Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election, but won the balloting in regions that generate nearly two-thirds of the American economy, a new analysis shows.
According to the Brookings Institution analysis, the less-than-500 counties Clinton won nationwide combined to generate 64 percent of America's economic activity in 2015, the Washington Post reported.
The more-than-2,600 counties President-elect Donald Trump won combined to generate 36 percent of the country's economic activity last year.
With the exceptions of the Phoenix, Ariz., and Fort Worth, Texas, areas, and a large part of Long Island, N.Y., Clinton won every large-sized economic county in the country, the researchers found.
"This appears to be unprecedented, in the era of modern economic statistics, for a losing presidential candidate," the Post reported.
The last candidate to win the popular vote but lose the electoral college, Democrat Al Gore in 2000, won counties that generated about 54 percent of the country's gross domestic product, the Brookings researchers calculated.
The Brookings analysis found counties with higher GDP per capita were more likely to vote for Clinton over Trump, as were counties with higher population density.
Counties with a higher share of manufacturing employment were more likely to vote for Trump.
"This is a picture of a very polarized and increasingly concentrated economy, with the Democratic base aligning more to that more concentrated modern economy, but a lot of votes and anger to be had in the rest of the country," Mark Muro, the policy director at the Brookings metro program, told the Post.
The Post noted many state legislatures are divided on similar grounds, between higher-output metro areas and lower-output rural ones – pushing governors to press hard for economic development in lower-output areas.
"Such a dynamic could be an upside under a president who won votes representing only a third of the country's economy," the Post wrote. "To respond to his voters, Trump could push policies to help those areas adapt more rapidly to the changing economy."
The downside, however, might be that manufacturers have grown more productive in recent years and might not be adding millions more workers even if changes in trade policy result in more goods being made in the United States, Muro told the Post.
"We're going to have a lot of questions about how to translate the political geography into actually helpful policy," he told the Post.
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