Wisconsin Lags Region & Neighbors in Economic Growth

Does a rising tide lift all ships equally? Not if the ship is Scott Walker’s Wisconsin. The US Dept. of Commerce recently released 2012 real GDP growth by state for 2012. (Real GDP is Gross Domestic Product, adjusted by inflation). For 2012, U.S. real GDP grew by 2.5%. The Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) divides the U.S. into 8 regions. Wisconsin, together with Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan, is part of the Great Lakes region. The Great Lakes Region saw real GDP growth of 2.2%, slightly trailing the overall U.S. real GDP growth rate.

lagging_growth_WI.jpgHow did Wisconsin compare with our neighboring Great Lakes states? The BEA data are as follows:

  • Indiana – 3.3%
  • Ohio – 2.2%
  • Michigan – 2.2%
  • Illinois – 1.9%
  • Wisconsin – 1.2%

That’s right – Wisconsin came in dead last among the states in the Great Lakes Region.

You may ask “But what about Minnesota? Iowa? Wisconsin adjoins those states. Wouldn’t that be a better comparison?” Good question, but alas there is no comfort to be gained there. Minnesota and Iowa are part of the Plains region. Their 2012 real GDP growth rates were:

  • Minnesota – 3.5%
  • Iowa – 2.4%

Time for a new Captain on the Wisconsin Ship of State?


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