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Gross State Product and Per Capita Income

How well is Florida's economy doing? What standard of living do the state's residents enjoy? Both of these questions can be answered to some extent by looking at Florida's gross state product and the per capita income of its residents.

Gross State Product
The Bureau of Economic Analysis within the United States Department of Commerce gathers information, analyzes trends, and releases figures on a regular basis showing the Gross State Product (GSP) of every state in the country.

The GSP is the gross market value of the goods and services produced within a state in a particular year. It is comparable in some ways to the Gross National Product (GNP), which is the dollar value of all final goods, services, and structures produced in one year with labor and property supplied by the residents of a country. Florida's total GSP went from $66 billion in 1977 to $491.5 billion in 2001. Florida ranks third in the nation in GSP behind California and New York, in descending order.

GSP is divided into general categories of business activity such as mining, government, and retail trade. The largest segment of Florida's GSP is the service component, which accounted for about $125,903 million. The smallest component was mining which contributed about $730 million to the GSP.

Per Capita Income
2003 Per Capita Income for the Southeast

One way to determine economic well-being is to look at personal income. Personal income comes from wages, interest earned, government payments, stock profits or dividends, and a host of other sources. Traditionally wealth has been measured by what someone owns, but today wealth is commonly thought of not only as how much a person owns but how much a person earns.

The per capita income for a state is calculated by totaling all the income in a state for a year and dividing that number by the population. Florida's per capita income in 2003 was $30,446.

Per capita income is an average. It does not show who earns the most money in a state or who earns the least. Per capita income does, however, give some indication of general income levels when compared to other states. A state's GSP can be compared to the nation as a whole. Residents in a state with a high per capita income are, as a whole, usually economically better off than residents in a state with a lower per capita income.