SD||5.6||11|
|Cedar Rapids, IA||4.1||31|
|Rapid City, SD||3.9||34|
|Colorado Springs, CO||3.2||48|
|Iowa City, IA||3.1||51|
|New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA||2.5||68|
|St. Cloud, MN||2.5||68|
|Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA||2.4||74|
|Grand Forks, ND-MN||2.1||87|
|Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI||1.7||111|
|Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL||1.4||137|
|Sioux Falls, SD||1.4||137|
|Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA||1.3||148|
I can hear Mayor Munson saying, "Take that, Omaha!"
I threw in the New York City just to note that even with bankers jumping out of windows (well, not quite), the Big Apple, with its taxes and liberals and other scourges of economic freedom, still managed to grow last year, and grow faster than Sioux Falls. And up in the land of socialism and income tax, Fargo still whupped our star performer Rapid City by 2.5 percentage points.
Peruse the numbers, form your own economic observations!
By the way, even with all those reporters coming to dig for dirt on the GOP vice-presidential nominee, Anchorage still came out ranked #331, with its economy shrinking 2.4%.