Best States for Income

The U.S.Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its rankings of personal income by state for 2009.

Personal income throughout the U.S. was down 1.7% in 2009.  44 states had declining incomes in 2009.  6 states saw an increase.

The Best State for Income Growth in 2009 was West Virginia with an increase 2.1%.  Despite this growth West Virginia has the 44th lowest income in the U.S. at $32,219. It did improve from a 49th ranking in 2008.

The Worst State For Income Growth was Nevada with a decrease of 4.8%.  Nevada with an income of $38,578 was ranked 20th in the U.S in personal income.

The Best State for Income in 2009 was Connecticut .  It had the highest state income at $54,397.   Additional Top States for Income were  New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland and New York .

The Worst State for Income was Mississippi .  At $30,013, it has the lowest state income.  Utah, Idaho, South Carolina and Kentucky were also Worst States for Income in 2009.

Income is only one factor in determining a Best State to Live.  Cost of Living , quality of education and job openings and availability should also be considered.

State Ranking of Income 2009

The ranking of states by income follows:

Smoking States and Tobacco Producing States

Smoking has been on a long term decline in the U.S.

Total smokers in the U.S. according to Americas Health Rankings Assessment on Smoking have declined from 29.5% in 1990 to 18.3% in 2009.  Smokers as a per cent of the U.S. population have shrunk 38% since 1990.

Americas Health Rankings also does a great job in providing statistics for each of the states.  Smoking trends by State have some interesting aspects not quickly seen by observing the data.

The Best and Worst States 2009 Smokers by State map highlights high smoking and low smoking states.  It is listed below:

State Smoking Population Map

From the map it is readily apparent that the mid west and southern states have the strongest affinity for smoking.

The Best State for Non-Smokers, i.e. lowest smoking population, is Utah.  Only 9.3% of the Utah population smokes.  Additional Top States for Non-Smokers are California, New Jersey, Maryland and Hawaii.

The Best State for Smokers, i.e. the highest smoking population, is West Virginia with 26.5% of its population smokers.  Over one in four people over 18 smoke in West Virginia.  Additional Top States for Smokers are Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Oklahoma.  Nevada had the highest smoking population in 1990 at 35.7% according to Americas Health.  Nevada’s smoking population has since declined to 22.1%, a dramatic decline.

The entire 2009 list of Smokers by State is published below.

The populations of tobacco producing states are above average smokers.  It seems logical.  If a state produces lots of tobacco,  its population is more likely to smoke.  The chart of Top Producing Tobacco States supports this contention.   North Carolina has the most tobacco acreage by far and ranks as the 14th highest smoking state.  Kentucky, the 2nd largest tobacco producer, ranks 3 in the nation for highest per cent of its population being smokers.  Virginia and Connecticut appear to be outliers.  Virginia is the third largest producer yet its population ranks 40th in the nation for smoking.  Connecticut is the 9th largest producer of tobacco yet its smoking population is 44th or ranked 7th lowest state for smokers.  All the other Top Tobacco Producing States have above average smoking populations.

The Top Ten Tobacco Producing States are listed below along with their Smoker Rank.

Top Ten Tobacco Producing States

List of Smoking Population by State

If you consider smoking or non-smoking an important aspect of lifestyle, this info may help you find a state that fits your needs.  It might help you determine your Best State to Live.

One Year Of Obama and Stimulus: Job Openings down 5.48% , Unemployment Up to 10%

It has been one year since President Obama took office and announced a stimulus bill that was to improve jobs.  The data suggests that the job market continued to deteriorate this past year.  Unemployment is up to 10% from 7.4%.  Job Openings are down 5.48%

Job Openings, as measured on careerbuilder.com, have not improved from one year ago.  Nationwide, job openings at January 31, 2010 were 5.48% lower than January 29, 2009.  Total job openings stand at 222,189 as compared to 235,059 last year, a decrease of 12,870.  37 States have lower job openings as compared to last year.

 

 

Best and Worst States has been tracking Job Openings by State for the past year and has reported on movements.  For some of our previouslinks see November 2009, Job Stimulus Not Working  , Job Openings September 2009 and last year’s Best and Worst States for Job Openings January 2009.  While the drops early in the year have appeared to stabilize, the level of job openings is not robust enough to suggest significant improvements in employment soon.

The Best State for Job Openings is Indiana as measured by growth.  Indiana had the largest gain in job openings, 887, up 17.4% from a year ago. Best States for Jobs also were Kentucky, Ohio and TennesseeFlorida and Ohio were the best large states for job openings.  They were the only 2 states of the Top Ten Employment States to show increases in openings.  13 States had increases in job openings from a year ago.

