No two states are exactly alike. Job market strength, economic productivity, and individual prosperity and security all vary widely from state to state. While some of these conditions can be meaningfully impacted by immutable characteristics like geography and the presence of natural resources, ultimately they are a reflection of leadership.
The U.S. Constitution grants state governments a wide range of powers. Safe streets, a balanced budget, and a growing economy can all come as a result of shrewd policy making at the state level. Some states have proven to be more adept than others at achieving these goals.
It is important to note that current economic and social conditions in a given state are often not the result of the work of sitting elected officials. High-level governing strategies and budget priorities can have consequences that extend far beyond the tenure of those who make them.
For the ninth year in a row, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed economic indicators, budget allocations, and state balance sheets, in addition to a range of social measures to rank how well each state is run. These are the best and worst run states in the country.