U.S. States Compared to Country GDPs

The Strange Maps blog has an interesting map which has the 50 United States plus DC renamed for countries with the closest GDP.

USA Map States Compared to Country GDPs

It’s interesting and puts into perspective our enormous wealth.

Andrew Sullivan, whose post drew my attention to the map, sees something else: “The District of Columbia has the same GDP as New Zealand. Now imagine if no one in New Zealand were allowed to vote for their own government, and they were governed by the Senate in Australia as a colony.”

While I’m sympathetic to voting rights for DC (via retrocession rather than statehood, as discussed numerous times previously) the comparison strikes me as unfair. The 50 states are, after all, part of the same country. D.C. exists as a significant population base — let alone a major economic center — solely because it is the seat of the nation’s capital.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. I strongly suspect the average Chilean would not appreciate being compared to Mississippi.

    Then again, the average Alabaman probably doesn’t appreciate being compared to Iran, so I suppose it all balances out.

  2. Cernig says:

    Now imagine that all those countries couldn’t scrape up enough competent military and political leaders, enough resources and reconstruction experts, among them as could avoid having their combined asses handed to them by a rag-tag bunch of barbarians numbering only a couple of thousand in the hinterlands of Iraq and Afghanistan….

    Regards, C

  3. Triumph says:

    I love the irony of having Cheney’s home state equivalent to Uzbekistan. Of all of the world’s leaders Cheney most resembles, Islam Karimov tops the list!

  4. Anjin-San says:

    All that wealth and we can’t get everyone in to see a doctor once a year…

  5. davod says:


    I would suggest to you that if everyone wanted to see a doctor once a year they could.

  6. Anjin-San says:


    And I would suggest that you need to circulate beyond your own socio-economic group a bit more…

  7. Tim says:

    This is interesting. The Chicago Tribune did something similar in section 2 of the Sunday, June 17 edition. Many of the nation’s were different those listed here. I even did a post today with some lesson activities for teachers. I wonder who “borrowed” from whom originally?

  8. Christopher says:

    retrocession?!? What the heck r u talking about, James? Stop making up words!

    Anyway, I know that libs would love for DC’ers to have voting rights, because they are mostly all libs that live there! But what is the big deal? YOU CAN”T VOTE IF U LIVE THERE! End of story! If you wanna vote, don’t live there! How can that be made more simple?