Comparison of the West Coast and East Coast Economy: A Summary
It would be the fifth-largest nation in the world if California were a country. In 2018, California’s gross national product grew by $178 billion over the previous year. 3
It depends on which comparison you choose to compare East and West. It depends on which comparisons you choose to make an East-West comparison.
The West Coast Economy
California is an economic triple threat. California is an economic triple threat.
Don’t forget about the wine industry. In 2018, California wine sales exceeded $40 billion. 9
California has also seen an increase in growth due to the financial service industry and rising real estate prices. Both have experienced strong growth since 2008’s financial crisis. 10
One other advantage of the West Coast is that it’s the gateway for international trade. Both Washington and California have important ports that facilitate trade between the U.S.A. and Asia. 11 As Asian countries continue to develop and become more involved in the global economy, these ports are becoming increasingly important.
The total California wine sales in the U.S. for 2018 9
Oregon and Washington should be included in any discussion of the West Coast economy. Both were among the top performing states in terms of GDP growth between 2018-2019. 12
As the home of Microsoft, Amazon and other businesses like retailer Costco or Starbucks, the Pacific Northwest has been a hub of technological innovation.
The East Coast Economy
Let’s start by comparing apples to apples.
New York State’s GDP was $1.7 trillion in 2019. This is far less than California’s $3.1 trillion.
It might be more sensible to compare New York’s metropolitan area to California, due to its sprawling nature across multiple states. According to the United States Conference of Mayors, New York’s metropolitan area had a gross metro product (GMP), of more than $1.66 Trillion. 14
Utah and Washington are the fastest growing states in terms of GDP at 3.4%. Rhode Island and Montana are growing at as fast as California at 2.2%. 5
However, the East Coast economies do not include the Philadelphia region, which is valued at $490 billion, or the Boston area, which is worth $486 billion. These three regions are nearly equal to California’s economy. However, they leave out some smaller but still important cities.
15 New York City is the financial capital of the U.S. and the world. However, these are not the only industries that are closely associated with New York City. The largest New York City businesses after finance, are professional and business services, information and retail and wholesale trade. 16
It’s no surprise that many of America’s largest corporate giants, such as JPMorgan Chase and Citibank, are located in New York City. 17
- California’s Gross Domestic Product was over $3 Trillion in 2019 3
- The East Coast’s total was about the same as when the four largest metro areas were combined.
- The presence of the largest companies on both coasts is increasing.
Take a look at the special considerations for East and West
The West Coast versus East Coast debate may no longer be relevant.
Google and Alphabet, its parent company are headquartered in San Francisco. However, Google has 8,000 employees in New York City. New York is the capital of banking, but Wells Fargo has its headquarters in California. 20
Bank of America’s headquarters is located in Charlotte, North Carolina. 21
California and New York are the two largest state economies in America, but there are also faster-growing ones. According to 2018 figures by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Montana and Rhode Island were close to California’s 2.2% rate of growth. Utah, however, had 3.4% growth.