No states saw their real gross domestic product increase in 2020, but with a 4.5% drop, Wisconsin ranked 37th in the country for GDP growth in the past year, according to data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. 

The decline is the largest single-year drop in the state’s GDP in data going back to 1963. In 2008, Wisconsin’s GDP declined 1.3% and dropped another 2.8% in 2009. Measured in dollars, 2020’s decline sets the state economy back to about its 2017 level.

Wisconsin also had some of the slowest person income growth in the country, according additional data released earlier this week by the BEA.

Three sectors made significant contributions to the decline in Wisconsin’s GDP.

Predictably, the arts, entertainment, recreation and food service sector contributed a 0.84-percentage-point decline as bars, restaurants and other entertainment operations were forced to close during the pandemic. The accommodation and food service portion of the sector alone accounted for 0.6 points of the decline.

Health care and social assistance also contributed 0.63 percentage points to the decline. Even though portions of the sector remained quite busy caring for COVID-19 patients, hospitals and other providers were forced to delay and postpone other procedures.

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