The Worst State for Jobs was California.  It has 3,667 less job openings from a year ago, a decrease of 14.18%.  California also has the fourth worst employment rate in the nation.  Unemployment in California is now at 12.4%, up 3.7% from a year ago.  California is struggling on many fronts and an increasing jobless population will not help it turn around.  For more on California see California Jobs Shrinking

Additional Worst States for Jobs  are Texas, Illinois,Massachusetts and Arizona.  They each had large job opening losses and double digit declines in percentage terms.

Another measure of job openings, the Conference Board’s Help Wanted On-Line Data Series is also indicating year over year decreases in job openings. The Conference Board Data for 2009 annual average job openings stands at 3,357,000, 1.1million below the 4,481,000 annual average for 2008.  More importantly their average job opening number for 2009 is 2.4 million below the 2007 average job opening number.  These are not good numbers.  On an encouraging note,the Conference Board reported positive improvement in job openings in New York, Washington, Connecticut, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Delaware and New Jersey.

All 50 states saw their unemployment rates increase in 2009.  See Unemployment by State 2009 for the entire 2009 list and unemployment changes from a year ago. Job openings must increase significantly nationwide if unemployment is to improve to acceptable levels. It is going to take some time for this to occur.

 

Job Openings by State January 2010

 

Largest State
California Continues to
Show Shrinking Job Openings


Texas Jobs Not Growing

Florida Shows Small Increase

Illinois Jobs Down 10.64%

37 States Have
Fewer Job Openings

2 of 10 Largest States
Show Small Increase

Indiana Best State for Job Opening Growth

Job Openings Do Not Suggest
Employment Improvements

Job Stimulus Not Working: Best States for Jobs 2009

Job Openings continued their year long decline in November.

Only 3 States show job opening increases since January 29 at the beginning of the Obama Administration.  The Best States for Jobs are Indiana, Kentucky and Idaho as they are the only states that have more job openings than at the end of January.  Yet despite these increases, unemployment continues to rise.  Indiana’s unemployment rate has increased this year to 9.8% from 8.2% in January.  Kentucky has increased to 11.2% from 8.7%.  Idaho has seen its unemployment rate increase to 9.0% from 6.5% in January.  Job openings are not keeping up with job losses.

The Worst States for Jobs are many.  47 states have lower job openings posted on careerbuilder.com than in January.

California Jobs
have decreased the most since January with 4,764 fewer openings.  Texas has 3,138 fewer jobs and Illinois Jobs have also decreased by 2,742.

Nationwide,  job openings have dropped 13.01% since January.  There were 204,475 job openings on careerbuilder.com at the end of November 2009 as compared to 235,059 in January.  This is an important indicator for employment direction as job openings precede employment.  Employers are not creating enough new jobs to keep up with the pace of losses.  The US had 15.7 million unemployed people in October 2009 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Many more job openings must emerge to improve the unemployment rate.

The Wall Street Journal today also ran a piece on upcoming job cuts.  It sees cuts increasing in 2010 as stimulus money is running out on certain construction infrastructure jobs.  Nationwide construction industry unemployment is now a staggering 19.1% and looks to get worse.  See Job Cuts Loom as Stimulus Fades

The stimulus program is showing few signs of progress on the job front.  Expect rising unemployment over the coming months because job openings are weak and the short term bump from the stimulus fades.  Private sector jobs are the key for long term employment improvement.  The List of Job Openings by State follows.

