Booming North Dakota leads the way again in overall economic performance, owing to the confluence of its energy boom, strong agricultural economy, and (perhaps surprisingly) well-educated young workforce. Two more energy-rich states, Wyoming and Oklahoma, also appear in the top 10. Texas offers the strongest economic momentum as the fastest-growing large state. High-tech and innovation fuel growth in Virginia, Washington, Utah, and Maryland, while Louisiana bounces back strongly in the face of economic headwinds to rank 8th overall.
However, blue states still do offer some advantages. For example, Massachusetts, New York, and Maryland sit at the top of the rankings for the “Talent Pipeline Index”, a measure of “higher education efficiency and attainment, the rigor of high school coursework, and the performance of the state job assistance system.” California is smack in the middle of this pack, and Alabama and Delaware are at the bottom.Take a look for yourself. The map of wealth and opportunity is shifting. It’s this flexibility and seemingly inexhaustible capacity for reinvention that continues to keep America globally competitive.[Map image courtesy of Shutterstock]