If States Were Nations

California contributes approximately 14% of of the US GDP. If it were a nation its economy would rank just behind China’s and Italy’s for size.

New South Wales contributes 33.1% of Australian GDP. Victoria is next with 24.2%, Queensland with 18.9% and Western Australia with 12.3%. The remainder are in single figures.

If New South Wales was a nation it would be the 28th largest economy on the planet; bigger than South Africa or Greece and rivaling Poland, Austria and Norway.

I have put NSW and California on a graph in red. A larger version of the graph can be viewed here.

It makes you wonder why NSW puts up with so much centralisation from the federal government.

PM Quiz

Since the above is a short post answer these questions on birthplace and Australian Prime Ministers:

  1. How many Prime Ministers have been born in Queensland?
  2. Name the Prime Minister born in Tasmania.
  3. Have more Prime Ministers been born in Chile or Western Australia?
  4. Have more Prime Ministers been born in Scotland, England or South Australia?
  5. How many Prime Ministers have been born in NSW?
  6. How many Prime Ministers have been born in Victoria?*

* assume Gorton was born in Melbourne.

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Down and Out of S
14 years ago

It’s sounding like an idea for yet another Wikipedia “List Of…”. They already have lists of country subdivisions by area and population, so why not nominal GDP?

(NSW comes in at number 20 and 130, respectively.)

Andrew Reynolds
14 years ago

If we all just seceded from the Commonwealth we may all be better off. I suspect WA would be.

Mark U
Mark U
14 years ago

There are around 14 US states that are bigger than NSW and if you looked at the regions of China, Japan and UK it would push NSW down any sensible ranking even further.

Dave Bath
14 years ago

Excellent pointers to maps following this idea (not only GDP but life expectancy) this post at Strange Maps and following on from this.

(When Oz is mapped by GDP or life expectancy, we end up near the “Great Lakes” states in the north/west of the US)

Tom N.
Tom N.
14 years ago

ECONOMIC ACTIVITY vs GDP

CAM said:

If New South Wales was a nation it would be the 28th largest economy on the planet; bigger than South Africa…

Sorry (sort of) to quibble, but I suspect that this is incorrect, given the far larger black economy and household sector in South Africa than in Australia – acreas of activity that do not find their way into GDP stats.

The Happy Revolutionary

Given that mining only accounts for something like 4% of Australia’s GDP, perhaps the next election would look a little brighter if WA were forced to secede from Australia.

Yobbo
Yobbo
14 years ago

Have fun starving to death without us.

Yobbo
Yobbo
14 years ago

Australia: Riding on WA’s Back for 180 years and counting.

Gummo Trotsky
14 years ago

You’re out by about 74 years there, Yobbo.

WA – sponging off the rest of us and bitching about it for 106 years. And counting.

Andrew Reynolds
14 years ago

Gummo,
Our farmers and miners had to pay massive tariffs for decades to support (inter alia) the (American owned) car industry over East. Successive brilliant Canberra governments thought we did not have enough iron ore, so banned its export. I could go on, but you will ignore me anyway.
NSW and Victoria – to suffused in their own imagined brilliance to even have the wit to imagine they might be useless.

bigcahunaau
bigcahunaau
14 years ago

Hey Yobbo, all we hear from east of Kal is white noise right? (and you certainly get nothing on broadband).
Hopefully the Australian Federation will work like our labour contracts, last on first off!
PS: note for peasants; when being chased by a new australian army tank, run across a bridge, it will not follow.

Mr G. H. Schorel-Hlavka

Anyone really interested in LEGAL FACTS rather then LEGAL FICTION can always log on to my website http://www.schorel-hlavka.com or my blog at

http://au.360.yahoo.com/profile-ijpxwMQ4dbXm0BMADq1lv8AYHknTV_QH
OK you might just discover that the Framers of the Constitution held that the colonies themselves were regarded countries and that there is no such country as the Commonwealth of Australia as it is not even a dominion as it is a POLITICAL UNION. Therefore forget about handing in AUSTRALIAN CITIZENSHIP as a NATIONALITY, as it doesnt exist as such, it is a POLITICAL STATUS.
And there is a lot more to this, as set out on my blog and website.
And, if the High Court of Australia was deemed to be right about the Australia Act 19086 (I do not agree with it) then forget about the Commonwealth of Australia existing as it doesnt either. As the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (UK) federated the colonies but the Australia Act purports to be a federation under the Queen of Australia, a non existing country!
As for the contribution of States, well anyone ever has read Section 94 of the constitution?
If that was followed we all would be a lot better of, in particular if all the ex politicians who are getting, so to say, tax free job-for-the-mates were charged tax as is constitutionally required.
The Constitution is there but just the politicians couldnt care less about it.

Didnt the Framers of the constitution state;
HANSARD 11-3-1891 Constitution Convention Debates
Mr. CLARK:
Representative government is not an expedient or a makeshift to obviate the necessity of having every man brought into one chamber to give his vote; but it is a substantial institution devised for the special purpose of endeavouring, so far as possible, to get the intelligence and the judgment of the community to decide what shall, and what shall not, be law, and not simply to count mere heads.
?
Well, if just we could manage this after more then 100 years we would get there.

wilful
wilful
14 years ago

How you going with that, Mr G.H.? Gotten anywhere useful, ever?

Andrew, what, do the eastern states not have farmers or miners either? Quite a few more farmers than WA, and historically just as many or more miners. Though they’re all whining special interest groups. Fine, bugger off sandgropers, you’d be missed less than you think.

trackback

[…] That they supported the eastern car manufacturing with tariffs on coal and iron ore! That our cricket and rugby teams would be crap without Western Australian speed. See its folds flung wide And the challenge cried “On to conquer ride, “Wave o’er Westralia free!” […]

trackback

[…] crazy westralians. Telling us we would starve without them. Plains of our pastures boundless, Seas of our rainbow’d pearl, Destiny is your breezes […]

Mark
Mark
14 years ago

Mining contributes about 35% of total exports from Australia, and about 48%* of mining and petroleum production comes from Western Australia – so assuming WA exports all it’s mining, which seems unlikely, WA mining accounts for about 17% of exports – slightly more than it’s fair share, if we count all states as equal.

But all states are not equal — WA’s land area represents 34% of the total area of Australia. So based only on mining output, WA is substantially underperforming when compared to land available to the rest of the country – it is about half as productive as the rest of the country. Let’s not even talk about WA’s very low contribution to overall GDP (5%).

It’s little wonder there’s so much money being sunk into WA, since there is obviously a lot of room to improve.

Somehow, I think we in the east would survive without them.

* HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES INQUIRY INTO RESOURCES EXPLORATION IMPEDIMENTS August 2002

Mark
Mark
14 years ago

Oops, my bad, WA’s GSP is about 11% of the total for Australia. Still a long way to go folks!

Yobbo
Yobbo
14 years ago

So Mark, what you’re saying is that 5% of Australia’s population contributes 11% of Australia’s GDP?

nonpartial observer
nonpartial observer
13 years ago

That is the point yobbo … exactly … consider contributions on a per capita basis …

ps. was there an announcement this week by Rudd that the whole of australia will feel the fallout from the NW gas explosion ?? Why is that ??? How can such a small inconsequential state such as WA have any effect on the rest of Australia — something doesnt add up …