According to research by the Editor at The Spectator UK magazine, if the UK became a US state, its per capita GDB would be higher than exactly one state — Mississippi. It would rank 50th out of 51 places, allowing for some duplicates due to ties. Norway would be the highest-ranking European country, at #7 among the US states. His calculations are dubious, in that per capita GDP is a sort of selective statistic, but by this measure the European economies don't look so great. His real point, though, is that, for the most part, the US treats its poor better than the UK does, and that Europe has no reason to point fingers or be astonished by events in Ferguson, MO. I'm not sure if Europeans have been astonished or felt superior, but Fraser Nelson seems to think so.
From the WaPo: Norway was the top European country on the list, between Massachusetts and New Jersey. Nelson wrote that the United Kingdom's low ranking showed Britain had "no reason to feel smug" about recent events in Ferguson, Mo.:
"The United States may be a great place to be rich, we like to think, but they treat their deprived appallingly over there. We tend to watch reports from poorer American states with a shudder, thankful that our country is run along different, more compassionate lines.
But if Britain were to somehow leave the European union and become the 51st state of America, we would actually be one of the poor states. If you take our economic output, adjust for living costs and slot it into the US league table then the United Kingdom emerges as the second-poorest state in the union. We're poorer than much-maligned Kansas and Alabama and well below Missouri, the scene of all the unrest in recent weeks. Only Mississippi has lower economic output per head than the UK; strip out the South East and Britain would rank bottom. We certainly have our problems; we're just better at concealing them."