Schwarzenegger “California Best State.” Facts Don’t Support Claim

Governor Schwarzenegger put the Best and Worst States debate in the news during a July 3 San Francisco news conference.  See Sacramento Bee.com

California regularly shows up as one of the Worst States in the union based on many important indicators.  Yet the Governor recently attempted to make a case for California being the best! He did not make a very persuasive case.  He claimed a diversified economy should be the benchmark to judge a best state.

Gov. Schwarzenegger said, “We are the best place simply because of we are a diversified economy,”

“What state has entertainment, music, agriculture, biotechnology, nanotechnology, green technology, high technology?”

We strongly disagreeCalifornia regularly ranks as one of the Worst States.

Here are just a few of the facts and measurements:

California has the Worst Credit rating of all 50 states in the country.  It has no money and is currently issuing iou’s.

California is rated 47th, a Worst State for Entrepreneurship and Small Businees, according to the Small Business and     Entrepreneurship Council.  CEO’s have ranked it the Worst State for 5 years in a row according to Chief Executive Magazine.

It is rated 49th, for  Best and Worst States for Individual Income Taxes according to the Tax Foundation.

California has the 2nd highest marginal income tax rate in the nation at 10.3%.  Only Hawaii is higher.

According to Missouri Economy.org  California is the 2nd highest cost of living state in the country, behind only Hawaii.

California has the highest gas tax in the nation. See Best and Worst States for Gasoline Taxes.

California has the most unemployed people in the nation and has the 5th highest unemployment rate in the nation with 11.5% of     its population unemployed.

California has the most job red tape and licensing requirements of any state in the nation according www.reason.org with a nation     leading 177 job license requirements.

California has the 3rd most political convictions in the nation according to the Report to Congress on the Activities and Operations of     the Public Integrity Section.

Governor how can you say California is the best?

“Look at other states. … Texas? Oil. Florida? Old people. Whatever,” he said. “We have a whole bunch of things.”

Taking shots at Texas and Florida was also uncalled for and does not make the case for California.  These states rank far better than California regularly and are considered as top states for growing business. Both states’ populations enjoy zero personal income taxes.  Gov. Schwarzenegger should focus on California and not bash other states that are in far better position than his.

“California is doing very well,” he said. “We just have to get out of this crisis.”

We are all for Governors being salespeople for their states.  In this case Gov. Schwarzenegger telling the world that California is the best is just not believable.  The facts suggest otherwise.  Look in other states if you are thinking of relocating.


Comment on “Soak the Rich, Lose the Rich”

My good friend Steven Moore along with Art Laffer wrote a great piece today in the Wall Street Journal titled Soak the Rich, Lose the Rich

Their piece reinforces the general messages of this site, namely that there are Best and Worst States in the U.S. to live, create wealth and grow a business.  The story makes a case for common sense state policies of low taxes and favorable business regulatory climate.  In the piece Moore and Laffer point out that the no income tax states have created “89% more jobs and had 32% faster personal income growth than their high-tax counterparts.”  In other words, successful people and businesses go to the more favorable tax and regulatory environments.

We have long advocated state governments to adopt  more business and citizen friendly policy.  Laffer and Moore bring this issue to the forefront today with their well-written piece.  I hope state governors and legislators also read it and take action.

For more on tax policy of states see our posts Best and Worst States for Individual Taxes

and Best and Worst States for Business

For those of you interested the nine no income tax states in the U.S. are  Texas, Nevada, New Hampshire, Florida, South Dakota, Wyoming, Washington, Alaska and Tennessee.  New Hampshire and Tennessee do tax interest and dividends however.

Best States for Gardening Weather

Farmers Almanac has recently published a fun list on the Best States for Gardening Weather.

The Best State for Gardening Weather is North Carolina. Kentucky was ranked 2nd Best.

While it does not appear to be a scientific poll, the survey strikes a chord about old fashioned values.  Good gardening and good neighbors seem to go together. Go to Farmers Almanac to see some of the comments on why states were selected.

