Although the delta variant of Covid-19 is once again weighing down the United States economy, many industries have recovered fairly well since last year. But in the long run, U.S. industries have experienced very uneven growth in output, with information industries, such as Internet publishing, showing dramatic growth over the past 20 years, while older commodities like manufacturing grew only 2.8% from 2000 to 2020 in real GDP. Using data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), we analyzed annual and quarterly GDP data to determine which industries saw their output increase the most, both in terms of value added and gross output. Read on to find out which places are on the list of US industries by GDP.
Industries with the highest GDP growth
For the purpose of this study, we analyzed the evolution of real GDP (using chained 2012 dollars) for each industry followed by BEA from 2000 to 2020, annual real GDP was used, hence the reason for which annual data for 2021 are not included as it is not yet available. Industries were analyzed in terms of absolute dollar change and percentage change. Each industry was rated in terms of 1-year change, 5-year change, 10-year change, and 20-year change, then the scores were combined and all industries were ranked. Dollar amounts are chained 2012 dollars to ensure year-to-year comparisons are apples to apples. Here is a look at the top 5 industries with the highest GDP growth from 2000 to 2020.
Data processing, Internet publication and other information services
The internet has come a long, long way since the turn of the millennium, hence the reason this industry has experienced the fastest growth over the past 20 years. From an annual real GDP of $ 72.8 billion in 2000, data processing, Internet publishing and other information services saw their real gross output reach $ 533.7 billion. That’s a growth of $ 460.9 billion in two decades, or an increase of 633.1% from 2000 to 2020, more than seven times more.
No industry comes close to the 633.1% increase in data processing, Internet publishing and other information services; but this is mainly because this industry was almost nonexistent in 2000 by later standards. On the other hand, the real estate sector was very present in 2000, so its growth is more important. Since 2000, the annual real estate sector GDP has grown by 63.7%, equivalent to an increase of $ 1.23 trillion, reaching $ 3.16 trillion in 2020, from $ 1.93 trillion in 2000 .
Looking back over the past two decades, the real estate industry’s biggest setback to steady growth occurred in 2006-2007. This shouldn’t be too surprising because that’s when the US housing bubble burst. In 2006, annual real estate GDP reached an all-time high of $ 2.51 trillion, before falling in 2007, 2008 and 2009, when it bottomed out at $ 2.41 trillion. In 2018, real estate GDP finally exceeded $ 3 trillion and managed to increase even in 2020 compared to the previous year, despite the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Insurance companies and related activities
The insurance industry has experienced substantial growth in gross output since the turn of the millennium. The real GDP of the insurance industry was approximately $ 514.7 billion. Now, as of 2020, its real GDP stands at a staggering $ 1.19 trillion. That’s good for 131% growth from 2000 to 2020, and therefore more than doubled. Like real estate, the insurance industry was seriously affected during the real estate crash and financial crisis, with the industry’s GDP growing from $ 757.6 billion in 2008 to $ 672.3 billion in 2009. The recovery started slowly, with GDP only reaching $ 677.4 billion in 2010, before the industry took off in the last decade.
Computer systems design and associated services
This industry has also experienced remarkable growth since the turn of the millennium, with personal computers and the Internet becoming ubiquitous. The computer systems design and related services industry actually experienced a net decline in real GDP from 2019 to 2020, from $ 510.9 billion to $ 509.1 billion. However, the growth since 2000 has been immense. That year, the industry’s real GDP was $ 189.7 billion, then declined a few years after the dot-com bubble burst, reaching a low of $ 183.9 billion in 2002. But since then, the computer systems design industry has grown steadily, even increasing the annual GDP. during the troubled years of the 2007-2009 financial crisis. The real output growth of this industry was around 168.4% from 2000 to 2020, much better than the GDP growth for all industries, which was 33% for the same period.
Publishing industries, except Internet (including software)
Publishing industries, including software publishing but excluding Internet publishing, fall under the broader category of the information industry; this industry group also includes data processing, internet publishing and other information services, which ranks first among the industries with the highest growth in GDP. The publishing industries have experienced solid and steady growth in their output over the past two decades. The financial crisis and the early years of the 2010s have strained publishing, but overall the industry’s real GDP growth over the past 20 years is 47%, from $ 288 billion. dollars in 2000 to $ 423.5 billion in 2020. The fact that this BEA industry understands software is likely a major contributor to the excellent growth in publishing output since 2000.
Top 10 industries by GDP growth from 2000 to 2020
Below is a table of the top 10 US industries that experienced the highest GDP growth from 2000 to 2020. You will also find the real annual GDP for each industry for selected years since 2000.