131 - US States Renamed For Countries With Similar GDPs

This map renames American states as countries with similar GDPs. It gives you a sense of just how wealthy the United States is.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a convenient way of measuring and comparing the size of national economies. Annual GDP represents the market value of all goods and services produced within a country in a year. Put differently:


GDP = consumption + investment + government spending + (exports – imports)

Although the economies of countries like China and India are growing at an incredible rate, the US remains the nation with the highest GDP in the world – and by far: US GDP was projected to be $13,22 trillion (or $13.220 billion) in 2007, according to this source. That’s almost as much as the economies of the next four (Japan, Germany, China, UK) combined.

The creator of this map has had the interesting idea to break down that gigantic US GDP into the GDPs of individual states, and compare those to other countries’ GDP. What follows, is this slightly misleading map – misleading, because the economies both of the US states and of the countries they are compared with are not weighted for their respective populations.

Pakistan, for example, has a GDP that’s slightly higher than Israel’s – but Pakistan has a population of about 170 million, while Israel is only 7 million people strong. The US states those economies are compared with (Arkansas and Oregon, respectively) are much closer to each other in population: 2,7 million and 3,4 million.

And yet, wile a per capita GDP might give a good indication of the average wealth of citizens, a ranking of the economies on this map does serve two interesting purposes: it shows the size of US states’ economies relative to each other (California is the biggest, Wyoming the smallest), and it links those sizes with foreign economies (which are therefore also ranked: Mexico’s and Russia’s economies are about equal size, Ireland’s is twice as big as New Zealand’s). Here’s a run-down of the 50 states, plus DC:

  • California, it is often said, would be the world’s sixth- or seventh-largest economy if it were a separate country. Actually, that would be the eighth, according to this map, as France (with a GDP of $2,15 trillion) is #8 on the aforementioned list.
  • Texas’ economy is significantly smaller, exactly half of California’s, as its GDP compares to that of Canada (#10, $1,08 trillion).
  • Florida also does well, with its GDP comparable to Asian tiger South Korea’s (#13 at $786 billion).
  • Illinois – Mexico (GDP #14 at $741 billion)
  • New Jersey – Russia (GDP #15 at $733 billion)
  • Ohio – Australia (GDP #16 at $645 billion)
  • New York – Brazil (GDP #17 at $621 billion)
  • Pennsylvania – Netherlands (GDP #18 at $613 billion)
  • Georgia – Switzerland (GDP #19 at $387 billion)
  • North Carolina – Sweden (GDP #20 at $371 billion)
  • Massachusetts – Belgium (GDP #21 at $368 billion)
  • Washington – Turkey (GDP #22 at $358 billion)
  • Virginia – Austria (GDP #24 at $309 billion)
  • Tennessee – Saudi Arabia (GDP #25 at $286 billion)
  • Missouri – Poland (GDP #26 at $265 billion)
  • Louisiana – Indonesia (GDP #27 at $264 billion)
  • Minnesota – Norway (GDP #28 at $262 billion)
  • Indiana – Denmark (GDP #29 at $256 billion)
  • Connecticut – Greece (GDP #30 at $222 billion)
  • Michigan – Argentina (GDP #31 at $210 billion)
  • Nevada – Ireland (GDP #32 at $203 billion)
  • Wisconsin – South Africa (GDP #33 at $200 billion)
  • Arizona – Thailand (GDP #34 at $197 billion)
  • Colorado – Finland (GDP #35 at $196 billion)
  • Alabama – Iran (GDP #36 at $195 billion)
  • Maryland – Hong Kong (#37 at $187 billion GDP)
  • Kentucky – Portugal (GDP #38 at $177 billion)
  • Iowa – Venezuela (GDP #39 at $148 billion)
  • Kansas – Malaysia (GDP #40 at $132 billion)
  • Arkansas – Pakistan (GDP #41 at $124 billion)
  • Oregon – Israel (GDP #42 at $122 billion)
  • South Carolina – Singapore (GDP #43 at $121 billion)
  • Nebraska – Czech Republic (GDP #44 at $119 billion)
  • New Mexico – Hungary (GDP #45 at $113 billion)
  • Mississippi – Chile (GDP #48 at $100 billion)
  • DC – New Zealand (#49 at $99 billion GDP)
  • Oklahoma – Philippines (GDP #50 at $98 billion)
  • West Virginia – Algeria (GDP #51 at $92 billion)
  • Hawaii – Nigeria (GDP #53 at $83 billion)
  • Idaho – Ukraine (GDP #54 at $81 billion)
  • Delaware – Romania (#55 at $79 billion GDP)
  • Utah – Peru (GDP #56 at $76 billion)
  • New Hampshire – Bangladesh (GDP #57 at $69 billion)
  • Maine – Morocco (GDP #59 at $57 billion)
  • Rhode Island – Vietnam (GDP #61 at $48 billion)
  • South Dakota – Croatia (GDP #66 at $37 billion)
  • Montana – Tunisia (GDP #69 at $33 billion)
  • North Dakota – Ecuador (GDP #70 at $32 billion)
  • Alaska – Belarus (GDP #73 at $29 billion)
  • Vermont – Dominican Republic (GDP #81 at $20 billion)
  • Wyoming – Uzbekistan (GDP #101 at $11 billion)
  • This map was suggested by Morgan via strangemaps@gmail.com, and can be found here. Please note that the GDP data used for this comparison are not necessarily the same as those used in compiling the original map.

