However, some states seem to be more GDP-efficient than others. For example, Connecticut is ranked 29th in overall population and 23rd in overall GDP, but is the 4th-ranked state when it comes to GDP per capita (column G). In contrast, Alabama is ranked 23rd in overall population and 25th in overall GDP, but is the 45th-ranked state in terms of GDP per capita. Connecticut’s GDP over/under (column H) is +19 (23 minus 4). Alabama’s is -20 (25 minus 45). Connecticut appears to be a GDP overachiever, while Alabama seems to be an underachiever. Dollar for dollar, person for person, Connecticuters are contributing more to the overall national economy than Alabamans.
Huh? If you want to know how "efficient" a state's economy is, in the gross terms we're dealing with here, you can just look at the per capita number. All this subtracting one rank from the other is completely meaningless.
What's even more embarrassing is Ewan McIntosh and Doug Johnson chiming in to praise it.
Also, the states that have the highest per capita GSP is because they've either got a big financial sector or lots of extractive industries. Does banking require 21st century skills? I know mining doesn't.