Minnesota’s economy has grown more slowly than the national average in every year since 2014

The opinion pages of the Star Tribune have recently carried op-eds by a disgruntled conservative who is leaving Minnesota and a liberal bidding him “Good riddance.” Sadly, this latter contribution, from Avi S. Olitzky, is the kind of reflexive, fact-free boosterism that Sinclair Lewis skewered in Babbitt a century ago.

Mr. Olitzky claims to “see Minnesota as a place of robust growth.” He is, of course, free to claim what he likes, but the simple fact is that he is wrong.

Figure 1 shows the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rates for the United States and Minnesota for the last sixteen years. We see that in the eight years from 2007 to 2014 Minnesota’s rate of economic growth was faster than that of the United States in five of them. By contrast, Minnesota’s economic growth rate has been below that of the United States in every single year since 2014.

Figure 1: Real Gross Domestic Product growth

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

What changed? That is one of the big economic questions facing the state. Watch this space.