For a state that usually ranks at the top of “lists” such as best places to do business, live, and much more, a new lone isn’t nearly as positive.

North Carolina isn’t hitting its weight in terms of economic strength. The state is the nation’s ninth largest in terms of population but ranks only 15th in economic power, according to a new study.

The new data from consumer information website WalletHub says our state ranks:

  • 24th in overall economic activity
  • 11th in economic health
  • 12th in innovation

Thus an overall score of 57.34, which is just behind No. 14 Arizona.

Interestingly, our state didn’t make the top five in a variety of categories, including startup activity despite the ongoing boom of new companies in the Triangle as well as Charlotte.

Washington came in at No. 1 with a 76.54 score, beating out California. The state that’s home to Microsoft and Amazon ranks No. 1 in overall economic activity, No. 4 in health and No. 3 in innovation.

The rest of the top 10:

2. California
3. Utah
4. Massachusetts
5. District of Columbia
6. Colorado
7. Oregon
8. New Hampshire
9. Maryland
10. Delaware


The methodology for the survey, according to WalletHub:

“In order to determine the best state economies, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across three key dimensions: 1) Economic Activity, 2) Economic Health and 3) Innovation Potential.

“We evaluated those dimensions using 27 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the highest economic performance.

“We then calculated the total score for each state and the District based on its weighted average across all metrics and used the resulting scores to construct our final ranking.”

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