Job Openings by State

State 11/30/09 1/29/09 +/- % Change
1 California 21,091 25,855 -4,764 -18.43%
2 Texas 16,913 20,051 -3,138 -15.65%
3 Florida 13,263 15,174 -1,911 -12.59%
4 New York 11,702 13,057 -1,355 -10.38%
5 Illinois 10,960 13,702 -2,742 -20.01%
6 Pennsylvania 10,222 11,141 -919 -8.25%
7 Ohio 7,694 8,276 -582 -7.03%
8 New Jersey 7,421 8,628 -1,207 -13.99%
9 Virginia 6,385 7,186 -801 -11.15%
10 North Carolina 6,370 6,803 -433 -6.36%
11 Georgia 5,600 5,992 -392 -6.54%
12 Maryland 5,474 6,552 -1,078 -16.45%
13 Michigan 5,419 5,541 -122 -2.20%
14 Massachusetts 5,208 6,168 -960 -15.56%
15 Indiana 5,143 4,731 412 8.71%
16 Arizona 5,014 5,992 -978 -16.32%
17 Tennessee 4,214 4,413 -199 -4.51%
18 Washington 4,187 4,914 -727 -14.79%
19 Missouri 4,154 4,458 -304 -6.82%
20 Connecticut 3,895 4,531 -636 -14.04%
21 Wisconsin 3,736 4,314 -578 -13.40%
22 Minnesota 3,487 4,193 -706 -16.84%
23 Colorado 3,485 4,214 -729 -17.30%
24 Kentucky 3,005 2,763 242 8.76%
25 South Carolina 2,946 3,136 -190 -6.06%
26 Kansas 2,669 3,236 -567 -17.52%
27 Louisiana 2,643 3,494 -851 -24.36%
28 Alabama 2,132 2,567 -435 -16.95%
29 Iowa 2,028 2,499 -471 -18.85%
30 Oregon 1,770 1,832 -62 -3.38%
31 Oklahoma 1,676 2,269 -593 -26.13%
32 Nevada 1,661 1,865 -204 -10.94%
33 Mississippi 1,357 1,548 -191 -12.34%
34 New Mexico 1,242 1,423 -181 -12.72%
35 Utah 1,141 1,236 -95 -7.69%
36 Arkansas 1,121 1,414 -293 -20.72%
37 Nebraska 981 1,230 -249 -20.24%
38 Delaware 889 1,057 -168 -15.89%
39 West Virginia 754 856 -102 -11.92%
40 Idaho 739 665 74 11.13%
41 Hawaii 656 865 -209 -24.16%
42 New Hampshire 593 694 -101 -14.55%
43 Rhode Island 593 707 -114 -16.12%
44 Alaska 509 805 -296 -36.77%
45 Vermont 499 659 -160 -24.28%
46 South Dakota 452 585 -133 -22.74%
47 Maine 424 449 -25 -5.57%
48 Montana 392 508 -116 -22.83%
49 Wyoming 286 373 -87 -23.32%
50 North Dakota 280 438 -158 -36.07%
Entire U.S. 204,475 235,059 -30,584 -13.01%
Source: Careerbuilder.com
www.bestandworststates.com

States running out of Jobless Money, Taxing Employers More

23 States are now borrowing from the U.S. Government to pay for unemployment benefits. (California has borrowed  $4.5 billion as of mid October 2009, the most in the nation.)

This is only the beginning of the bad news for states and employers.  States will be borrowing more and taxing employers more in 2010. This will impact the willingness of companies to hire in the future.  This is not good news for the job market.

For example, Florida, which has borrowed $465 million as of mid October, this past week increased its unemployment insurance tax on employers for next year quite substantially.  The minimum tax will jump from $8.40 per employee to $100.30 – analmost 12-fold increase – while the maximum will go up from $378 peremployee to $459.  Florida is facing a multitude of issues as it tries to dig itself out of the faltering economy.  The Sun-Sentinel did a great piece this week highlighting how Florida is losing residents, jobs and borrowing $300 million per month to make unemployment payments.  See Shrinking Florida faces tough choices as residents flee, jobs vanish

Arizona is among 33 states that will increase unemployment compensationtaxes next year, according the National Association of State WorkforceAgencies.  See  State tax push makes U.S. firms wary of adding jobs

Arizona recently asked to borrow $600 million in federal funds to keep its jobless payments going.  With its October 2009 unemployment rate of 9.3% Arizona will be needing to raise taxes on employers as well.  It is currently estimated that Arizona will increase its tax 41.8% on employers in January 2010.  See Arizona jobless funds running out

Most states will announce their unemployment tax rates for 2010 before year end and taxes will be increasing.  This is bad news for employers and the outlook for jobs. The Heritage Foundation’s Foundry blog recently posted a good explanation on how these increases will further hurt the job market.  See How Unemployment Taxes and Obama’s Stimulus Are Killing Jobs

The List of States Borrowing To Pay Unemployment Benefits follows.  We added Arizona to the BLS list that was compiled as of October 19, 2009.

