You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 1:56 p.m.

Ann Arbor GDP grows in 2011 but lags behind state and national averages

By Ben Freed

The Ann Arbor area’s real gross domestic product increased by 0.3 percent in 2011 according to a report released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The growth rate put Ann Arbor behind both state and national averages, but was the regions second consecutive year of positive growth.


Manufacturing centers across the midwest showed GDP growth in 2011.

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

Michigan boasted the 6th fastest growth rate in the country in 2011, with a 2.3 percent increase in GDP. Holland-Grand Haven and the Detroit metropolitan area led the state, growing by 4.2 and 3.5 percent respectively.

Ann Arbor was the 9th fastest growing metropolitan area out of 14 that were measured in Michigan.

Every region in Michigan saw their economy slow in 2011. No metropolitan areas in the state had a shrinking GDP in 2010, but the following year six regions saw their economies contract.


U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

The Niles-Benton Harbor area performed the worst in the state, with GDP that shrunk by 3.1 percent, the 8th worst rate in the country.

In today’s dollars, Ann Arbor’s GDP is estimated at nearly $18.7 billion, making it the 115th largest economy in the country. The United State’s total GDP is estimated at approximately $13.4 trillion and grew by 1.6 percent in 2011.

According to an MLive report, a BEA economist said an area’s economic diversity was a key determinant for its economic growth rate. GDP ratings tend to favor metropolitan areas that manufacture and export in-demand items.

Detroit is the perfect example of how demand can effect an area’s fortunes. As the auto-industry has bounced back, Detroit’s GDP has grown by 5.4 and 3.5 percent the past two years after shrinking by 11.6 percent in 2009.

Ann Arbor has a more diverse economy, causing its GDP to fluctuate less widely than Detroit’s, shrinking by just 5.6 percent in 2009 before growing by 2.8 and 0.3 percent in 2010 and 2011.

Ben Freed covers business for You can sign up here to receive Business Review updates every week. Reach out to Ben at 734-623-2528 or email him at Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2



Sat, Feb 23, 2013 : 12:04 a.m.

Ann Arbor would be among the leaders in balderdash!

David Cahill

Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 9:57 p.m.

Once again - the "Ann Arbor area" means all of Washtenaw County. I do wish would mention this important fact in stories like this one.

Angry Moderate

Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 7:51 p.m.

How much of the growth was due to government spending? (Yes, that's part of GDP).

Macabre Sunset

Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 7:13 p.m.

This has to be a diverse recovery. According to Consumer Reports, Ford has declined in quality by an absolutely incredible percentage in the last couple of years. As it did in the '80s, that will catch up with the company. This is obviously how Ford dealt with not taking bailout money. We need many more sectors showing growth if we're to continue with this recovery. Fortunately, many of the barriers placed on companies during the last administration were removed.