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In latest GDP growth by states, Florida lands in middle of the pack

Florida's real GDP ranked 29th among U.S. states in the third quarter of 2016, growing 3.6 percent — a hair above the national U.S. growth in real gross domestic product of 3.5 percent.

Finance and insurance, wholesale trade and information were the top contributors to U.S. economic growth in the third quarter.

Data released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis show Florida's real GDP rose in the third quarter of last year from its 2.3 percent pace in the second quarter of the same year. But real GDP fell sharply in the third quarter, the latest period that such growth figures are available, when compared to the 4.7 percent growth pace in same third quarter of 2015.

The lesson: population growth does not equal economic growth when a lot a state's economy relies heavily on low-paying and service-sector jobs. Real GDP measures the value of economic output adjusted for inflation.

Here's how Florida fared in real GDP growth rates compared to some other key states in the third quarter of 2016.

The rank of the top five states in growth were: (1) South Dakota, 7.1 percent; (2) Utah, 5.8 percent; (3) Nevada, 5.2 percent; (4) Colorado, 5.1 percent, and (5) Maine, 4.8 percent.

Five states ranked by GDP growth that often compete with Florida: (10) North Carolina, 4.5 percent; (12) Texas, 4.3 percent; (22) Ohio, 3.8 percent; (28) New York, 3.6 percent; (29) Florida, 3.6 percent, and (34) California, 3.3 percent.

The five lowest ranking states were: (46) West Virginia, 0.9 percent; (47) Oklahoma, 0.7 percent; (48) Wyoming, 0.3 percent; (49) Alaska, – 0.1 percent, and (50) New Mexico, – 0.1 percent.