Unexpectedly Intriguing!
January 19, 2010

U.S. and EU Map, 2007 It's on! Again! Only now, instead of just pitting the nations of the European Union against the individual states of the United States, the ongoing battle for the title of being the world's top GDP generator per capita has erupted on a new front with two heavyweights from the econoblogosphere pitted against each other: Paul Krugman vs Mark Perry!

It seems that Krugman launched the first salvo by praising the economies of Europe:

The real lesson from Europe is actually the opposite of what conservatives claim: Europe is an economic success, and that success shows that social democracy works.

Since 1980 — when our politics took a sharp turn to the right, while Europe’s didn’t — America’s real G.D.P. has grown, on average, 3 percent per year. Meanwhile, the E.U. 15 — the bloc of 15 countries that were members of the European Union before it was enlarged to include a number of former Communist nations — has grown only 2.2 percent a year. America rules!

Or maybe not. All this really says is that we’ve had faster population growth. Since 1980, per capita real G.D.P. — which is what matters for living standards — has risen at about the same rate in America and in the E.U. 15: 1.95 percent a year here; 1.83 percent there.

[...]

The point isn’t that Europe is utopia. Like the United States, it’s having trouble grappling with the current financial crisis. Like the United States, Europe’s big nations face serious long-run fiscal issues — and like some individual U.S. states, some European countries are teetering on the edge of fiscal crisis. (Sacramento is now the Athens of America — in a bad way.) But taking the longer view, the European economy works; it grows; it’s as dynamic, all in all, as our own.

But is it really? Mark Perry takes a different view, arguing that Europe's socialist policies have noticeably depressed Europe's living standards, even in physical terms. So much so, that on Krugman's preferred measure of real per capita GDP, European nations compare only to the poorest of U.S. states.

And that's where we come in. We've updated our ranking of individual European nations with respect to individual U.S. states and constructed a dynamic table in which all the players can be ranked according to their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) adjusted for Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), population and their GDP-PPP per Capita for 2008.

We've put this data into the dynamic table you see below, which will allow you to sort the data in the table by clicking on the various column headings. Doing so will almost instantaneously sort the data in the table from low to high value or from high to low (by clicking a column heading a second time.) To restore the original order, you'll need to refresh this page in your web browser.

How do real living standards in Europe's socialist democratic economic powerhouses rank with respect to individual U.S. states? Scroll down and click the column heading for "GDP-PPP per Capita" to find out!

