Economic growth is more than just a number. It’s an investment in the people, families, businesses, and communities who provide and stand to benefit from all of the goods and services produced throughout the state.

The Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) measures how well our economy performs each year in producing economic, social, and environmental gains. And, importantly it gives us a view into the costs or losses being experienced to help improve planning and decision-making about our policy and programmatic investments.

Commerce collaborated with academics and consultants to develop the Washington GPI as a pilot project. Washington is the third state to adopt a GPI, behind Maryland and Vermont.

The below figure shows how Washington’s GPI compares to the traditional measure of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Major drivers or costs to the state’s economy responsible for the growing gap between GDP and GPI beginning in 1985 are due to increases in income inequality, nonrenewable energy resource depletion, commuting and lost leisure time.

Percent Change in Washington's Per Capita GPI and GDP, 1960-2015 (2009$)

percent change in Washington's Per Capita GPI and GDP, 1960-2015

Washington GPI Indicators

All 26 individual metrics within the GPI are drawn from publicly available data sources.

Economic

  • Personal Consumption Expenditures
  • Income Inequality
  • Adjusted Personal Consumption
  • Value of Consumer Durables
  • Cost of Consumer Durables
  • Cost of Underemployment
  • Net Capital Investment

Environmental

  • Cost of Water Pollution
  • Cost of Air Pollution
  • Cost of Noise Pollution
  • Cost of Net Wetland Change
  • Cost of Net Farmland Change
  • Cost of Net Forest Cover Change
  • Cost of Climate Change
  • Cost of Ozone Depletion
  • Cost of Nonrenewable Energy Resource Depletion

Social

  • Value of Housework
  • Cost of Housing Instability
  • Cost of Crime
  • Cost of Personal Pollution Abatement
  • Value of Volunteer Work
  • Cost of Lost Leisure Time
  • Value of Higher Education
  • Value of Highways and Streets
  • Cost of Commuting
  • Cost of Motor Vehicle Crashes