United Kingdom

Britain Would Be Second Poorest U.S. State—Below Alabama: Euro Zone GDP Per Capita Ranks Below West Virginia



Fraser Nelson over at The Spectator has crunched the numbers and finds that if Britain were somehow to become the 51st state (OK by me) it would the second poorest state in terms of GDP per capita, ranking below Alabama and just above Mississippi.

Would-be Europhiles might also want to consider that the oil state of Norway would rank 8th, Switzerland 21st, Germany and Sweden would vie for 40th place (below Michigan), and the entire Euro area would rank 45th just below West Virginia's per capita GDP. Ah, such are the glories of welfare statism.

Nelson was apparently prompted to make these calculations in response to the smug condescenion of anti-American commentators about U.S. economic inequality in the wake of the events in Ferguson, MO. As Nelson notes:

No one beats up America better than Americans. They openly debate their inequality, conduct rigorous studies about it, argue about economics vs culture as causes. Their universities study it, with a calibre of analysis not found in Britain. Americans get so angry about educational inequality that they make films like Waiting for Superman. And the debate is so fierce that the rest of the world looks on, and joins in lamenting America's problems. A shame: we'd do better to get a little angrier at our own.

Speaking of smug condescension, it is well worth your time to click over The Spectator and scroll down Nelson's rankings.

Addendum: Tim Worstall points out over at Forbes, if you apply purchasing power parity adjustments on a state-by-state basis, Britain would actually be the poorest state in the U.S., ranking even below Mississippi.