If you are looking for a places to live where the gardening weather is good, this may be helpful.

Best State Weather for Gardening
Rank State % Vote
1 North Carolina 20%
2 Kentucky 13%
3 Texas 11%
4 California 11%
5 Florida 11%
6 Missouri 8%
7 New Jersey 7%
Source: Farmers Almanac

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Best and Worst States for Car Insurance: Does Safety Matter?

Insurance.com publishes a monthly listing of car insurance rates.  We thought you might like to see March results.

We also thought it might be interesting to see if safe drivers as measured by the annual GMAC driver safety study had a measurable benefit in insurance rates.

The Best State for Car Insurance is Vermont with an estimated annual premium of $1,304.  It ranks 18 in the GMAC Safe Driver Study.  The 4 other Best States for Car Insurance, i.e. the lowest premiums, are Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin and Idaho.  The safest state of the top 5 according to GMAC is Idaho with a safe driver rank of 4.  The safest driver state, Kansas, ranks 22 in car insurance premiums.

The Worst State for Car Insurance,( we put DC in a world of its own), is Louisiana with a premium of $2617 more than double that of Vermont!!!  It also ranks 44 on the GMAC Safe Driver Study.  New Jersey the Worst State for Safe Driving in the US has one of the highest car insurance rates rate just below Louisiana.  Rounding out the Worst States for Car Insurance are Delaware, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania.  All these state rate below average in the GMAC study.

Of the popular retirement states Tennessee is best rated for low premiums at 11.  Arizona at 25 and Florida at 36 are more middle of the pack

Car Insurance rates have dropped over the last 6 months yet are still higher than a year ago.  From a look of the list it appears that drivers who know the rules of the road benefit from safer roads and lower car insurance premiums.  It may be beneficial for insurance companies to offer discounts to drivers who take a car exam annually that demonstrates they know the rules of the road.

State Premium $$ Change % Change Safe Rank
1 VT $1,304 $47 3.70% 18
2 OH $1,320 $1 0.10% 26
3 IA $1,335 ($32) -2.30% 9
4 WI $1,348 ($28) -2.00% 12
5 ID $1,396 $14 1.00% 4
6 ME $1,406 $59 4.30% 31
7 NH $1,504 ($64) -4.10% 30
8 IN $1,528 $25 1.70% 11
9 SD $1,550 $97 6.70% 6
10 IL $1,559 $19 1.20% 32
11 TN $1,563 $1 0.00% 33
12 MT $1,573 ($39) -2.40% 15
13 NC $1,577 ($42) -2.60% 22
14 OR $1,586 ($23) -1.40% 8
15 AL $1,611 $29 1.80% 15
16 CO $1,611 ($28) -1.70% 15
17 NE $1,625 $91 5.90% 3
18 GA $1,626 ($46) -2.70% 47
19 MO $1,629 $5 0.30% 14
20 SC $1,638 ($24) -1.50% 39
21 VA $1,667 ($78) -4.50% 40
22 KS $1,668 $4 0.30% 1
23 ND $1,722 $58 3.50% 21
24 MN $1,728 $97 5.90% 5
25 AZ $1,739 ($93) -5.10% 36
26 CA $1,813 ($15) -0.80% 33
27 NM $1,845 ($16) -0.90% 22
28 UT $1,864 ($35) -1.90% 13
29 WA $1,882 $34 1.80% 9
30 OK $1,900 $54 2.90% 22
31 TX $1,921 ($55) -2.80% 18
32 AR $1,929 $17 0.90% 6
33 WY $1,934 $16 0.90% 2
34 MS $1,953 $19 1.00% 46
35 KY $1,984 ($52) -2.60% 29
36 FL $2,015 $8 0.40% 28
37 MI $2,076 ($49) -2.30% 18
38 CT $2,095 ($56) -2.60% 33
39 WV $2,095 $76 3.80% 43
40 NV $2,142 ($40) -1.90% 36
41 MD $2,144 ($48) -2.20% 42
42 PA $2,248 $65 3.00% 36
43 RI $2,356 ($32) -1.30% 41
44 DE $2,520 $11 0.40% 26
45 NJ $2,556 $14 0.50% 51
46 LA $2,617 $3 0.10% 44
47 DC $2,862 ($18) -0.60% 50
48 NY n/a 49
49 MA n/a 48
50 HI n/a 45
51 AK n/a 6

Source:

2009 Best and Worst States for Small Business

The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (SBEC)issued this week its 2009 Index of Best and Worst States for Entrepreneurship and Small Business.

