between 2009 and 2014, the Silicon Valley metro areas – a region that accounts for just 1/5th of the state’s population – accounted for 50% of California’s private industry real GDP growth.
a far more accurate assessment of [California’s] economy, [Richard] Rider writes, would be per capita GDP as compared to the rest of the country. After adjusting the GDP figures to account for the cost of living (COL), the Golden State ends up with a paltry 37th place ranking within the U.S.A., with a $45,696 per capital GDP. Even rustbelt states, such as Michigan and Ohio, have a higher adjusted per capita GDP.
There are parts of California where adjusting for the cost of living makes incomes lower than they might otherwise appear to be. Other parts of California have low incomes, but this is alleviated slightly by a lower cost of living.
It is difficult to think of California as a homogeneous economy with a single GDP factory. It is even more problematic to try to look at the entire United States through that lens.