Gross Domestic Product by County and Industry


A visualization of real gross domestic product in counties by industry. Examples from Kansas included.

This interactive visualization presents annual gross domestic product (GDP) by county and industry. The source of the original data is Bureau of Economic Analysis, an agency of the United States Department of Commerce. I’ve gathered this data, performed some calculations, and present it in an interactive visualization. BEA provides these values as real, meaning adjusted for inflation. Data ranges from 2001 to 2020. I also incorporate BEA’s county population estimates to produce per capita values.

One of the calculations I performed is determining the difference between the value for a county and the nation. The most useful of these is the difference in per capita GDP between a county and the national value. If this value is zero, the county produces the same as the nation. This lets us place values in context: If per capita GDP for a county is $55,000, what does that mean? The value for the nation in 2020 was about $56,000, so that county is a little below the nation. Its difference is -$1,000. A county with per capita GDP of $62,000 has a difference of $6,000.

Table 2 of the visualization presents the county difference for an industry. It ranks the counties within the size group(s) selected. In the nearby example, I show values for all industry total, for the 141 largeest counties (population over 500,000). The time frame is 2010 through 2020. We see the value for Sedgwick County is negative $1,664. This means that Sedgwick County produces that much less than the nation, on a per capita basis, per year. (This is the annual average for the past eleven years.) If we switch the industry to manufacturing, the value is positive $7,760, reflecting the importance of manufacturing in the Wichita area. For the finance and insurance industry — something Wichita is not known for — the value is negative $2,335.

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Table 3 presents the differences for one or more counties by industry. I selected the three largest counties in Kansas and show a portion of the table. Considering the total of all industry, Johnson County has a large positive value, while Sedgwick and Shawnee counties are negative. Looking at manufacturing, we see its prominence in Sedgwick County. In the full visualization, we could see that Johnson County overachieves by large amounts in finance, business and professional services, and trade.

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To learn more about this data and access the interactive visualization, click on Visualization: Real Gross Domestic Product by County and Industry.

The news release for this data is Gross Domestic Product by County, 2020.


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