According to the report,  the Index pulls together 16 different tax measures, and combines those into one tax score that allows the 50 states and District of Columbia to be compared and ranked.

The 16 measures are: 1) state’s top personal income tax rate, 2) state’s top individual capital
gains tax rate, 3) state’s top corporate income tax rate, 4) state’s top corporate capital gains tax
rate, 5) any added income tax on S-Corporations, 6) whether or not the state imposes an
alternative minimum tax on individuals, 7) whether or not the state imposes an alternative
minimum tax on corporations, 8) whether or not the state’s personal income tax brackets are
indexed for inflation, 9) property taxes, 10) consumption-based taxes (i.e., sales, gross receipts
and excise taxes), 11) whether or not the state imposes a death tax, 12) unemployment tax, 13)
whether or not the state has a tax limitation mechanism, 14) whether or not the state imposes an
Internet access tax, 15) gas tax, and 16) diesel tax.

The report is full of useful information.  While taxes are not the only factor in determining the Best or Worst State to Grow or Start a Business, they are a very important consideration.

The Best State for Small Business is South Dakota according to the Index.  The next 4 in order are Nevada, Wyoming, Washington and Texas.

The Worst State for Small Business is New Jersey if you do not count D.C.  Rounding out the Worst 5 States in order are Minnesota, Maine, California and New York. 

The States are currently increasing many of their taxes to address deficit issues.  Look for California and New York to rank even worse as they are loading up on all kinds of new taxes.  Texas which ranks high in many studies is the best large state.  Florida also has many attractive features and is ranked 6 in the study.

Go to the full report here for more info:

State

Index

1. South Dakota 11.10
2. Nevada 11.88
3. Wyoming 14.14
4. Washington 15.79
5. Texas 15.81
6. Florida 22.42
7. Alaska 24.91
8. Colorado 26.87
9. Alabama 28.13
10. Ohio 28.50
11. South Carolina 29.42
12. Mississippi 29.70
13. Tennessee 30.52
14. Missouri 31.42
15. Oklahoma 31.67
16. Virginia 32.26
17. Arizona 32.36
18. Illinois 33.66
19. Georgia 33.98
20. Michigan 34.54
21. Delaware 35.00
22. Indiana 35.05
23. Arkansas 35.12
24. Utah 35.39
25. New Hampshire 35.50
26. Louisiana 35.68
27. New Mexico 35.74
28. Kentucky 35.89
29. Pennsylvania 36.26
30. Connecticut 37.75
31. Montana 38.01
32. Wisconsin 38.21
33. Kansas 39.05
34. Oregon 39.23
35. Maryland 39.38
36. North Dakota 39.48
37. Hawaii 39.88
38. North Carolina 41.03
39. West Virginia 41.27
40. Nebraska 42.09
41. Idaho 43.08
42. Massachusetts 44.60
43. Vermont 44.86
44. Rhode Island 45.64
45. Iowa 49.15
46. New York 49.36
47. California 49.69
48. Maine 49.86
49. Minnesota 50.79
50. New Jersey 51.09
51.Dist. Of Columbia 58.32

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Best and Worst States for Happiness?

Mainstreet.com has recently published a ranking of states called the “Happiness index.”

It is a knock off of the famous “misery index” that was so politically influential in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

The Best State for Happiness is NebraskaIowa, Kansas, Hawaii and Louisiana round out the top 5.

The Worst State for Happiness is Oregon Florida, California, Rhode Island and Nevada round out the bottom 5 of the Worst States for Happiness.

