9 states where insurance is the largest industry

24/7 Wall St. recently reviewed the largest industry in each state based on total GDP contribution from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Turns out “insurance carriers and related activities” is the biggest industry in nine states, when you exclude the real estate and government sectors. That trailed only “Ambulatory Health Care Services,” which was the leading industry in 16 states. The oil and gas extraction industry was the largest industry in eight states.

In the vast majority of states, the real estate sector is the largest contributor to GDP and was sector was excluded from the analysis, as housing is a universal need irrespective of geography and fails to illuminate regional economic differences. The government sector was excluded for similar reasons.

Many jobs are common across all U.S. states. Jobs like educators, food service workers, and government employees are necessary to sustain a population regardless of the state. But each state is also unique and has its own history, geography, and demographic makeup – as well as its own industrial makeup, with certain jobs and industries much more common compared to other states.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, U.S. P/C and life insurer employment totals 2.7 million jobs, a number which includes positions with carriers, agencies, brokers, and other insurance-related enterprises. The I.I.I.’s 2019 report, “A Firm Foundation: How Insurance Supports the Economy,” found Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contributions—$602.7 billion in economic activity was generated by P/C and life insurers, accounting for 3% of the U.S.’s GDP in 2017.

The largest industries in each state vary considerably in size. Vermont’s largest industry, ambulatory health care services, generated $1.5 billion in 2017. Meanwhile, Texas’s oil and gas extraction sector generated $197.5 billion in 2017 — more than the entire GDP of Montana, Vermont, Wyoming, and South Dakota combined.

Texas is home to oil and gas giant Exxon Mobil, the largest company in the state. Not surprisingly, many of the largest companies in each state are in the largest industry.

Here, from largest to smallest, are the nine states where “Insurance Carriers and Related Activities” is the largest industry (outside of real estate and government)

Illinois
Industry GDP contribution: $35.0 billion (4.7% of total)

Industry workforce: 116,559 (2.3% of total employment)

5 yr. Industry GDP change: +31.9%

Avg. industry salary: $98,414

Ohio

Cincinnati, Ohio
Industry GDP contribution: $25.4 billion (4.3% of total)

Industry workforce: 109,185 (2.5% of total employment)

5 yr. Industry GDP change: +47.1%

Avg. industry salary: $77,914

Connecticut
Industry GDP contribution: $18.3 billion (7.6% of total)

Industry workforce: 57,425 (2.1% of total employment)

5 yr. Industry GDP change: +8.1%

Avg. industry salary: $141,430

Wisconsin
Industry GDP contribution: $17.0 billion (5.8% of total)

Industry workforce: 63,710 (2.4% of total employment)

5 yr. Industry GDP change: +39.0%

Avg. industry salary: $75,163

Iowa

Industry GDP contribution: $16.8 billion (10.0% of total)

Industry workforce: 44,595 (3.4% of total employment)

5 yr. Industry GDP change: +51.4%

Avg. industry salary: $83,175

Delaware
Industry GDP contribution: $9.1 billion (14.2% of total)

Industry workforce: 5,595 (1.9% of total employment)

5 yr. Industry GDP change: +48.4%

Avg. industry salary: $86,134

Kansas
Industry GDP contribution: $5.2 billion (3.5% of total)

Industry workforce: 24,743 (3.2% of total employment)

5 yr. Industry GDP change: +27.9%

Avg. industry salary: $74,040

New Hampshire
Industry GDP contribution: $3.7 billion (5.1% of total)

Industry workforce: 11,870 (1.7% of total employment)

5 yr. Industry GDP change: +27.6%

Avg. industry salary: $87,686

Rhode Island
Industry GDP contribution: $2.6 billion (4.9% of total)

Industry workforce: 9,084 (1.9% of total employment)

5 yr. Industry GDP change: +37.5%

Avg. industry salary: $85,307

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