Best and worst state economies according to the New Prosperity Index – 24/7 Wall St.

special report

Measuring the level of wealth in a society is not only about economic factors such as gross domestic product or median household income, but also about other aspects that affect the average citizen’s quality of life. A society can be prosperous and stable and yet be a place where too many of its people struggle to access healthcare, quality education, public services, health-promoting natural environments, or well-maintained infrastructure.

In a large country like the United States, the level of wealth among the 50 states varies significantly relative to each other. A state may perform well on some metrics, such as business activity, and poorly on another, such as public safety. (See also, these are the States where inflation is the most stressful.)

To identify the wealthiest and least wealthy states, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the year 2022 American Dream Prosperity Index, a collaboration between London-based think tank Legatum Institute and the Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream. States are ranked by their index scores out of 100, ranging from the most affluent to the least affluent. The report also provided scores for the three broad categories considered: inclusivity, profitability, and personal empowerment. The full reporting methodology can be found here here.

This index compares US states based on 11 pillars that make up a safe and stable capitalist society. These pillars include the quality of corporate governance and infrastructure, ease of doing business, environmental protection and other quality of life factors. These pillars are then grouped into the three broader categories.

A state may rank high in one of these broad categories and rank low in another, which would affect its overall ranking.

For example, Texas ranks very high in economic openness — a category that includes infrastructure, financial sustainability, and competitiveness — but it ranks near bottom in inclusivity, hampered by poor public safety and quality of governance. Despite its economic clout, influence on national politics, and geographic/demographic size, Texas ranks only 38th in terms of wealth.

States ranking in the top 10 wealthiest are Massachusetts, Minnesota, Utah, Colorado, Washington and Connecticut. California, the country’s most populous state, ranks 28th. At the bottom are Oklahoma, West Virginia, Nevada, Alabama, New Mexico and Mississippi.

Notably, none of the 10 most populous states make the top 10 wealthiest list. New York ranks 13th, the highest among those states, while Florida ranks 29th and Georgia 35th. Among the states with the smallest populations, New Hampshire and Vermont are among the top 10 wealthiest. Of course, there are many ways to look at the problem. Compare the American Dream Prosperity Index to 24/7 Wall Street Best and worst states to live in 2022.

Here are the wealthiest and least wealthy US states.

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