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 States For Jobs, Worst States for Jobs

Best and Worst States for Jobs

Unemployment increased in February to 8.1% nationwide.  The labor department just released the latest state numbers for January.

Wyoming is the Best State for Jobs with unemployment of only 3.7%.  North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota and Utah are in the Top 5 Best States for Jobs.

The Worst State for Jobs is Michigan with its unemployment now at 11.6%.  There are now 4 states in the U.S. that have unemployment rates above 10%.  South Carolina, Rhode Island and California are the other 3 Worst States for Jobs with rates above 10%.  North Carolina at 9.9% is also a Worst State for Jobs and will probably be above 10% next month.

The unemployment rate in states will be going up again when February is released as the national average has already increased and been released. We will keep you posted.

List of State Unemployment is below.

State Rate
1 WYOMING 3.7
2 NORTH DAKO 4.2
3 NEBRASKA 4.3
4 SOUTH DAKO 4.4
5 UTAH 4.6
6 IOWA 4.8
7 OKLAHOMA 5
8 LOUISIANA 5.1
8 NEW HAMPSH 5.1
8 NEW MEXICO 5.1
11 WEST VIRGIN 5.3
12 MONTANA 5.6
13 KANSAS 5.8
14 VIRGINIA 6
15 HAWAII 6.1
16 MARYLAND 6.2
17 ARKANSAS 6.4
17 TEXAS 6.4
19 COLORADO 6.6
19 IDAHO 6.6
21 DELAWARE 6.7
22 VERMONT 6.8
23 WISCONSIN 6.9
24 ARIZONA 7
24 NEW YORK 7
24 PENNSYLVANI 7
27 CONNECTICU 7.3
27 NEW JERSEY 7.3
29 MASSACHUSE 7.4
30 MINNESOTA 7.6
31 ALABAMA 7.8
31 MAINE 7.8
31 WASHINGTON 7.8
34 ALASKA 7.9
34 ILLINOIS 7.9
36 MISSOURI 8
37 FLORIDA 8.6
37 GEORGIA 8.6
37 TENNESSEE 8.6
40 KENTUCKY 8.7
40 MISSISSIPPI 8.7
42 OHIO 8.8
43 INDIANA 9.2
44 DISTRICT OF 9.3
45 NEVADA 9.4
46 NORTH CAROL 9.7
47 OREGON 9.9
48 CALIFORNIA 10.1
49 RHODE ISLAN 10.3
50 SOUTH CAROL 10.4
51 MICHIGAN 11.6

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Best and Worst States for Gasoline Prices, Wyoming Best, Alaska Worst

AAA publishes retail gasoline prices everyday.

The Best State for Gas Prices is Wyoming for Feb 21 with a price of $1.72 for regular gasoline. The other Top 5 Best States are Missouri, Utah, Oklahoma and South Carolina.

Alaska is the Worst State with a state price of $2.54.  Rounding out the 5 Worst States for Gas Prices are Hawaii, California, Nevada and Washington.

According to the Tax Foundation, Wyoming’s tax on a gallon of gas is $.14 and Alaska currently has suspended its tax until August of 2009.  California taxes every gallon of gas $.353. Its residents would enjoy much lower prices if they were not being taxed so highly.

There are many factors that influence each states price.  It is not just the price of a barrel of oil.

