Report: California slips to world's 9th largest economy
Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy: California's Bay Area had a larger economy than Switzerland in 2010.
January 13th, 2012
08:20 PM ET

Report: California slips to world's 9th largest economy

California has long had an economy larger than most nations, but nominal growth has once again seen it slip on the top 10 list.

The state dropped to ninth on the list of world’s largest economies as measured by gross domestic product in 2010, according to a report this month from the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy.

Brazil, with a 2010 GDP of $2.1 trillion, took the eighth spot from California ($1.901 trillion). India was 10th, at $1.7 trillion.

The United States, including California, was top of the list at $14.5 trillion. China ($5.9 trillion), Japan ($5.5 trillion), Germany ($3.3 trillion) and France ($2.6 trillion) rounded out the top five.

The United Kingdom ($2.2 trillion) and Italy ($2.1 trillion) were sixth and seventh, respectively.

In the early 2000s, California was fifth in terms of GDP, which is the value of its goods and services. But slow growth – 1.7% annually since 2000, adjusted for inflation – has helped faster-growing countries catch up.

The U.S. annual growth rate of 1.6% during that period was slightly lower than California’s.

Stephen Levy, Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy director and senior economist, said the California-Brazil swap is more about Brazil rising than California falling. Brazil’s vast population advantage (190 million to California’s 37 million) and the increasing prices of commodities that Brazil exports are just part of the country’s rise, he said.

“There’s a number of countries that are embracing the technology that … has (been) developed, and they’re in a growth mode,” Levy said. "Exports and rising prices, yes, but generally they’re having great economic gains.”

Levy said California’s economy could soon surpass Italy’s, because of  a recession in Italy and a falling euro.

California’s economy is the largest of the 50 states. Texas ($1.207 trillion) and New York ($1.16 trillion) are next.

California’s 2010 GDP is a U.S. Department of Commerce estimate. The nations’ GDP figures come from the World Bank.

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Filed under: California • Economy
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. bobcat (in a hat)©

    So does that mean that after California seperates from the mainland after the big one, they'll be a third world country ?

    January 13, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Philip

    Nigeria could buy and sell California these days. (if California could even be sold given that states huge debt) I'll bet Californios are wishing that fmr. Gov. Arnold hadn't dropped that State's 50 billion dollar lawsuit vs. ENRON. Imagine the dent that 50 bil could have made in CA's debt profile.

    January 13, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. hamsta

    @bobcat here u are cracking jokes and thats exactly where obama(weve seen how u worship him)is bringing the rest of the states.

    January 13, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. bobcat (in a hat)©

    @ hamsta

    You are at least good for a laugh from time to time.

    January 13, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Philip

    @bob hat. The "big one" isn't the San Andreas faultline. You know that *HOLLYWOOD* sign? It sits on top of what used to be a 36,000 ft. peak. Over time and as the pacific plate moved west, that peak sank down to where it is today. All around that area, loose sediment filled-in arounf that peak. (ideal conditions for oil to pool) Even a minor quake centered there is more devastating than a major quake from the San Andreas faultline. The sediment acts like a spring and gets things really bouncing. Recently, minor 3.7 was able to bring down even the newest high-tech "EQ resistant" highway overpasses. And I doubt if pumping OIL out of the LA basin over the past hundred years has helped stabilize the area much.

    January 13, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. bobcat (in a hat)©

    @ Philip

    Yeah, I know man. I was just making a funny. And you're correct too about all the oil that has been pumped. The powers that be can say what they want, but that has got to have a destabilizing effect on the surrounding area.

    January 13, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Philip

    California wouldn't qualify as a thrid world country even if they did seperate. Not even third world countries are allowed to have public debt to domestic product ratios as out of whack as CA's. Come to think of it, the entire USA's punlic debt to GDP ratio is so hugely bad, the USA couldn't even meet the Eurpoean Union's minimum requirements! The nation of Turkey has a better public debt/GDP ratio than we Americans do! And now we owe more to banks for student loans than for credit card debt! Some Americans are even financing food these days.

    January 13, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Philip

    True. I'm still waiting on some comprehensive studies to be conducted showing if there is any link between sucking oil out of the ground for a century in that area and increased EQ activity.

    January 13, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. bobcat (in a hat)©

    Okay, then we'll just put them in a classification with like Haiti.

    January 13, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. banasy©

    The Govenator did that.
    Hear that, hamsta?
    And the Ahnold was....Republican.

    January 13, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  11. bobcat (in a hat)©

    Let me know what you find out on that subject. I would be very interested in knowing.

    January 13, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. bobcat (in a hat)©

    @ banasy©
    Girl, you crack me up.

    January 13, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      It had to be said.

      January 13, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. hamsta

    congradulations u global warming whackos have finally found something man might have caused.if u dont put something in place to maintain pressure it is theoretically possible to cause an earthquake.but if co2 is causing global warming make sure u make those bears in the woods buy carbon offsets cuz life in general is causing it.

    January 13, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. hamsta

    Al gore is really chicken little.the sky is falling but if u give me money ill make it stop.kind of strange i dont see him planting trees.ur third grade child knows al gore is ripping u off.are u smarter than a third grader?

    January 13, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bock Omama (R-Ohio) "The Lunatic Faultline"

    "Switzerfornicaion" "I'll have to put this on my insourcing list"

    January 13, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
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