6 states with best GDP growth since 2007

North Dakota
North Dakota © Tom Reichner/
  • 2007 GDP: $28.5 billion
  • 2011 GDP: $40 billion
  • Growth: 40.08 percent

During the past few years, no state has had a better run than North Dakota. The Peace Garden State sits atop layers of oil-soaked rock called the Bakken formation, which is highly coveted by the petroleum industry. Drillers have poured into the state during the past few years, bringing thousands of jobs, paying billions of dollars in state taxes, and encouraging the growth of hotels, restaurants and numerous other businesses.

In 2009, when the nation was in recession, the unemployment rate was 9.3 percent. In North Dakota, it was less than half that at 4.1 percent. It's dropped even further this year to 3.2 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's the lowest rate in the country.

The wholesale trade and real estate sectors have boomed alongside the state's mining sector -- making up 9 percent and 12 percent of the growth, respectively.

In 2012, North Dakota surpassed California and Alaska to become the No. 2 oil producer in the country behind Texas, according to government data.

Sectors contributing majority of growth:

  • Mining (this includes oil drilling)
  • Real estate, rental and leasing
  • Wholesale trade (includes transportation and storage of commodities such as oil)


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