While we find the index interesting, it really should be viewed as a simple financial happiness index as it does not factor many other issues that contirbute to the happiness of a population in a state.  For example, for livability Louisiana is rated 46th one of the worst states see our blog Livability Index.   Hawaii is a very high cost of living state and even if you are employed lifestyle may still be challenging.

The index also does not factor in any other factors such as health, weather or rankings of mental happiness so while useful I would suggest you take a much broader look at other factors in a state than this simple “Happiness Index.”  Many of these other factors are discussed in posts on this site.

Happiness Index
www.mainstreet.com

Tax Freedom Day 2009: Pick Your State Carefully

The Tax Foundation recently released their 2009 Tax Freedom Day Study.  It measures how many days the average worker must work to  pay taxes. There is a wide disparity among states. The tax burden you bear can significantly impact your quality of life.

The Best State for Tax Freedom is Alaska where it takes 82 days almost 25% of the year just to pay taxes.  Louisiana, Mississippi, South Dakota, North Dakota and West Virginia are also rated Best States for Tax Freedom.  If you are not retired, these states would be considered as candidates for Best States to Work.

The Worst State for Tax Freedom is Connecticut where it takes 120 days or until April 30 to pay taxes.  If you live in Connecticut 1/3 of your time every year goes to pay taxes to the Federal, State and Local governments.  That is almost 50% more days than Alaska.  New Jersey, New York, California and Maryland are also rated Worst States for Tax Freedom.

According to the Tax Foundation study, five major categories of tax dominate the tax burden. Individual income taxes, both federal and state, require 38 days’ work. Payroll taxes take another 27 days’ work. Sales and excise taxes, mostly state and local, take 15 days to pay off. Corporate income taxes take 6 days, and property taxes take 12. Americans will log 4 more days to pay other miscellaneous taxes, most notably including motor vehicle license taxes and severance taxes, and about 1 day for estate taxes.

What state you live in is very important in determining your lifestyle as higher cost of living states tend to have higher tax burdens.  Lower disposable income is the result.  Many states are also increasing many taxes due to economic conditions which will increase tax burdens.  Noteworthy examples are the proposed increases in New York and California that will make these heavily burdened states more undesirable to live.  If you are not retired, New York and California would have to be considered as 2 of the Worst States to Work.

Tax
State Days Freedom Day
1 Alaska 82 23-Mar
2 Louisiana 87 28-Mar
3 Mississippi 87 28-Mar
4 South Dakota 88 29-Mar
5 North Dakota 91 1-Apr
6 West Virginia 91 1-Apr
7 Alabama 92 2-Apr
8 New Mexico 92 2-Apr
9 Montana 93 3-Apr
10 Kentucky 93 3-Apr
11 Oklahoma 94 4-Apr
12 Iowa 94 4-Apr
13 South Carolina 94 4-Apr
14 Arkansas 94 4-Apr
15 Tennessee 95 5-Apr
16 Wyoming 95 5-Apr
17 Missouri 96 6-Apr
18 Maine 96 6-Apr
19 Texas 96 6-Apr
20 Nebraska 98 8-Apr
21 Kansas 98 8-Apr
22 Nevada 98 8-Apr
23 Indiana 98 8-Apr
24 Florida 99 9-Apr
25 Oregon 99 9-Apr
26 North Carolina 99 9-Apr
27 Michigan 100 10-Apr
28 Arizona 100 10-Apr
29 New Hampshire 100 10-Apr
30 Ohio 101 11-Apr
31 Delaware 101 11-Apr
32 Vermont 102 12-Apr
33 Idaho 102 12-Apr
34 Georgia 102 12-Apr
35 Colorado 102 12-Apr
36 Illinois 103 13-Apr
37 Hawaii 103 13-Apr
38 Utah 103 13-Apr
39 Wisconsin 103 13-Apr
40 Pennsylvania 104 14-Apr
41 Rhode Island 104 14-Apr
42 Minnesota 105 15-Apr
43 Washington 106 16-Apr
44 Massachusetts 106 16-Apr
45 Virginia 106 16-Apr
46 Maryland 109 19-Apr
47 California 110 20-Apr
48 New York 115 25-Apr
49 New Jersey 119 29-Apr
50 Connecticut 120 30-Apr

