Special Report

The Worst Thing About Every State

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Virginia
Worst thing: Worst minimum wage-sustaining a family ratio

Virginia has the worst ratio of minimum wage to what is needed to sustain a family of any state. The minimum wage in the state is $7.25, or 26% of what is needed to sustain a family. The hourly minimum wage in Virginia will increase to $9.50 beginning May 1, 2021.

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Washington
Worst thing: Most regressive tax system

According to an analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, the tax structure in Washington makes the rich richer and the poor poorer more than in any other state. The 20% of taxpayers with the lowest incomes can pay up to six times as much of their income as Washington’s wealthiest do.

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West Virginia
Worst thing: Highest drug overdose death rate

West Virginia has the highest drug overdose death rate in the country at 49.8 drug overdose deaths per 100,000 people — more than double the national rate of 20.6 drug overdose deaths per 100,000.

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Wisconsin
Worst thing: Highest adult excessive drinking rate

Wisconsin has the highest excessive alcohol consumption rate among adults of any state, at 25% of adults — well above the 18.2% national excessive drinking rate.

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Wyoming
Worst thing: Highest occupational fatality rate

Wyoming has the highest occupational fatality rate of any state with 11.5 workplace deaths per 100,000 workers — well above the national rate of 4.1 workplace deaths per 100,000 workers.