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The national growth quilt

GDP growth for each U.S. county

What’s new from the Bureau of Economic Analysis? Real GDP data at the county level, which is now part of FRED’s ever-growing database. The data shown here are for 2015 and are still considered “beta”; but visit FRED in December and the data will be even more definitive.

The map above shows GDP growth for each county across the U.S. It looks like a patchwork quilt. Clearly, high and low and middle-ground growth rates are sprinkled across the nation, with very little uniformity within each state. (Though you could make a case that Nevada and Illinois have much more homogeneous growth across the state.)

The data are even more detailed than just overall county growth: They’re also divided into the government, services, and goods sectors. The second map shows growth of real GDP in the government sector. Here, state borders do seem to matter in many cases, as county- and local-level government finances are in many cases governed at least partially by state-level funding decisions.

The last two maps show the services and goods sectors. The former reveals another patchwork across all states, with more uniformly strong growth in services in the West and Florida. The latter reveals weakness in goods production in the Midwest and the Mississippi Valley and stronger growth in the northern Mountain states, the West, and Florida.

How these maps were created: The original post referenced interactive maps from our now discontinued GeoFRED site. The revised post provides replacement maps from FRED’s new mapping tool. To create FRED maps, go to the data series page in question and look for the green “VIEW MAP” button at the top right of the graph. See this post for instructions to edit a FRED map. Only series with a green map button can be mapped.

Suggested by Christian Zimmermann.

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