Source: Tax Foundation, Tax Freedom Day

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State Unemployment Up Everywhere in Feb, Michigan tops 12% Unemployed

The February 2009 State Unemployment numbers were released this past week and they were not pretty. Every state in the U.S. saw its unemployment rate increase.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)  also released March Unemployment, along with Feb state data, and the nationwide unemployment rate increased again to 8.5% nationwide.  It was 8.1% in February.

Seven States had unemployment above 10% in February.  Michigan was the Worst State for Jobs with a whopping 12% unemployment number.  South Carolina, Oregon, North Carolina, California Rhode Island and Nevada also qualify as Worst States for Employment as the 6 other states with unemployment above 10% .

The Best State for Jobs based on a low 3.9% unemployment is Wyoming. 4 other states qualify as Best States for Employment with rates still below 5%.  They are:  Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa.

Some of the state year on year changes are quite large.  Unemployment increased by over 100% from last year in Hawaii and Oregon for example.  Of the large states, Texas is holding up the best with unemployment of only 6.2% in February which was below the U.S. Feb average of 8.1%.

State data is released with a one month lag so expect March state unemployment to get even worse as unemployment increased nationwide in March by .4%.

State Feb-08 Feb-09 Change
1 Michigan 7.4 12 4.6
2 South Carolina 5.7 11 5.3
3 Oregon 5.4 10.8 5.4
4 North Carolina 5.2 10.7 5.5
5 California 6.2 10.5 4.3
6 Rhode Island 6.5 10.5 4
7 Nevada 5.5 10.1 4.6
8 District of Columbia 6.1 9.9 3.8
9 Florida 5.2 9.4 4.2
10 Indiana 5 9.4 4.4
11 Ohio 5.9 9.4 3.5
12 Georgia 5.4 9.3 3.9
13 Kentucky 5.6 9.2 3.6
14 Mississippi 5.9 9.1 3.2
15 Tennessee 5.5 9.1 3.6
16 Illinois . 5.9 8.6 2.7
17 Alabama 4.1 8.4 4.3
18 Washington 4.7 8.4 3.7
19 Missouri 5.5 8.3 2.8
20 New Jersey 4.7 8.2 3.5
21 Minnesota 5 8.1 3.1
22 Alaska 6.5 8 1.5
23 Maine 4.9 8 3.1
24 Massachusetts 4.6 7.8 3.2
25 New York 4.6 7.8 3.2
26 Wisconsin 4.5 7.7 3.2
27 Pennsylvania 4.8 7.5 2.7
28 Arizona 4.5 7.4 2.9
29 Connecticut 5.2 7.4 2.2
30 Delaware 4 7.4 3.4
31 Colorado 4.5 7.2 2.7
32 Vermont 4.4 7 2.6
33 Idaho 3.9 6.8 2.9
34 Maryland 3.7 6.7 3
35 Arkansas 4.8 6.6 1.8
36 Virginia 3.5 6.6 3.1
37 Hawaii 3.1 6.5 3.4
38 Texas 4.5 6.5 2
39 Montana 4 6 2
40 West Virginia 4.2 6 1.8
41 Kansas 4 5.9 1.9
42 Louisiana 3.8 5.7 1.9
43 Oklahoma 3.2 5.5 2.3
44 New Mexico 3.8 5.4 1.6
45 New Hampshire 3.7 5.3 1.6
46 Utah 3.3 5.1 1.8
47 Iowa 3.9 4.9 1
48 South Dakota 2.7 4.6 1.9
49 North Dakota 3 4.3 1.3
50 Nebraska 3 4.2 1.2
51 Wyoming 2.8 3.9 1.1
p = preliminary.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Job Openings Drop Nationwide by 9.3% in last 45 days, California Worst, 44 States show Decreases

