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Los Angeles had the largest county GDP in 2018. Photo: Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images

32.3% of U.S. gross domestic product was concentrated in just 31 counties in 2018, according to government data reviewed by Bloomberg.

Why it matters: All 31 counties included or were near major U.S. cities, signaling that the economy is concentrating in urban areas as economic output from more rural counties is dwindling.

By the numbers: The 31 counties accounted for 26.1% of employed Americans in the country and only 21.9% of the total U.S. population last year. The counties' combined share of GDP continued to rise last year even though their share of the overall population fell.

  • Los Angeles County, which has a GDP equivalent to Saudi Arabia, had the largest county GDP in 2018, adding $395.2 billion to total U.S. GDP from 2001 to 2018.
  • New York City's five counties generated 4.8% of U.S. GDP in 2018, and New York County, home to Manhattan, added $340 billion to total U.S. GDP from 2001 to 2018.

The big picture: U.S. industries are also becoming increasingly concentrated in a few counties. Nearly three-fifths of the information sector's output came from just a few dozen counties — many of which were on or near the West Coast and home to tech giants like Apple, Google and Amazon.

  • The New York City region dominated in national finance, and Los Angeles held the top spot in the arts and entertainment industry.
  • Meanwhile, the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sectors continued to decentralize.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Pelosi calls raising the debt ceiling a bipartisan responsibility

Photo: Samuel Corum/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) issued a "dear colleague" statement Sunday evening, calling on Congress to act in a bipartisan manner to raise the nation's debt ceiling.

Why it matters: Congress is fast approaching an October deadline to raise the nation's debt ceiling and avoid a government shutdown. But the issue has become a thorny partisan stand-off.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Beto not even best Dem against Abbott

Beto O'Rourke speaks at a rally at the Texas State Capitol in June. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Actor Matthew McConaughey’s nine-point lead in a theoretical matchup against Greg Abbott shows just how vulnerable the hard-right Texas governor could be in a general election.

Why it matters: Abbott has won conservative accolades for his abortion, mask and vaccine bans. Axios reported Sunday that former Rep. Beto O’Rourke is preparing to announce a gubernatorial challenge — but a recent poll shows he’s not even the most popular Democrat in the state.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Delayed maps upend midterm campaigns

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Midterm candidates are panicking about how the congressional maps will ultimately be drawn, with several strategists telling Axios campaigns are in limbo.

Why it matters: Candidates are unsure if the district they're targeting will remain intact or be reshaped by the process. The uncertainty is especially vexing to Democrats, who are vying to maintain their narrow margin in the House.