New data spotlights the top 10 states with the fastest-growing economies. Did your state make the cut?


Small businesses across the country still face difficulties from the economic crash of 2008. But there’s good news on the horizon. New data in an article from The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch.com, in conjunction with the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, highlights the top 10 states with the fastest-growing economies.

“The U.S. economy grew 1.9 percent in 2013, down from the 2.8 percent growth rate in 2012, as growth in the world’s largest economy remained inconsistent,” says the article. 

Although the economy grew less than 2 percent, the output of a number of states grew 3 percent — and more — in 2013. However, the growth was triggered by various reasons from state to state for the fastest-growing economies. 

Related: Grow Your Business in a Tough Economy

Here are the 10 states with the fastest-growing economies: 

10. Nebraska takes the No. 10 spot with an estimated 3 percent economic growth in 2013 and an unemployment rate of 3.9 percent. The article credits agriculture for the corn-rich state growth.

9. South Dakota comes in next for its undeveloped — and sought-after — farmland. “Buyers have sought property to expand production as an investment,” says the article.

Related: Money Machines: Sacking Sand

8. Not surprisingly, Texas is No. 8 with its booming oil production sector. 

7. Utah’s attractive business climate, including relatively low taxes and a strong job market, put it in the No. 7 spot.

6. Some might attribute this state’s economic growth to the up and coming retail marijuana industry, but a strong energy sector helps Colorado take the No. 6 slot.

Related: Profile: Just Like a Limo

5. The Potato State comes in at No. 5 for its continued — and popular — growth of the widely distributed crop. Like Nebraska, Idaho’s estimated 4.1 percent economic growth in 2013 was due to agriculture.

4. Any guess why Oklahoma ranks No. 4 in the fastest-growing economies? One word. Mining. According to the article, mining accounts for 15 percent of the state’s output and more than half of its GDP growth last year.

3. West Virginia saw a whopping 5.1 percent economic growth last year, earning it the No. 3 spot. “While West Virginia is well-known as one of the nation’s largest coal miners, the state is also a burgeoning source of natural gas,” says the article, noting the mining sector as the main cause for the state’s growth.

Subscribe: If you don't want to bring your iPad into the bathroom, we can send you a magazine subscription for free!

2. Another one of the nation’s top natural gas-producing state, Wyoming rolls into the No. 2 spot with an incredible 7.6 percent economic growth in 2013.

1. And the No. 1 state with the fastest-growing economy? Drum roll, please. North Dakota. If you’re in the news loop — or watched/read/scrolled through the news in the last decade — this should come as no surprise. With a 9.7 percent economic growth last year alone, North Dakota has been the fastest-growing state in the nation every year since 2010. 

Perhaps your business isn’t directly related to corn harvesting, oil production or marijuana sales (let’s hope not!). However, the effects of national economic growth trickle down to all small business owners. People will always need the services you provide, so if your company is still struggling to recover from the recession, stay positive. There’s still hope for the other 40 states. 

Subscribe: Save the trees for beavers, sign up for our E-Newsletter!

How has your business bounced back from the 2008 economic crash? Post a comment below.


Related Stories

Like this story? Sign up for alerts!