Career Builder Job Openings Drop 9.35%Nationwide in Last 45 Days
44 States Decrease, Only 6 States Increase

California Worst State for Declines, North Dakota up 28.08%

Best and Worst States.com, the leading site for facts and lists about States, released analysis today on job opening data using Careerbuilder job openings as a proxy for job activity.  Career Builder is the nations largest job posting site.  Nationwide job openings dropped 9.35% to 213,077 from 235,059 during the 45 day period starting on January 29, 2009 and ending on March 14, 2009.  Job openings are those that have been posted within the last 30 days.

44 States showed decreases in job openings in the last 45 days while only 6 showed increase.  The biggest job opening decline was in California.  Job openings declined to 21,723 on March 14th from 25,855 on January 29, 2009, a decline of 4,132 job openings.  California unemployment was recently announced at 10.1%, the 4th worst in the nation.  California, the nations most populous state, also has the most job openings in the country yet the number is quite low compared to the size of the population. Typically job openings are a leading indicator of future employment.

All large employment states showed job opening declines including New York, Illinois, Texas and FloridaIllinois showed the largest decline in percentage terms at -20.99%.  Illinois unemployment is currently at 7.9%, tied for 34th in the nation.

States that showed increases were typically small states with low unemployment.  The total number of increases was also small.  North Dakota showed the largest percentage increase in job openings at 28.08% yet it only increased by 123 job openings.  North Dakota’s unemployment was only 4.2% in January, the 2nd lowest in the nation. Alaska increased by 20.75% and had the largest state job opening increase at 167.  Alaska unemployment is at 7.9%, tied for 34th in the nation.  Other states showing increases were South Dakota with an increase of 62, Maine with 13, Utah with 29 and Iowa with 27.  Wyoming, the state with the lowest unemployment, also showed a slight increase of job openings with just 10.  It also has the fewest job openings in the nation on career builder.

Edward M. Kopko, Editor of Best and Worst States, said, “ Job Openings have dropped quite quickly since President Obama has taken office.  The unemployment rate is unlikely to improve until job openings start to increase.  The trend clearly indicates increased unemployment.”

BestandWorstStates.com, is the leading site for facts and lists about states.  Ed Kopko, its editor, during his career has written and developed extensive research on business matters and employment.  The site develops and publishes data about a number of issues important to people.  Topics include state tax policy, social issues, jobs, lifestyle and matters that help citizens be more knowledgeable about the states they live.  www.bestandworststates.com.

Job Openings By State

14-Mar-09 29-Jan-09 % Change
1 California 21723 25855 -15.98% -4132
2 Texas 18340 20051 -8.53% -1711
3 Florida 14573 15174 -3.96% -601
4 New York 11792 13057 -9.69% -1265
5 Illinois 10826 13702 -20.99% -2876
6 Pennsylvania 9853 11141 -11.56% -1288
7 New Jersey 7760 8628 -10.06% -868
8 Ohio 7506 8276 -9.30% -770
9 Virginia 6725 7186 -6.42% -461
10 North Carolina 6335 6803 -6.88% -468
11 Maryland 6146 6552 -6.20% -406
12 Georgia 5508 5992 -8.08% -484
13 Arizona 5124 5992 -14.49% -868
14 Massachusetts 5112 6168 -17.12% -1056
15 Michigan 5015 5541 -9.49% -526
16 Washington 4606 4914 -6.27% -308
17 Indiana 4578 4731 -3.23% -153
18 Missouri 4270 4458 -4.22% -188
19 Colorado 4143 4214 -1.68% -71
20 Tennessee 4132 4413 -6.37% -281
21 Connecticut 4008 4531 -11.54% -523
22 Wisconsin 3710 4314 -14.00% -604
23 Minnesota 3535 4193 -15.69% -658
24 South Carolina 3223 3136 2.77% 87
25 Kansas 3115 3236 -3.74% -121
26 Louisiana 2958 3494 -15.34% -536
27 Kentucky 2749 2763 -0.51% -14
28 Iowa 2526 2499 1.08% 27
29 Alabama 2437 2567 -5.06% -130
30 Oklahoma 2170 2269 -4.36% -99
31 Nevada 1735 1865 -6.97% -130
32 Oregon 1722 1832 -6.00% -110
33 Mississippi 1545 1548 -0.19% -3
34 New Mexico 1363 1423 -4.22% -60
35 Utah 1265 1236 2.35% 29
36 Arkansas 1258 1414 -11.03% -156
37 Nebraska 1077 1230 -12.44% -153
38 Delaware 976 1057 -7.66% -81
39 Alaska 972 805 20.75% 167
40 Hawaii 787 865 -9.02% -78
41 West Virginia 784 856 -8.41% -72
42 New Hampshire 694 694 0.00% 0
43 Rhode Island 650 707 -8.06% -57
44 South Dakota 647 585 10.60% 62
45 Idaho 642 665 -3.46% -23
46 Vermont 612 659 -7.13% -47
47 North Dakota 561 438 28.08% 123
48 Maine 462 449 2.90% 13
49 Montana 444 508 -12.60% -64
50 Wyoming 383 373 2.68% 10
Entire U.S. 213077 235059 -9.35% -21982

