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Counties won by Biden generated 70% of America’s GDP in 2018

Here is an interesting look at the economic geography of the recent US election. Similar to what they did for the last presidential election, Brookings has just analyzed each candidate’s aggregate share of US GDP broken down by the counties that they won. That’s what the above diagram represents. The blue and red tiles are showing the relative size of each county’s economy.

In 2016, Clinton won 472 counties with nearly 66 million votes. These counties accounted for about 64% of US GDP at the time. Trump, on the other hand, won 2,584 counties with nearly 63 million votes. But these counties represented only about 36% of US GDP. (Note that Trump won the election with fewer total votes. This is the electoral college at work.)

When Brookings published the above findings, votes were still outstanding for 11 counties. Most of them low-output. Still, Biden has won 477 counties with well over 75 million votes. These Democratic counties now account for about 70% of overall US GDP. Virtually every big economy county went to Biden in this last election. Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, and so on.

This is a big deal because it shows the great economic divide that exists in the US, as well as in many (most?) other countries around the world. This is the urban vs. rural divide. Places with very different economic bases and, therefore, very different sets of priorities.

Diagram: Brookings

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