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Data: EXography

EXography: North Dakota, Texas top state economic growth since end of the Great Recession of 2008

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Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce Maryland,Virginia,David Freddoso,Watchdog,California,North Dakota,South Carolina,Texas,Economy,EXography,Follow the Money

On June 17, 2010, Vice President Joe Biden famously declared “Recovery Summer” -- the season in which President Obama's stimulus package was to restore America's economy. It didn't quite work out that way.

Four years later, America has begun “Recovery Summer Five” with the dispiriting news that in the first three months of 2014, the U.S. economy shrank by an astounding 2.9 percent.

It was the first negative quarter in three years and the largest economic contraction since 2009. But in the time between Biden's declaration and last quarter's downturn, some U.S. states have actually prospered.

Others have languished with few signs of recovery.

Last month, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released its newest annual data on each state's real gross domestic product, running through 2013.

Among other things, the numbers reveal important insights into how each state fared in the period following the Great Recession — and possibly leading into the next one.

Although the U.S. economy grew by about $900 billion (or 6.1 percent) between 2010 and the end of 2013 (before last quarter's downturn), growth was not evenly spread out by state.

The accompanying map illustrates total growth in each state's economy between 2010 — the first full year after the recession's end — and 2013.

It presents a geographic picture of where there has been a genuine economic recovery, and where there hasn't.

The contrasts between states can be rather sharp. Sparsely populated North Dakota, in the midst of its storied oil rush, was by far the fastest growing of all 50 during this period.

The Peace Garden State's real GDP grew by an astounding 44 percent between 2010 and 2013 — including a massive 20.3 percent growth in 2012.

During the period in question, the state's oil production quadrupled, rising from 236,000 barrels per day to 976,000 last November.

Hyrdraulic fracturing -- also known as "fracking" -- in the Bakken Shale formation accounts for the tremendous economic expansion in the state.

Thanks to this growth spurt, North Dakota's annual economy is now worth nearly $50 billion and almost as large as that of Maine, whose population is nearly twice as large.

Poor Maine, meanwhile, had the slowest-growing real GDP between 2010 and 2013 at 0.4 percent. Traditionally a poorer state, Maine actually saw its construction and manufacturing sectors shrink last year.

The Wall Street Journal also reported in March that Maine's roughly 4,600 lobstermen have watched the per-pound price of their catch plummet by more than one-third since 2005.

Texas remained an economic juggernaut, expanding its real GDP during this period by 15.4 percent. The Lone Star State's economy was worth $1.4 trillion in 2013.

Much of Texas' expansion has been sparked by fracking in the state's rich oil and gas reserves, but significant gains have also been recorded in other industries, including manufacturing, finance and information technology.

Texas has been gaining rapidly against California, which nonetheless beat the national average with 6.6 percent real GDP growth and remains the nation's largest state economy at just over $2 trillion.

Also in the top 10 winners' circle for growth: Utah, Oregon, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Montana, Colorado, South Dakota, and Ohio.

Western and Plains states fared well after 2010, whereas most Northeastern states fared poorly. With the noteworthy exceptions of Virginia and Louisiana -- which, like Maine, hardly grew at all in three years, Southern states turned in mediocre performances, below the national average, with Tennessee leading the pack at 7 percent.

Nebraska's economy surpassed Mississippi's in size during 2011, even though the Magnolia State has more than a million more residents.

In the Mid-Atlantic region, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia all fared poorly in terms of economic growth between 2010 and 2013, placing in the bottom 10.

They can partly blame sequestration -- in 2013, BEA data suggest that lower government spending dragged down GDP growth in all three.

David Freddoso is a Washington Examiner columnist and former editorial page editor for the Examiner. He is also the New York Times-bestselling author of "Spin Masters: How the Media Ignored the Real News and Helped Re-elect Barack Obama." He has also written two other books, "The Case Against Barack Obama" (2008) and "Gangster Government" (2011).
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