Source:  Bestandworststates.com, careerbuilder.com
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Best and Worst States for Child Homelessness: Is the data believable?

A “study” from the National Center of Family Homelessness was released this week and garnered national press.  It reported that 1 out of every 50 children were homeless during the “study” period of 2005-2006.  In addition it was reported over 1,500,000 children were homeless during the “study” period. The “study” also ranked the Best and Worst States.

We view the “data” as suspect and exaggerative. 

The “study” defines homelessness in such a way that many quality families and successful parents’ children were determined to be homeless in 2005-2006.  Let’s start with a few key parts of the definition of homelessness from the “study.”

Your children would be determined to be homeless if for just one day during the “study” period they were:

“• Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason (sometimes referred to as doubled-up);
• Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to lack of alternative accommodations;”
Source: The National Center of Family Homelessness

Let’s look at the example of an executive who gets a new job and sells his home in the state he used to work.  If the family lives in an extended stay hotel in their new state while waiting to close on their new home, the children are determined to be homeless.   Suspect data to me.

In addition, if a young couple lives with in-laws, which is highly common, the children can be determined to be homeless.

If your family lives in a trailer park, the children can be considered homeless according to the definition.

Of the 1,500,000 children that were determined “homeless” by the “study” here is the breakdown:

Doubled-Up (56%)
Shelters (24%)
Unknown/Other (10%)
Hotels/Motels (7%)
Unsheltered (3%)

Source: The National Center of Family Homelessness

63% of “homeless” children are either staying with other families or living in hotels! Only 37% are in the other classifications.   I would like to thank Tom Palmer for breaking this story.  He makes some additional great points on his blog.  www.tomgpalmer.com

The Worst State for Child Homelessness from the “study” is Texas.  The Best State is Connecticut.

The state rankings follow.  Read them with caution.

1 Connecticut
2 New Hampshire
3 Hawaii
4 Rhode Island
5 North Dakota
6 Minnesota
7 Wisconsin
8 Massachusetts
9 Maine
10 Vermont
11 Iowa
12 South Dakota
13 Illinois
14 Pennsylvania
15 West Virginia
16 New Jersey
17 Virginia
18 Maryland
19 Delaware
20 Ohio
21 Wyoming
22 Alaska
23 Idaho
24 Tennessee
25 Washington
26 Oregon
27 Missouri
28 Kansas
29 Michigan
30 Indiana
31 Oklahoma
32 Alabama
33 Montana
34 Nebraska
35 Colorado
36 Arizona
37 Utah
38 New York
39 South Carolina
40 California
41 Mississippi
42 Kentucky
43 Florida
44 North Carolina
45 Nevada
46 Louisiana
47 New Mexico
48 Arkansas
49 Georgia
50 Texas

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