Best and Worst State Economies

July 19, 2017
Kaitlynn Ely

Do you live in a state with a terrible economy? We hope not. Find out whether where you're living has one of the best state economies or one of the worst.

The U.S. economy is the largest in the world, adding up to an enormous $18 trillion. Each state has unique industries and characteristics that both assist or inhibit the growth of the American economy due to unemployment or unpaid debt.

Wallethub, a website that offers financial tips, analyzed the economies of all 50 states and the District of Columbia to determine the best and worst state economies in the country. Rankings were based on each state’s economic activity, economic health and innovation potential.

Here’s what they found.

Best Economies

1. Washington

  • Overall has the most exports per capita.
  • In the top five for the highest change in nonfarm payrolls and the highest percentage of jobs in high-tech industries.
  • Score: 76.54

2. California

  • In the top five for the most startup activity and the highest percentage of jobs in high-tech industries.
  • Score: 73.78

3. Utah

  • In the top five for the most GDP growth and the most startup activity.
  • Overall has the highest change in nonfarm payrolls and the most independent inventor patents per 1,000 people of working age.
  • Score: 73.77

4. Massachusetts

  • Overall has the highest percentage of jobs in high-tech industries.
  • In the top five for the most independent inventor patents per 1,000 working-age people.
  • Score: 73.34

5. Washington, D.C.

  • In the top five for the highest median household income.
  • Overall has the highest average educational attainment of recent immigrants.
  • Score: 67.09

Worst Economies

47. Oklahoma

  • In the top five for the lowest GDP growth and the fewest exports per capita.
  • Score: 37.11

48. Arkansas

  • In the top five for the lowest median household income, the lowest percentage of jobs in high-tech industries and the fewest independent inventor patents per 1,000 working-age people.
  • Score: 35.88

49. Mississippi

  • Overall has the lowest median household income and the fewest independent inventor patents per 1,000 people of working age.
  • Score: 34.99

50. Louisiana

  • In the top five for the highest unemployment rate, the lowest change in nonfarm payrolls and the lowest average educational attainment of recent immigrants.
  • Score: 33.22

51. West Virginia

  • In the top five for the lowest GDP growth, lowest change in nonfarm payroll, lowest median household income, lowest percentage of jobs in high-tech industries and fewest independent inventor patents per 1,000 working-age people.
  • Overall has the least amount of startup activity.
  • Score: 28.14