    Update: Strange Maps is happy finally to be able to give credit where it is due. As was pointed out to us, this iconic map was conceived by Earl Fry, professor of political science at Brigham Young University, for the Globe and Mail in Toronto. Prof. Fry has since produced a number of updated versions of this map for the Canadian newspaper.

    Related Articles

    Major study: Drug overdoses over a 38-year period reveal hidden trends

    It's just the current cycle that involves opiates, but methamphetamine, cocaine, and others have caused the trajectory of overdoses to head the same direction

    From the study: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/361/6408/eaau1184
    Surprising Science
    • It appears that overdoses are increasing exponentially, no matter the drug itself
    • If the study bears out, it means that even reducing opiates will not slow the trajectory.
    • The causes of these trends remain obscure, but near the end of the write-up about the study, a hint might be apparent
    Keep reading Show less

    Why "nuclear pasta" is the strongest material in the universe

    Through computationally intensive computer simulations, researchers have discovered that "nuclear pasta," found in the crusts of neutron stars, is the strongest material in the universe.

    Accretion disk surrounding a neutron star. Credit: NASA
    Surprising Science
    • The strongest material in the universe may be the whimsically named "nuclear pasta."
    • You can find this substance in the crust of neutron stars.
    • This amazing material is super-dense, and is 10 billion times harder to break than steel.

    Superman is known as the "Man of Steel" for his strength and indestructibility. But the discovery of a new material that's 10 billion times harder to break than steel begs the question—is it time for a new superhero known as "Nuclear Pasta"? That's the name of the substance that a team of researchers thinks is the strongest known material in the universe.

    Unlike humans, when stars reach a certain age, they do not just wither and die, but they explode, collapsing into a mass of neurons. The resulting space entity, known as a neutron star, is incredibly dense. So much so that previous research showed that the surface of a such a star would feature amazingly strong material. The new research, which involved the largest-ever computer simulations of a neutron star's crust, proposes that "nuclear pasta," the material just under the surface, is actually stronger.

    The competition between forces from protons and neutrons inside a neutron star create super-dense shapes that look like long cylinders or flat planes, referred to as "spaghetti" and "lasagna," respectively. That's also where we get the overall name of nuclear pasta.

    Caplan & Horowitz/arXiv

    Diagrams illustrating the different types of so-called nuclear pasta.

    The researchers' computer simulations needed 2 million hours of processor time before completion, which would be, according to a press release from McGill University, "the equivalent of 250 years on a laptop with a single good GPU." Fortunately, the researchers had access to a supercomputer, although it still took a couple of years. The scientists' simulations consisted of stretching and deforming the nuclear pasta to see how it behaved and what it would take to break it.

    While they were able to discover just how strong nuclear pasta seems to be, no one is holding their breath that we'll be sending out missions to mine this substance any time soon. Instead, the discovery has other significant applications.