Rank State Fed Loan
1 California $4.5 billion
2 Michigan $2.8 billion
3 New York $1.6 billion
4 Ohio $1.4 billion
5 North Carolina $1.3 billion
6 Pennsylvania $1.3 billion
7 Indiana $1.3 billion
8 New Jersey $700 million
9 Texas $697 million
10 Wisconsin $684 million
11 Arizona $600 million
12 Illinois $590 million
13 South Carolina $570 million
14 Kentucky $469 million
15 Florida $465 million
16 Missouri $326 million
17 South Dakota $308 million
18 Minnesota $143 million
19 Arkansas $135 million
20 Rhode Island $104 million
21 Idaho $73 million
22 Alabama $47 million
23 Connecticut $31 million

Source:Bureau of Labor Statistics

Best States for Jobs: Job Openings Up 8.54%, 44 States Up

After dropping like a rock during the first few months of the year and staying there through May, job openings have increased 8.59% nationwide since May 31, according to analysis released by BestandWorstStates.com.  This is encouraging news and reinforces the view that employment dynamics are improving from their lows.  While a significant rebound, it should be viewed with caution as job openings are still 1.57% below late January levels, just prior to the stimulus package being passed.  Total job openings are not high enough to make a significant improvement to the jobless rate which was released this week to be a slightly improved 9.4%.  For a complete list of state job opening activity see previous post List of Job Openings by State

For our lastest post on Best and Worst States for Jobs go to Which States had the Best Employment Markets in 2009? Will 2010 Job Market Improve?

 

Good News Front:

Job openings increased nationwide 8.59% from May 31, 2009 from 210,048 to 231,370 on July 31, 2009.  This increase is quite significant with 44 states showing increases during the past two months.  The Top States for Jobs were mostly small states.  Indiana was a notable large state on the Best State for Jobs list with a 18.14% increase in job openings during the last 60 days.  Most of the Best States for Jobs have below average unemployment rates.  The number of job openings in many of these states are quite small.  Many of these small states would be Best States for Jobs if you are looking for employment however.  For the complete Best States for Jobs List see

Best States for Jobs (Per Cent Increase in Openings)

Rank State Job Growth% Jobless% #Job Open
1 Alaska 31.43% 8.4 1058
2 Idaho 22.26% 8.4 813
3 Maine 20.04% 8.5 539
4 Kentucky 18.89% 10.9 3285
5 Indiana 18.14% 10.7 5589
6 Montana 15.16% 6.4 585
7 Missouri 14.60% 9.5 5109
8 South Dakota 13.50% 5.1 664
9 Wyoming 12.33% 5.9 419
10 Alabama 12.31% 10.6 2883

Source:  Best and Worst States.com and  CareerBuilder.com

Not so Good News:

Job openings have decreased 1.57% since the end of January nationwide even though 30 states have more job openings than in January. The Top Ten US States according to population have shown a 4.1% decrease in job openings.  California, the US largest state, has 9.3% lower jobs available than in January.  With a 11.6% jobless rate, California appears to be a poor state for job seekers.  Illinois is also a Worst State for Jobs with a 14.2% drop in openings along with a 10.5% unemployment rate.  The US unemployment rate will not improve significantly without the Top Ten States also improving as these states have about 50% of the US population.

#Jobs Open 7-31 Change Job Growth% Jobless Rate Population
1 California 23450 -2405 -9.30% 11.6% 36.8
2 Texas 19373 -678 -3.38% 7.5% 24.3
3 New York 12667 -390 -2.99% 8.7% 19.5
4 Florida 14927 -247 -1.63% 10.6% 18.3
5 Illinois 11747 -1955 -14.27% 10.5% 12.9
6 Pennsylvania 11193 52 0.47% 8.3% 12.4
7 Ohio 8286 10 0.12% 11.1% 11.5
8 Michigan 5443 -98 -1.77% 15.2% 10
9 Georgia 7547 478 5.02% 10.5% 9.7
10 North Carolina 6860 57 0.84% 11.0% 9.2
121493 -5176 -4.09% 164.6

Career Builder Openings Continue to Alarmingly Shrink, No Improvement in Big States

With the U.S. unemployment rate now at the 25 year high of 9.4%, some in the media have suggested it is good news that the rate of job loss is slowing.  While there may be a glitter of hope in the lower number of job loss filings, the fact is job openings must improve in order to start absorbing the unemployed.  The question is when will corporations start hiring more and where.  The U.S. unemployment rate will not improve until job openings increase.

We have reported that job openings fell dramatically from January 2009 to March 14, 2009(See:  Job Openings Drop Nationwide in first 45 Days of Obama).  Job openings continued to drop but at a slower rate.