  1. Wyoming     $1.72
  2. Missouri     $1.73
  3. Utah     $1.73
  4. Oklahoma     $1.74
  5. South Carolina     $1.77
  6. Arkansas     $1.78
  7. New Jersey     $1.78
  8. Texas     $1.79
  9. Tennessee     $1.79
  10. Mississippi     $1.80
  11. Georgia     $1.80
  12. Alabama     $1.82
  13. Kansas     $1.83
  14. Iowa     $1.83
  15. Louisiana     $1.83
  16. Idaho     $1.83
  17. Indiana     $1.83
  18. Virginia     $1.84
  19. Colorado     $1.84
  20. Kentucky     $1.84
  21. Ohio     $1.85
  22. Delaware     $1.87
  23. Nebraska     $1.88
  24. North Carolina     $1.89
  25. Michigan     $1.89
  26. New Hampshire     $1.89
  27. Maryland     $1.90
  28. Minnesota     $1.90
  29. Massachusetts     $1.90
  30. South Dakota     $1.91
  31. Montana     $1.92
  32. Illinois     $1.95
  33. North Dakota     $1.96
  34. Vermont     $1.96
  35. Wisconsin     $1.97
  36. Florida     $1.98
  37. Rhode Island     $1.98
  38. District of Columbia     $1.99
  39. Pennsylvania     $2.00
  40. New Mexico     $2.00
  41. Maine     $2.01
  42. West Virginia     $2.02
  43. Connecticut     $2.03
  44. Arizona     $2.04
  45. New York     $2.10
  46. Oregon     $2.11
  47. Washington     $2.20
  48. Nevada     $2.21
  49. California     $2.29
  50. Hawaii     $2.43
  51. Alaska     $2.54

Graduation Rates, SAT Scores and Educational Spending. Who is the Best and Worst?

Does increased spending on Education lead to higher performance?

*******Go to 2009 State SAT Scores List  for the latest SAT results.*********

This question was raised in prior posts.

I thought you might find these 2 charts interesting.  Best and Worst States For Education Spending ranks all states by spending and shows the SAT Score Rank of its students. I also have attached a Chart from  Heritage that shows that the best funded cities do not have the highest graduation rates.

The more money spent clearly does not show up in higher SAT scores or graduation rates. 

New Jersey spends the most money.  Its SAT score rank is 33 .  New York, at 2nd on the money spend, ranks 44th on SAT scores.  The “Worst” State for Education Spending is Utah yet its students rank 20th on the SAT score list above NY and New Jersey. Utah spends about 1/3 the dollars of NY and New Jersey.  Its students do better than all of the Top 10 spenders on Education.  Utah may be considered a Best State for Education considering its bang for the dollar.

Arizona
is the next lowest spend state yet ranks 29th on the SAT Scores list.  Arizona students perform better than the top 6 spenders.  Mesa, AZ which is at the bottom of the Heritage list of city spends has a graduation rate of 77.1%.  Mesa spends only 40% of Boston which has a much lower graduation rate of 57%.

Clearly money is not the only factor that impacts educational performance.  You may want to consider carefully your state’s approach to education.  It appears more dollars on education does not lead to better results.  Tell your political leaders you want accountability for results not just money spent.

State Ed Spend SAT Rank
1 New Jersey 15,033 36
2 New York 14,593 44
3 DC 14,214 50
4 Connecticut 13,059 31
5 Vermont 12,749 30
6 Rhode Island 12,425 41
7 Massachusetts 12,398 29
8 Delaware 11,619 43
9 Alaska 11,551 33
10 Maine 11,014 51
11 Pennsylvania 10,900 45
12 Wyoming 10,852 16
13 Maryland 10,682 37
14 New Hampshire 10,405 26
15 Wisconsin 10,388 6
16 Michigan 9,947 13
17 Ohio 9,936 23
18 West Virginia 9,609 32
19 Hawaii 9,581 48
20 Indiana 9,498 38
21 Illinois 9,473 2
22 Virginia 9,463 34
23 Nebraska 9,365 9
24 Minnesota 9,284 3
25 Montana 8,661 22
26 Oregon 8,595 27
27 Georgia 8,589 46
28 Iowa 8,479 1
29 Kansas 8,440 7
30 California 8,418 35
31 Missouri 8,368 4
32 New Mexico 8,342 21
33 North Dakota 8,337 7
34 Colorado 8,334 18
35 Washington 8,218 25
36 Louisiana 8,167 14
37 Arkansas 8,156 11
38 South Carolina 8,039 49
39 South Dakota 7,949 5
40 Texas 7,716 42
41 Florida 7,683 47
42 Kentucky 7,595 15
43 Alabama 7,532 19
44 North Carolina 7,352 41
45 Tennessee 7,295 10
46 Nevada 7,246 41
47 Oklahoma 7,039 12
48 Mississippi 6,973 17
49 Idaho 6,729 24
50 Arizona 6,586 29
51 Utah 5,555 20


