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As news about the economy and concern over the nation's fiscal health begin to dominate the national conversation, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released this map today, cheerily headlined "Economic Recovery Widespread Across States in 2010." And at a first glance, the numbers seem quite encouraging: GDP increased in 48 states and the District of Columbia last year. Real GDP growth by state grew 2.6 percent in 2010 compared to a 2.5 percent decline in 2009.

But the GDP growth of the recovery has not been evenly distributed. Northeastern states have fared best, while most states west of the Mississippi are in the bottom two quintiles. Nevada, often singled-out as one of the hardest hit states of the recession, and Wyoming were the only two states to experience a decline.

 

What spurred the overall rise? "Durable–goods manufacturing led the recovery in U.S. real GDP by state in 2010; it was the leading contributor to real GDP growth in seven of the eight BEA regions and in 29 states," the report says. Retail contributed to growth in every state. The return of finance and insurance helped states like New York and Connecticut grow. And while not a huge overall trend, mining contributed in a couple of points, helping North Dakota become the fastest growing state in 2010.

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