Best and Worst States analysis shows that job openings on careerbuilder.com have dropped 10.6% from Jan 29 to May 31 2009. Job openings less than 30 days old decreased to 210,048 as of May 31, 2009 from 235,059 as of January 29, 2009.  More importantly, job openings dropped further since March 14, 2009 when we last reported.  Job losses dropped 1.4% from 213,077 to 210,048.  One might cheer at only a 1.4% loss in 45 days but if your portfolio declined about 1% per month you should consider this alarming.  We are still losing job openings at the alarming rate of 1%  per month.  This is not what recoveries are built upon.

More importantly, all 10 of the biggest states have seen job opening drops since January.  These 10 states represented 54% of all the open jobs on Career Builder in May.  These states have seen a drop in openings of 12.25% since January, larger than the country average.  Illinois was the Worst State for Job Openings with a decline of 20.4%.  California at 16.6% decline was the second Worst State for Job Openings. New York at minus 14.3%, New Jersey at minus 13.2% and Pennsylvania at minus 10.6% job opening loss round out the 5 Worst States for Job Openings.

8 States showed improvement in job openings since January.  These states showed small job increases.  The Best State for Job Opening Improvement was South Carolina.  Its job openings increased by only 237 or 7.6%.  Kentucky at 134 and Indiana at 133 were the only other states that saw job openings improve by greater than 100.

Here is the listing of Job Openings by State for May 31,2009 as compared to Jan 31, 2009.

May-31-09 29-Jan-09 %Since 1-29
1 California 21565 25855 -4290 -16.6%
2 Texas 17988 20051 -2063 -10.3%
3 Florida 14119 15174 -1055 -7.0%
4 New York 11189 13057 -1868 -14.3%
5 Illinois 10912 13702 -2790 -20.4%
6 Pennsylvania 9964 11141 -1177 -10.6%
7 New Jersey 7492 8628 -1136 -13.2%
8 Ohio 7554 8276 -722 -8.7%
9 Virginia 6822 7186 -364 -5.1%
10 North Carolina 6359 6803 -444 -6.5%
11 Maryland 5872 6552 -680 -10.4%
12 Georgia 5500 5992 -492 -8.2%
13 Arizona 5237 5992 -755 -12.6%
14 Massachusetts 4810 6168 -1358 -22.0%
15 Michigan 4906 5541 -635 -11.5%
16 Washington 4354 4914 -560 -11.4%
17 Indiana 4864 4731 133 2.8%
18 Missouri 4451 4458 -7 -0.2%
19 Colorado 3735 4214 -479 -11.4%
20 Tennessee 4321 4413 -92 -2.1%
21 Connecticut 3633 4531 -898 -19.8%
22 Wisconsin 3760 4314 -554 -12.8%
23 Minnesota 3257 4193 -936 -22.3%
24 South Carolina 3373 3136 237 7.6%
25 Kansas 3232 3236 -4 -0.1%
26 Louisiana 3082 3494 -412 -11.8%
27 Kentucky 2897 2763 134 4.8%
28 Iowa 2322 2499 -177 -7.1%
29 Alabama 2551 2567 -16 -0.6%
30 Oklahoma 2083 2269 -186 -8.2%
31 Nevada 1732 1865 -133 -7.1%
32 Oregon 1667 1832 -165 -9.0%
33 Mississippi 1535 1548 -13 -0.8%
34 New Mexico 1369 1423 -54 -3.8%
35 Utah 1123 1236 -113 -9.1%
36 Arkansas 1347 1414 -67 -4.7%
37 Nebraska 1016 1230 -214 -17.4%
38 Delaware 855 1057 -202 -19.1%
39 Alaska 826 805 21 2.6%
40 Hawaii 761 865 -104 -12.0%
41 West Virginia 757 856 -99 -11.6%
42 New Hampshir 592 694 -102 -14.7%
43 Rhode Island 591 707 -116 -16.4%
44 South Dakota 673 585 88 15.0%
45 Idaho 703 665 38 5.7%
46 Vermont 562 659 -97 -14.7%
47 North Dakota 466 438 28 6.4%
48 Maine 459 449 10 2.2%
49 Montana 455 508 -53 -10.4%
50 Wyoming 355 373 -18 -4.8%
Entire U.S. 210048 235059 -25011 -10.6%

Source:  Best and Worst States and CareerBuilder.com

Finally, the recent drop is all the more alarming as there has been a headwindof positive stimulus.  The U.S. American Recovery and Reinvestment Actwas signed into law on February 14, 2009 about one month prior to ourlast measurement.  March was also the bottom of the stock market dropwith a strong rally of 25.6% in the Dow from March to May.  Onewould expect improvement in view of the great wealth effect of thestock market and the government stimulus.  We will update more fully job changes since March when the stock market began to recover in an upcoming post.  Signs of encouragement for job openings are not yet strong.

