5. Minnesota
fastest growing states minnesota
GDP growth rate: 3.5%

Minnesota had growth across multiple sectors, including manufacturing, construction, wholesale trade, finance, real estate and agriculture. Several nationally known firms are based there, including 3M (MMM, Fortune 500), Target (TGT, Fortune 500) and Best Buy (BBY, Fortune 500).

Construction may have benefited in 2012 due to, oddly, Minnesota's cold winters. Anticipating a housing recovery in 2013, builders started digging foundations and framing out houses in the summer and fall of 2012, according to Tom Stinson, a state economist. Minnesota's harsh weather makes outdoor building in winter next to impossible.

Related: Check growth in your state

Stinson also said Polaris and Arctic Cat, makers of snowmobiles, ATV's and other utility vehicles that are based in the northern part of the state, had a particularly good year.

"It's a pretty diverse economy," said Stinson. "When the economy grows, it's pretty broad-based."


  @hargreavesCNN - Last updated June 13 2013 11:54 AM ET
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State economies
5 slowest-growing states

Hobbled by a still-wounded finance sector, Connecticut is the nation's slowest-growing state.

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