U.S. States vs E.U. Nations: 2008 GDP-PPP Rankings
US State or EU Nation 2008 GDP-PPP [billions USD] 2008 Population 2008 GDP-PPP per Capita [USD]
United States - All 14,165.6 304,059,724 46,588.10
US - Alabama 170.0 4,661,900 36,468.82
US - Alaska 47.9 686,293 69,812.75
US - Arizona 248.9 6,500,180 38,289.40
US - Arkansas 98.3 2,855,390 34,436.98
US - California 1,846.8 36,756,666 50,242.78
US - Colorado 248.6 4,939,456 50,330.04
US - Connecticut 216.2 3,501,252 61,741.91
US - Delaware 61.8 873,092 70,814.99
US - District of Columbia 97.2 591,833 164,294.66
US - Florida 744.1 18,328,340 40,599.42
US - Georgia 397.8 9,685,744 41,066.13
US - Hawaii 63.8 1,288,198 49,563.03
US - Idaho 52.7 1,523,816 34,615.07
US - Illinois 633.7 12,901,563 49,117.85
US - Indiana 254.9 6,376,792 39,966.96
US - Iowa 135.7 3,002,555 45,195.51
US - Kansas 122.7 2,802,134 43,799.12
US - Kentucky 156.4 4,269,245 36,642.54
US - Louisiana 222.2 4,410,796 50,380.48
US - Maine 49.7 1,316,456 37,759.71
US - Maryland 273.3 5,633,597 48,518.38
US - Massachusetts 365.0 6,497,967 56,169.57
US - Michigan 382.5 10,003,422 38,241.31
US - Minnesota 262.8 5,220,393 50,350.04
US - Mississippi 91.8 2,938,618 31,233.05
US - Missouri 237.8 5,911,605 40,225.45
US - Montana 35.9 967,440 37,098.94
US - Nebraska 83.3 1,783,432 46,692.56
US - Nevada 131.2 2,600,167 50,470.99
US - New Hampshire 60.0 1,315,809 45,603.12
US - New Jersey 474.9 8,682,661 54,699.36
US - New Mexico 79.9 1,984,356 40,265.46
US - New York 1,144.5 19,490,297 58,720.55
US - North Carolina 400.2 9,222,414 43,393.41
US - North Dakota 31.2 641,481 48,649.92
US - Ohio 471.5 11,485,910 41,050.99
US - Oklahoma 146.4 3,642,361 40,206.89
US - Oregon 161.6 3,790,060 42,630.72
US - Pennsylvania 553.3 12,448,279 44,447.99
US - Rhode Island 47.4 1,050,788 45,074.74
US - South Carolina 156.4 4,479,800 34,908.70
US - South Dakota 37.0 804,194 45,957.82
US - Tennessee 252.1 6,214,888 40,568.23
US - Texas 1,223.5 24,326,974 50,294.42
US - Utah 109.8 2,736,424 40,116.96
US - Vermont 25.4 621,270 40,951.60
US - Virginia 397.0 7,769,089 51,103.16
US - Washington 322.8 6,549,224 49,284.92
US - West Virginia 61.7 1,814,468 33,978.00
US - Wisconsin 240.4 5,627,967 42,720.40
US - Wyoming 35.3 532,668 66,288.95
European Union - All 15,311.2 491,018,683 31,182.49
EU - Austria 331.2 8,205,533 40,363.01
EU - Belgium 390.2 10,403,951 37,504.98
EU - Bulgaria 94.0 7,262,675 12,940.14
EU - Cyprus 22.8 792,604 28,715.47
EU - Czech Republic 264.8 10,220,911 25,907.67
EU - Denmark 204.1 5,484,723 37,212.45
EU - Estonia 28.0 1,307,605 21,436.14
EU - Finland 194.0 5,244,749 36,989.38
EU - France 2,133.0 64,057,792 33,298.06
EU - Germany 2,925.0 82,369,552 35,510.69
EU - Greece 343.8 10,722,816 32,062.47
EU - Hungary 196.7 9,930,915 19,806.84
EU - Ireland 189.0 4,156,119 45,475.12
EU - Italy 1,827.0 58,145,320 31,421.27
EU - Latvia 39.0 2,245,423 17,346.40
EU - Lithuania 63.4 3,565,205 17,774.57
EU - Luxembourg 39.5 486,006 81,212.99
EU - Malta 9.9 403,532 24,615.15
EU - Netherlands 673.5 16,645,313 40,461.84
EU - Poland 670.7 38,500,696 17,420.46
EU - Portugal 237.3 10,676,910 22,225.53
EU - Romania 272.0 22,246,862 12,226.44
EU - Slovakia 119.8 5,455,407 21,959.86
EU - Slovenia 59.5 2,007,711 29,630.76
EU - Spain 1,402.0 40,491,052 34,624.93
EU - Sweden 345.1 9,045,389 38,152.04
EU - United Kingdom 2,236.0 60,943,912 36,689.47

Sources and Acknowledgements:

The GDP and population data for the United States as a whole, as well as for the European Union as a whole, was obtained by adding up the state and national values we found for each. GDP-PPP per capita was found by dividing each region's 2007 GDP figure by its population estimate as of July 1, 2007.

Previously on Political Calculations

2007 Economic and Population Data

2006 Economic and Population Data

2004 Economic and Population Data

2002 Economic and Population Data

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