Special Report

The Worst Thing About Every State

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New Mexico
Worst thing: Lowest high school graduation rate

About 71.1% of high school seniors in New Mexico graduate, the lowest share than any state. The national average is 84.6%.

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New York
Worst thing: Lowest homeownership rate

Just over half (53.9%) of the people who live in New York state own their homes. This is the lowest share of homeowners in the country and compared to a national homeownership rate of 63.8%.

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North Carolina
Worst thing: Unemployment benefits are hard to come by

Fewer than 10% of jobless people in North Carolina received unemployment benefits in 2019. In the first quarter of 2020, just 67.2% of unemployment applicants received benefits in a timely manner — both ranking dead last in the country.

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North Dakota
Worst thing: Lowest advanced degree attainment rate

Adults in North Dakota are less likely than those in every other state to have a graduate or professional degree. Only 7.6% hold such a degree. Nationwide, 12.6% of adults have an advanced degree.

Worst thing: Highest juvenile sexual-victimization rate

At 15.3%, Ohio has the highest rate of juvenile prisoners who report being forced into sexual activity with other prisoners or with prison staff members, more than double the 7.1% national rate.