Best and Worst States for Motorists

The National Motorists Association (NMA) has published a Best and Worst States for Motorists list.  Just in time for the holiday weekend.  The NMA is against entrapment, cameras and other measures that enhance a state’s ability to write tickets and fine motorists.

With states facing huge shortfalls in revenue,  ticket writing will be a high priority.  The list highlights the states from Best to Worst.  Be careful driving.  The Worst States for Motorists also are some of the states facing the largest budget shortfalls.  Hold on to your wallet if you are driving in these states.  The 5 Worst States are New Jersey, Ohio, Maryland, Louisiana and New York.  The Best States, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska and Kentucky seem to be gentler places to live.

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

Source:National Motorist Association

 

List of Criteria Used To Generate Rankings (no particular order)

1) Speed Traps Per Capita (# of speed traps listed on www.speedtrap.org indexed to population)
2) Does the state have “driver responsibility” fees?
3) Does the state have mayor’s courts?
4) Does the state authorize the use of roadblocks?
5) What are the freeway speed limits?
6) Does the state have red-light cameras?
7) Does the state have speed cameras?
8) Are there toll roads in the state?
9) Is a jury trial available for traffic violations?
10) Is trial by declaration (asserting a defense in writing without appearing in court) available?
11) Is the state a member of the Non-Resident Violator Compact?
12) Is the state a member of the Driver’s License Compact?
13) Are radar detectors banned in the state?
14) Does the state have a primary seat belt law?
15) Are there adult helmet laws in the state?
16) Are there move-over laws in the state?
17) Is cell phone use banned?

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 Income. Is highest the best?

Best and Worst States for Income in 2008

Connecticut is the Best State for Per Capita Income in 2008 with an average of $63,160.  It is followed by Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Wyoming.

The Worst State for Income is Mississippi with an average income of $31,836.  The next Worst States are West Virginia, Arkansas, Kentucky and South Carolina.

Higher income does not necessarily correlate to better lifestyle.  Connecticut, for example, is the Worst State for Taxes with the highest tax burden in the country.  Generally the highest income states have the highest tax burdens and higher cost of living index. See: Cost of Living by State

You could spend a lot more for the same house and have a lot less disposable income to enjoy life

State Income Per Capita Rank
Conn. $63,160 1
Mass. $56,661 2
N.J. $56,116 3
N.Y. $55,032 4
Wyo. $53,163 5
Md. $52,709 6
Nev. $49,371 7
Wash. $48,574 8
Colo. $48,300 9
N.H. $48,033 10
Calif. $47,706 11
Va. $47,666 12
Ill. $46,693 13
Hawaii $46,512 14
Fla. $46,293 15
Minn. $46,106 16
Del. $44,889 17
Alaska $44,872 18
R.I. $44,463 19
Pa. $43,796 20
Tex. $42,796 21
Vt. $42,626 22
Wis. $40,953 23
Kans. $40,784 24
Nebr. $40,499 25
N.D. $39,612 26
Ore. $39,444 27
Mich. $39,273 28
La. $39,116 29
S.D. $39,103 30
Ohio $38,925 31
Iowa $38,636 32
Okla. $38,415 33
Maine $38,309 34
Ariz. $38,174 35
Tenn. $38,090 36
Mo. $38,084 37
Ga. $37,850 38
N.C. $37,508 39
Ind. $37,279 40
Mont. $36,793 41
Idaho $36,492 42
Ala. $36,372 43
N.M. $36,031 44
Utah $35,971 45
S.C. $35,419 46
Ky. $34,339 47
Ark. $33,395 48
W.Va. $32,145 49
Miss. $31,836 50
U.S. $44,254
D.C. $70,730
Note: See table 38 for average people per household by state.
Source: Tax Foundation Special Report, No. 163, “State-Local Tax Burdens Dip as Income Growth Outpaces Tax Growth.” The income measure used adds the following to Bureau of Economic Analysis’s personal income measure: capital gains realizations, pension and life insurance distributions, corporate income taxes paid, and taxes on production and imports less subsidies. It subtracts from personal income the fungible portion of Medicare and Medicaid, estimated Medicare benefits that are provided via supplementary contributions, initial contributions to pension income and life insurance from employers, and the annual investment income of life insurance carriers and pensions that is included in personal income.

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