The State of America’s Economy in 15 Charts

The United States moves more money through its economy than any other country. Not only does it do a heavy volume of international trade, but the states operate as separate entities, further complicating taking a look at the U.S. economy as a whole. If you’re curious about where money congregates, what good economic value there is out there, or even which foreign countries receive U.S. dollars, then take a look at these 15 essential charts for understanding our economy.

How Does Your State Size-Up? One Diagram Comparing State Economies

We all know the U.S. economy is the largest in the world, with a GDP of $17.3 trillion, but just how much of this does each state make up? Using this map, you can chart each state’s contribution to the enormous U.S. economy. Whether you want to use this to choose your next career move, plan where you’d like to live, or just for fun, our informative and easy-to-read map can help.

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This Map Shows Where the 1% Lives

Curious about high earners in your state? Check out our map on the highest income by county to see just how much the richest few are earning where you live. Our scale goes between $0 - $10 million, so there’s a lot to learn based on the shading for each state. While it might be expected that high income pools in urban hubs like Washington D.C. and parts of California, the results for the rural center of the United States are especially surprising.

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Which Colleges Give You the Best Value for Your Money?

You don’t have to have children to wonder about college prices in your state. Use our map of the best possible colleges for the best possible price to decide where you might go to school, or pass it along to a loved one. One of the first major decisions one makes fresh out of high school is which college to go to. Using our article will ensure you make the best possible informed choice.

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The Boom of Women Entrepreneurs, in One Map

The passing of time often brings with it rapid, measurable change. One of the most amazing changes is just how many women entrepreneurs have started building careers and businesses in the last 9 years. Our map shows the places in the U.S. that have seen the most dramatic growth of women owned businesses. Maybe it will indicate which city would be the most welcoming to a woman’s “next big idea” and the revenue it can bring.

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Visualization of the U.S. States that Depend on Foreign Trade the Most

If our first map on the importance of states to the U.S. economy interested you, you may also be interested in our #5 map choice detailing how much the U.S. states perform and depend on international trade. The percent of foreign trade is represented in relation to the total GDP of the state to further assert just how big an individual percentage is in context.

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How Much of your State's Debt Rests on your Shoulders

A mirror to trade is debt, and how much each U.S. state currently holds. This may affect just how much money each state has to do public works projects, and how well kempt various parts of the state’s infrastructure may be, so this is an important thing to keep in mind. The larger the state, the larger its debt - and you’ll be surprised just who ranks first and last.

Believe It or Not - the Richest Americans DO Pay Most of the Federal Income Tax

This comparative look at the federal taxes paid in the United States may just ease your mind about the current income gap. It turns out that the rich pay 39.5% of all taxes in the U.S., coming in at $281.51 billion each year. If you want to know where you fall on the tax spectrum, take a look at our informative graph and see just how much you contribute to the tax pool.

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See Where Immigrants Out-earn U.S. Born Citizens

Immigration is a hot-button issue right now, given the recent happenings in the United States. There is a lot of speculation that immigrants are arriving and taking the jobs intended for U.S. Born citizens. Our math shows a very surprising outcome for these ideas based on hard evidence from the U.S. Census Bureau. If you’ve ever wondered about just how tangible the American Dream is to people who weren’t born here, then this article will fascinate you.

The Fall and Rise of the U.S. Economy, from the Wall Street Crash until Now

It seems like the common narrative these days is a broken and struggling U.S. economy. While things may not have returned to the lucrative times before the Wall Street Crash leading to the Great Depression, or the more recent stock market crash from the early 2000s, the U.S. economy is actually trending upward steadily, and has been over many years. Follow the link to read our article on just how the U.S. economy has progressed forward from the 1930s.

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The U.S. Spends $5.9 Billion on Foreign Military Financing. Guess What 2 countries received 75% of the Total....

It’s no secret that America participates in a lot of international affairs, both celebratory and conflicting. However, with a budget of $5.9 Billion each year for foreign military funding, it seems important to keep an eye on just which countries are receiving money, and how much. It may seem obvious who most would expect to be in the #1 slot for military donations, but I can promise that you will be shocked by the results if you check our color-coded map.

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Unprecedented Spending Trends in America, in One Chart

From paycheck to paycheck, each dollar we spend in the U.S. can be accounted for and charted as a trend over the course of history. In this map, we show spending over some of the most prominent eras of American history, beginning in 1941 and ending in 2014. Typical areas of spending, like housing, food, and healthcare are all present, but which order they fall in, and the other items on the list are surprising! If you’ve ever wanted to see what the Average American spends their hard earned money on, look no farther.

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See Who is Bringing Offshore Money into the U.S

If our #5 entry on just how much states depend on international trade interested you, then this article coming in at #12 will too. This graphic details just how much some of the biggest global players put back into the U.S. economy. Each flag corresponds to the size of the influence. Our former neighbors and heritage partners in the United Kingdom come in first place of course, but there are definitely some major surprise players in what’s happening in our trade scene.

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The Majority of Millennials Have $1,000 or Less in Savings

It seems a little bleak to follow up our #9 entry promising just how well the U.S. economy is doing with this hard truth about Millennial saving habits, but it’s a necessary truth nonetheless. Not only does the graphic show the percentage of Millennials saving between $1000 and $20,000, but it further breaks down which income brackets for this demographic is doing the majority of the saving. If you like to see just how well you’re keeping up with your generation, or if you’re curious how the younger generations live, then give this article a read.

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This 3D Map Shows How Much You Must Earn to Buy a Home in 27 Major U.S. Metros

We’ve talked a lot about the American Dream in this top 15 list, and nothing makes that Dream seem both more and less attainable than our #14 entry detailing just what kind of income you’ll need to buy a home in 27 big U.S. cities. For those starting a family, this map is absolutely vital when choosing where to move and where to accept work if homeownership is your goal. If you have no need to own a home, then pass our map along to someone you know who does and give them the edge they need to make a great choice for the long term.

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Visualising U.S. Exports & Imports

Coming in with another trade entry, our last article details which foreign countries we trade with own just how much of the national deficit, totaling at $735 billion at the time of publication. The obvious front runner based on anxious news coverage is China, but the nation coming in at the #2 slot is a sizeable surprise. Having an idea who we are trading most with as a nation and who owns our debt is a good idea to inform smart shopping and buying local.


Read the full article has made many changes since the beginning of the year, and we look forward to changing even more to keep bringing our audience the best possible financial articles and graphics. Our picks focused a lot on how America has grown as a nation and how its citizens move money.

What did you think of our maps? Did you have a personal favorite not covered in this list? If you want to tell us your favorite, or want us to cover something in the future, leave us a comment. Be sure and subscribe to our email updates to stay up-to-date on the latest postings.

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