For Americans forced to combat the lagging economy, it may be better to live in the Midwest and Southwest than on either of America's coasts.
The fastest-growing states in America last year, according to a new report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, are concentrated in the Great Plains and in the Southwest, where natural resources have buoyed local growth. States like Oklahoma, which was particularly helped by growth in mining, Louisiana and South Dakota have seen growth rates that would put much of the rest of the nation to shame.
Unfortunately, and perhaps not surprisingly, states that relied on the manufacturing of durable goods and construction saw some of the biggest drops in local GDP. The BEA notes that one of these two industries was the prime cause of declines in economic growth in 34 states in 2009.
All told, 38 states saw declines in real GDP in 2009. Though GDP has been criticized for providing an incomplete picture of economic well-being -- including by Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz -- it's still the most widely-used gauge of aggregate economic activity.
Which states saw the biggest jumps in economic activity last year? Check out the fastest-growing states below:
With reporting by Nicole Hardesty