North Dakota Leads Population Growth Again

New US Census Bureau state level estimates have just been released. Repeating the pattern similar to that developing since 2010, North Dakota, the District of Columbia, Texas, Utah and Colorado have posted the strongest percentage gains.  North Dakota added 3.1 percent to its population between 2012 and 2013 and 7.6 percent since the 2010 Census. Close behind was the District of Columbia, which added 7.4 percent since 2010, though its growth over the past year has been at a lower 2.1 percent rate.  read more »

Book Review: "The Fate of the States: The New Geography of American Prosperity" by Meredith Whitney

In December 2010, Meredith Whitney, the financial analyst, appeared on 60 Minutes, where she predicted that the United States would see between 50 and 100 defaults of municipal bonds.  read more »

9-Year Run: CEOs Rank Texas #1, California #50

Each year, ranks states based upon their business competitiveness. The latest rankings have just been published in 2013: Best and Worst States for Business.

Texas on Top: For the 9th Year in a Row  read more »

Interactive Graphic: Ranking States By Competitiveness

In a previous post we looked at which states have been most competitive in terms of job creation since the recession.  read more »

The Impact of Federal Cutbacks

During my college days, I had the opportunity to interview a local government official tasked with conducting various disaster response programs. North Dakota had, at the time, been dealing with severe flood issues for nearly a decade, and the interviewee had vast experience dealing with the ins and outs of working within the system to find mitigation solutions. Asked about the challenges of having to deal with a multitude of state and federal agencies, he informed me that the most vital contacts he had were at the federal level.  read more »

Interactive Graphic: Job Growth by Sector for all Counties in the Nation

The fully interactive map below indicates job growth and decline for all US counties from 2006 to 2011. These show up as hot or cold spots; red for growth, blue for decline. You can select a state to zoom in on and find a county that way, or simply click on a county to drill in. Once you’ve chosen a county, the table under the map will show you job numbers by industry category.  read more »

"A Cloud of Contagion": States, Cities, and Federal Default

The Pew Center on the States has released a new report examining the impact a potential federal default would have on state and municipal governments. The picture isn't pretty.  read more »


Infographic: Which Industries Are Growing in Your State?

EMSI teamed up with Tableau Software to create this industry data display. You can visualize every broad-level (2-digit NAICS) industry by state over the last decade. Also, click on the dot for each state to see the trends for each sector. The bigger the dot, the more jobs that state has in the selected industry. It may take a few seconds to load.  read more »

State GDP Performance

Gross Domestic Product is the basic measure of economic output. The government released 2009 GDP data for US states recently, so it’s worth taking a look. Here’s a map of percent change in total real GDP from 2000 to 2009, with increases in blue, decreases in red:  read more »

Is Illinois 'Bankrupt'?

While California's much publicized budget battles have made the dire financial straights faced in Sacramento a topic of regular media conversation, other states are also experiencing major fiscal woes. According to experts interviewed by Crain's Chicago Business, Illinois currently finds itself in a state of de facto bankruptcy, with the state's ledgers appearing "to meet classic definitions of insolvency: Its liabilities far exceed its assets, and it's not generating enough cash to pay its bills."  read more »