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Understanding Maryland’s Economic Competitiveness: GDP & Exports

Aug 22, 2023

The information provided below is based on data from our 2023 Competitiveness Redbook. Please check back soon for an updated analysis of our 2024 data.

Data regarding Maryland’s gross domestic product (GDP) value, growth and exports provides helpful insights into our state’s economy, the major industries and sectors contributing to it and the strength and attractiveness of Maryland’s businesses and industries in the international arena.

While Maryland ranks highly for gross domestic product, the state’s GDP growth is ranked poorly, suggesting that the pace at which Maryland’s economy is growing is not as fast as most other states. In addition, Maryland ranks only moderately in regard to exports per capita and exports in millions.

Economic Indicator Spotlight: Examining Gross Domestic Product & Exports in Maryland 

What the data is telling us:

Maryland has one of the lowest growth rates in the nation for GDP, signaling a sluggish economic recovery that is a concern for businesses.

The data: In Maryland, the GDP data from 2021 shows that the state is ranked 15th in the nation for its GDP value, which is $438.235 billion. However, the state had a low GDP growth rate of only 6.7% from 2020 to 2021, ranking 49th for having one of the lowest growth rates in the country.

Why it matters: Gross Domestic Product (GDP) measures the monetary value of all goods and services produced for sale in a state during a given period and can provide helpful insight into how strong and healthy our state’s economy is. The data shows that Maryland’s economy is growing at a slower pace than most other states, ranking 49th in growth rate, and implying weaker consumer demand, slower job creation, and limited opportunities for business expansion. This may lead businesses to reconsider investment and growth plans in our state.

Maryland’s moderate export rankings signal untapped potential for economic growth.

The data: Maryland is ranked 37th for exports per capita and 26th for exports in millions, which demonstrates the state engages in international trade and has a significant volume of exports, Maryland’s competitiveness in this area is moderate when compared to other states.

Why it matters: Exports per capita and exports in millions focus on the state’s international trade activity, which serves as a significant driver of economic growth, job creation, and revenue generation from outside the state. Maryland’s moderate export rankings indicate competitiveness, but also show opportunity for Maryland to increase exports and create revenue, new business opportunities, investments, job creation, and overall economic growth for Maryland.

Key Takeaways

While Maryland’s economy is large and robust, lackluster growth and export rates point to the need for Maryland to further support high-value industries, emerging sectors and efforts to improve business competitiveness.

Maryland’s slow GDP growth suggests Maryland’s economic recovery from the pandemic is lagging other states. This points to potential issues like weak consumer demand, slow job creation, and limited business expansion.

Maryland’s top GDP industries are concentrated in government, finance, insurance, real estate, and professional services. Limited diversification may leave the state vulnerable economically.

Maryland’s moderate export rankings indicate the state is competitive globally but has untapped potential to expand exports further.

Data Sources: 

  • U.S. Department of Commerce: Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2021
  • U.S. Census Bureau, 2021

Additional Reading: