Prior to the recession, Kentucky had often grown at a rate slower than the U.S. economy -- but that trend reversed in 2008.
Like West Virginia, Kentucky's mining industry has grown due to demand for metallurgical coal in rapidly growing countries like China and India. Plus, the housing market there held up better than in most states.
A rebound in auto manufacturing and government activity also helped the economy grow 3.2%.
Overall, the state still has a way to go before it completely returns to normal though. Kentucky's unemployment rate is still stuck at 10%.
Check this interactive map to see how each state economy grew (or fell) last year. More
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