How well run are America’s fifty states? 24/7 Wall St. took several months to consider that question. Hundreds of data sets were looked at ranging from debt rating agency reports to violent crime rates, unemployment trends and median income. Of those, they chose what they considered to be the 10 most important ranking of financial and overall government management. The best run state is North Dakota. The Worst is California. The standing of each is supported by their ranking in the data sets we considered, as are the rankings of all fifty states.
Debt per Capita: $2,694 (18th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.3% (32nd largest)
Unemployment: 6.0% (7th lowest)
Median Household Income: $56,322 (13th highest)
Percent Below Poverty Line: 11.3% (6th lowest)
Wyoming comes in second place in 24/7 Wall St.’s Best Run States. As a whole, the state is a model of good management and a prospering population. The state is particularly efficient at managing its debt, owing the equivalent of just 20.4% of annual revenue in fiscal 2010. Wyoming also has a tax structure that, according to the Tax Foundation, is the nation’s most-favorable for businesses — it does not have any corporate income taxes. The state has experienced an energy boom in recent years. The mining industry, which includes oil and gas extracting, accounted for 29.4% of the state’s GDP in 2011 alone, more than in any other state. As of last year, Wyoming’s poverty, home foreclosure, and unemployment rates were all among the lowest in the nation.
Click here to read more: The Best and Worst Run States in America: A Survey of All 50 - 24/7 Wall St
Wyoming’s Fiscal Responsibility
While many states are wrestling with how to close widening budget deficits, Wyoming lawmakers are determining where to park the state’s surplus. Wyoming is a leading mineral producing state and gets significant revenue from natural gas, coal and other minerals. The Wyoming state budget surplus is more than $1 billion. Recently reported by the Denver Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank, the current condition of Wyoming’s economic health and prospects for recovery look promising. Here are a few observations:
• After the contraction of 2009, Wyoming has added more than 3,000 jobs through August 2010
• Residential construction in Wyoming one of the leading states in the U.S.
• Population and labor force losses remain minimal
• Retail activity is improving
• Wyoming will well positioned for economic health entering 2011