Best And Worst Run States In America

December 2, 2011 by staff 

Best And Worst Run States In America, To determine how well — or how poorly — a state is run, 24/7 Wall St. weighed each state’s financial health based on factors including credit score and debt. We also evaluated how a state uses its resources to provide its residents with high living standards, reviewing dimensions such as health insurance, employment rate, low crime and a good education. We considered hundreds of data sets and chose what we considered to be the 10 most important measurements of financial and government management.

This year, as a new component of ouranlysis, 24/7 Wall St. obtained additional budget data for each state. Examining the state’s revenue and expenditures, and what each government opted to spend money on, allowed us to determine if a state overspent limited resources, failed to devote funds to an urgent need of its citizens or spent a great deal of money but with poor results. While we did not use expenditures or revenue in our ranking, these numbers reflect how a state is managed. Together with other budget data, living standards and government services, it provided a complete picture of the management of each state. A fuller accounting of our methodology can be found here.

advertisementThe 24/7 Wall St. Best and Worst Run States is meant to be ananlysis that will focus the debate about state management and financial operations. Theanlysis should also serve to empower and inform citizens who want who want to better understand the impact government decisions have on each state.

The best run states

1. Wyoming

State debt per capita: $2,452 (18th lowest)
Residents without health insurance: 14.9 percent (21st highest)
Residents below poverty line: 10.3 percent (7th lowest)
Unemployment: 5.8 percent (6th lowest)
Wyoming comes in first place in 24/7 Wall St.’s Best Run States for the second year in a row. The state has high marks in many categories including high school graduation rate. A whopping 92.3 percent of state residents age 25 or older have at least a high school diploma — the highest rate in the country. The state also has the fourth lowest rate of violent crimes and the sixth lowest unemployment rate. Wyoming has the smallest population of any state in the country.

2. Nebraska

State debt per capita: $1,407 (4th lowest)
Residents without health insurance: 11.5 percent (14th lowest)
Residents below poverty line: 11.9 percent (tied for 14th lowest)
Unemployment: 4.2 percent (2nd lowest)
3. North Dakota

State debt per capita: $2,721 (20th lowest)
Residents without health insurance: 9.8 percent (9th lowest)
Residents below poverty line: 12.3 percent (17th lowest)
Unemployment: 3.5 percent (the lowest)

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