Update: EU vs. USA
From Political Calculations blog:
The Sweden-based free-market advocacy group Timbro compared the relative wealth of the nations of Western Europe against individual U.S. states. The key finding in Timbro's report was that:
"If the European Union were a state in the USA it would belong to the poorest group of states. France, Italy, Great Britain and Germany have lower GDP per capita than all but four of the states in the United States. In fact, GDP per capita is lower in the vast majority of the EU-countries (EU 15) than in most of the individual American states. This puts Europeans at a level of prosperity on par with states such as Arkansas, Mississippi and West Virginia."
Timbro's study was based on 2002 economic data, but since it was published, economic data for both 2003 and 2004 has been published. So, the question is now: what's changed in those two years? To find out, Political Calculations has created the following dynamic table comparing each U.S. state's Gross State Product (GSP) or each E.U. nation's Gross Domestic Product adjusted for Purchasing Power Parity (GDP-PPP) data for 2004, their respective populations and their corresponding per Capita economic data, which you may sort according to the column headings, either from highest to lowest value or vice-versa.
Bottom Line: If you click on the last column of the "US vs EU: 2004 Edition" chart, and sort it from highest to lowest, you'll find that Sweden would rank at the bottom of U.S. states (#49 including D.C), just barely above Mississippi and West Virginia.