Comparison between Los Angeles metropolitan area and US States by GDP

I got the inspiration to create this map after seeing states with a smaller population tham Los Angeles County map. I had already known that Los Angeles County was one of the most populous counties in the US, but I didn't realize it had more residents than almost every US state with the exception of a handful. After some research, I discovered that Los Angeles county was in fact the MOST populous US county (10+ million people). As of 2017, almost 1 in 30 American lives in Los Angeles county.

Once you realize that Los Angeles county has a ton of people, it wouldn't surprise you to learn that the county's economy is pretty big too, which I discovered after doing some research. Los Angeles county's GDP was larger than all US states outside California except, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois and Pennsylvania.

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During my research, I found when it comes to estimating the size of Los Angeles County's economy, many people also include the economy of Orange County as well. This is because Los Angeles County and Orange County border each other and have intertwined services, industry, and infrastructure. Together they form what is known as the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the second most populous metropolitan area in the US after only the New York metropolitan area. But the more impressive fact is that the Los Angeles metropolitan area's GDP is larger than every US state outside California with only two exceptions: New York and Texas.

map of LA Metropolitan area's economy compared to US states

LA Metropolitan Area and US States' GDP (millions of dollars) in 2016

Rank State GDP
1 California 2,622,731
2 Texas 1,599,283
3 New York 1,500,055
4 Los Angeles metropolitan area 1,001,677
5 Florida 926,049
6 Illinois 796,012
7 Pennsylvania 719,834
8 Ohio 626,622
9 New Jersey 575,331
10 Georgia 531,302
11 North Carolina 521,621
12 Massachusetts 505,776
13 Virginia 492,932
14 Michigan 490,238
15 Washington 476,770
16 Maryland 382,437
17 Indiana 347,249
18 Minnesota 339,096
19 Tennessee 331,868
20 Colorado 322,644
21 Wisconsin 313,088
22 Arizona 305,849
23 Missouri 299,113
24 Connecticut 259,918
25 Louisiana 236,999
26 Oregon 228,886
27 South Carolina 209,859
28 Alabama 205,625
29 Kentucky 196,681
30 Iowa 185,183
31 Oklahoma 181,278
32 Utah 157,671
33 Kansas 150,576
34 Nevada 146,278
35 District of Columbia 126,478
36 Arkansas 121,383
37 Nebraska 117,446
38 Mississippi 108,495
39 New Mexico 93,594
40 Hawaii 84,671
41 New Hampshire 77,208
42 West Virginia 72,861
43 Delaware 71,453
44 Idaho 68,377
45 Maine 59,295
46 Rhode Island 57,529
47 North Dakota 53,453
48 Alaska 50,404
49 South Dakota 48,354
50 Montana 46,227
51 Wyoming 38,328
52 Vermont 31,091

You might also be wondering how Los Angeles's economy got to be so big (aside from having a big population). One reason is because the city has one of the largest, if not the largest, entertainment industry in the world. All six major film studios (Paramount Pictures, 21st Century Fox, Sony, Warner Bros, Universal Pictures, and Walt Disney Studios) are based in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. They rake in billions in revenue every year and contribute a significant deal to the region's GDP. But this is only part of the answer.

Although Los Angeles is famous worldwide as the capital of entertainment, the city's economy is in fact very diverse with a strong lineup of companies in many different sectors. They include the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach, the two busiest container ports in the United States. Some of the best schools in the world are located in this region including Caltech, UCLA, and USC. Tech/gaming companies have made a home for itself in the LA area as well and include big names like Activision Blizzard, Riot Games, Hulu, and Snapchat. And it would be a travesty to not mention Space X, whose headquarters are in LA and is one of the leading private space companies in the world.

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