Best- And Worst-Run U.S. States In 2012

New York City-based financial news and opinion organization 24/7 Wall St. has just released their 2012 list of best- and worst-run states in America. While they ranked all 50 based on financial health, standard of living, and government services data, 24/7 Wall St. declared the top 5 best-run states to be:

1. North Dakota
2. Wyoming
3. Nebraska
4. Utah
5. Iowa

The top 5 worst-run states are:

1. California
2. Rhode Island
3. Illinois
4. Arizona
5. New Jersey

Last November, 24/7 Wall St. named Illinois the 2nd worst-run state in America. Up to 3rd this year? High-fives all around the “Land of Lincoln” today. Here’s what 24/7 Wall St. had to say about Illinois this year:

48. Illinois

> Debt per capita: $4,790 (11th highest)
> Budget deficit: 40.2% (2nd largest)
> Unemployment: 9.8% (tied-10th highest)
> Median household income: $53,234 (18th highest)
> Pct. below poverty line: 15.0% (25th highest)

Although many states have budget issues, Illinois’ faces among the biggest problems. In 2010, the state’s budget shortfall was more than 40% of its general fund, the second-highest of any state. Both S&P and Moody’s gave Illinois credit ratings that were the second-worst of all states. In addition, the state only funded 45% of its pension liability in 2010, the lowest percentage of any state. Governor Patrick Quinn has made the now-$85 billion pension gap a top priority for the new legislative session beginning in January.

“$85 billion pension gap.” Make that $96.8 billion last I heard.

And as for Wisconsin, where I plan on moving to in a couple of years? 24/7 Wall St. ranked the “Badger State” the 21st best-run state in America this year- down from 16th in 2011.

You can find out where 24/7 Wall St. ranked your state this year by going here on their website.

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Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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