No Pattern to Strong Economies? Yes! All Western States...
|English: Economic regions of California, as defined by California Economic Strategy Panel, October 2006 Northern California Northern Sacramento Valley Greater Sacramento Bay Area Central Coast San Joaquin Valley Central Sierra Southern California Southern Border (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
In the end, it is LOCATION. In particular, the states in the West and Southwest are the big powers of the U.S. economy. That's the only thing they have in common. Really.
Economic Power States for 2016-17 - All in the West.
The perennial leaders have been California and Utah, two states without a whole lot in common other than mountains, saltwater lakes and the tech industry. Texas kinda sorta belongs on the leader list, too, given that it didn't miss the 2016 top 10 by all that much (it came in 17th place), and it had the country's fastest-growing economy in the fourth quarter. So ... three states, two red, one blue. One of the country's highest-tax states (California), one of the lowest-tax states (Texas), and one in the middle (Utah). All west of the Mississippi. All economic powerhouses. Got a simple explanation for that?Having lived in the Midwest and Midatlantic, I can attest that nothing beats the West / Southwest for many reasons. Weather is a huge factor because it means you can fly and drive easily all year. That matters if you conduct business and need to fly or transport goods.
Space is another problem. There are empty spaces in other states, but some of those are "empty" lots, empty warehouses, empty factories. States and localities need to start razing the old crumbling cities, sadly. Pittsburgh, Detroit, Youngstown are all removing blight. That's a good start.
People have to want to live in a state. It's really that simple. More people, including immigration, help fuel growth. Shrinking states have shrinking economies.
And for those who say, "Move if you want a better job," the problem for the residents of struggling states is that many of those people cannot afford to move. They have worth-less (or worthless) homes, minimal savings, and roots in their communities.
Personally, I'd return West in a heartbeat. Taxes and cost of living are a consideration, but it's hard to offset the value of sunshine.