    One of the study's co-authors, Matthew Caplan, a postdoctoral research fellow at McGill University, said the neutron stars would be "a hundred trillion times denser than anything on earth." Understanding what's inside them would be valuable for astronomers because now only the outer layer of such starts can be observed.

    "A lot of interesting physics is going on here under extreme conditions and so understanding the physical properties of a neutron star is a way for scientists to test their theories and models," Caplan added. "With this result, many problems need to be revisited. How large a mountain can you build on a neutron star before the crust breaks and it collapses? What will it look like? And most importantly, how can astronomers observe it?"

    Another possibility worth studying is that, due to its instability, nuclear pasta might generate gravitational waves. It may be possible to observe them at some point here on Earth by utilizing very sensitive equipment.

    The team of scientists also included A. S. Schneider from California Institute of Technology and C. J. Horowitz from Indiana University.

    Check out the study "The elasticity of nuclear pasta," published in Physical Review Letters.


    How a huge, underwater wall could save melting Antarctic glaciers

    Scientists think constructing a miles-long wall along an ice shelf in Antarctica could help protect the world's largest glacier from melting.

    Image: NASA
    Surprising Science
    • Rising ocean levels are a serious threat to coastal regions around the globe.
    • Scientists have proposed large-scale geoengineering projects that would prevent ice shelves from melting.
    • The most successful solution proposed would be a miles-long, incredibly tall underwater wall at the edge of the ice shelves.

    The world's oceans will rise significantly over the next century if the massive ice shelves connected to Antarctica begin to fail as a result of global warming.

    To prevent or hold off such a catastrophe, a team of scientists recently proposed a radical plan: build underwater walls that would either support the ice or protect it from warm waters.

    In a paper published in The Cryosphere, Michael Wolovick and John Moore from Princeton and the Beijing Normal University, respectively, outlined several "targeted geoengineering" solutions that could help prevent the melting of western Antarctica's Florida-sized Thwaites Glacier, whose melting waters are projected to be the largest source of sea-level rise in the foreseeable future.

    An "unthinkable" engineering project

    "If [glacial geoengineering] works there then we would expect it to work on less challenging glaciers as well," the authors wrote in the study.

    One approach involves using sand or gravel to build artificial mounds on the seafloor that would help support the glacier and hopefully allow it to regrow. In another strategy, an underwater wall would be built to prevent warm waters from eating away at the glacier's base.

    The most effective design, according to the team's computer simulations, would be a miles-long and very tall wall, or "artificial sill," that serves as a "continuous barrier" across the length of the glacier, providing it both physical support and protection from warm waters. Although the study authors suggested this option is currently beyond any engineering feat humans have attempted, it was shown to be the most effective solution in preventing the glacier from collapsing.

    Source: Wolovick et al.

    An example of the proposed geoengineering project. By blocking off the warm water that would otherwise eat away at the glacier's base, further sea level rise might be preventable.

    But other, more feasible options could also be effective. For example, building a smaller wall that blocks about 50% of warm water from reaching the glacier would have about a 70% chance of preventing a runaway collapse, while constructing a series of isolated, 1,000-foot-tall columns on the seafloor as supports had about a 30% chance of success.

    Still, the authors note that the frigid waters of the Antarctica present unprecedently challenging conditions for such an ambitious geoengineering project. They were also sure to caution that their encouraging results shouldn't be seen as reasons to neglect other measures that would cut global emissions or otherwise combat climate change.

    "There are dishonest elements of society that will try to use our research to argue against the necessity of emissions' reductions. Our research does not in any way support that interpretation," they wrote.

    "The more carbon we emit, the less likely it becomes that the ice sheets will survive in the long term at anything close to their present volume."

    A 2015 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine illustrates the potentially devastating effects of ice-shelf melting in western Antarctica.

    "As the oceans and atmosphere warm, melting of ice shelves in key areas around the edges of the Antarctic ice sheet could trigger a runaway collapse process known as Marine Ice Sheet Instability. If this were to occur, the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) could potentially contribute 2 to 4 meters (6.5 to 13 feet) of global sea level rise within just a few centuries."