The chart above shows how North Dakota’s oil boom starting about 2007 (red line in chart) moved the state up by 32 places (from No. 38 to No. 6) in the annual ranking of US states by per-capita personal income (blue bars in chart) between 2006 and 2012. Before the oil boom started in the Bakken region of western North Dakota, the Peace Garden State regularly ranked No. 38 for per capita income, placing it in the poorest one-third of America’s states. But then, as the Bakken oil boom energized the state’s economy with energy-related jobs, income, and prosperity starting in 2007, North Dakota has moved from No. 38 in 2006 for per-capita income to No. 6 last year according to data released today by the BEA.
Thanks to the shale revolution, North Dakota has gone from the bottom one-third of states for per-capita income to just one place shy of ranking in the top 10% of America’s highest income states last year. And because the top five highest states for per-capita income (Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Maryland) are concentrated geographically in one part of the country, North Dakota now has the highest per capita personal income of any state in the country outside of the Northeast. The rapid rise of North Dakota from among the poorest one-third of US states in 2006 to the sixth highest state for per-capita income last year is further evidence of the transformative effects that shale oil and gas are having on the US economy.