Walz says the state of the state is strong but Minnesota’s GDP growth in 2023 ranked 43rd in the country

Speaking at his 2023 State of the State address, Gov. Walz heavily touted the many accomplishments of the DFL-controlled legislature in the 2023 legislative session, declaring that the state of the state is strong.

In Walz’s own words,

A generation from now, nobody will remember what silly fight was getting politicians in the news back in 2024. But the things we’re fighting for will still stand. Better schools like this one. Cleaner water and safer streets. Better-paying jobs and more prosperous businesses. A state that invests in our children and our future.

But does the data agree with this speech? Let us look at Minnesota’s economy.

According to data released on Friday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), in the last quarter of 2023, Minnesota’s real GDP grew at an annualized rate of 2.4 percent. Nationally, however, GDP grew at 3.4 percent. Minnesota’s rate of growth was the 38th highest in the country.

For the whole year, Minnesota’s real GDP in 2023 grew at 1.2 percent from 2022. However, nationally, real GDP grew at 2.5 percent — more than two times Minnesota’s rate of growth. Minnesota’s 2023 GDP growth rate was the 8th lowest in the country.

Minnesota also lagged on income growth. According to the BEA, in the third Quarter of 2023, personal income (not adjusted for inflation) in Minnesota grew by 3.3 percent in Minnesota. Among the 50 states and DC, Minnesota had the 40th highest growth rate in the country. Nationally, personal income grew 4 percent. For the whole year, personal income in 2023 grew 4.8 percent, which is also below the national rate of 5.2 percent. Minnesota ranked number 32 among the 50 states and D.C.


So, is the state of the state strong? As John Phelan has already previously noted, Walz’s speech is mostly focused on inputs and not outputs. But if we are trying to figure out if policy is working, we focus on the results.

Sadly, for the children, the state of Minnesota’s economy hasn’t been strong for a very long time, as the American Experiment has noted.

Sure, we have high levels of income. However, in the last two decades, Minnesota’s economy has lagged on income, jobs, and population growth. That trend persisted in 2023 as can be seen with the most recent numbers.

If the kids in Minnesota are going to thrive and have a future filled with better-paying jobs and more prosperous businesses, this trend needs to be reversed.