Sources:  Dept of Education.  Spending not regionally adjusted.  College Board.

http://www.heritage.org/research/Education/images/b2179_chart5.gif
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Smoking by State, Utah has least Smokers, Kentucky Most

Smoking by State, Utah has least Smokers, Kentucky Most

Editors Note: For the 2009 List of Smokers by State and the latest map go to Smoking States 2009, Tobacco Producing States and State Smoking Map

Why do people smoke more in one state versus another?  Does the number of smokers in a state affect lifestyle?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publishes great statistics on many aspects of health.  The smoking list is compliled by them and was completed in 2007.

Utah is the Best State for Non Smokers with only 11.7% of its population using cigarettes.  Kentucky is the Worst State with 28.3% of its population smoking.  California, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Minnesota round out the top 5 Best StatesWest Virginia, Oklahoma, Missouri and Tennessee are the next Worst States following Kentucky for Non Smokers.

It is well known that smoking increases health care costs. You may want to live in a state with low smoking rates.  Then again if you are a smoker this list will help you find lots of company to light up with.

Best and Worst States for Non Smokers (% of cigarette smokers)
Utah 11.7

2 California 14.3

3 Connecticut 15.5

4 Massachuset 16.4

5 Minnesota 16.5

6 Washington  16.8

7 Oregon 16.9

8 Hawaii 17

9 Rhode Islan 17

10 Maryland 17.1

11 New Jersey 17.2

12 District of Co 17.3

13 Vermont 17.6

14 Kansas 17.9

15 Virginia 18.6

16 Colorado 18.7

17 New York 18.9

18 Delaware 19

19 Idaho 19.2

20 Florida 19.3

21 Georgia 19.3

22 New Hamps 19.4

23 Texas 19.4

24 Montana 19.5

25 Wisconsin 19.6

26 Arizona 19.8

27 Iowa 19.8

28 South Dakot 19.8

29 Nebraska 19.9

30 Maine 20.1

31 Illinois 20.2

32 New Mexico 20.8

33 Pennsylvani 20.9

34 North Dakot 21

35 Michigan 21.2

36 Nevada 21.5

37 South Caroli 21.9

38 Wyoming 22.1

39 Alaska 22.2

40 Arkansas 22.4

41 Alabama 22.5

42 Louisiana 22.6

43 North Caroli 22.9

44 Ohio 23.1

45 Mississippi 24

46 Indiana 24.1

47 Tennessee 24.3

48 Missouri 24.6

49 Oklahoma 25.8

50 West Virgini 27

51 Kentucky 28.3

Source:  Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Are State Health Mandates reducing Jobs? Best and Worst States for Driving Up Healthcare Costs

Health Care Costs are Rising.  Jobs are scarce. 

Should states be putting more burdens on employers that decrease their ability to hire? What states are making employees more expensive to hire?

The  Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council  publishes an annual  “State Health Care Policy Cost Index.”

If you are an employer you should pay close attention to this study as it identifies the Best and Worst States for Health mandates that drive up health insurance costs.

Idaho is the Best State for Health Care Cost PolicyMassachusetts is the Worst State for Health Care Cost Policy.  Rounding out the Top 5 Best States are Utah, Iowa, Michigan and Ohio.  The bottom 5 includes Washington, Maine, Connecticut and Vermont.

Employers are finding it harder to afford health care costs for employees.  Employers looking for the Best State to hire employees will consider the costs of health insurance.  If you are looking for the Best States for Job Growth this list may matter.
.
State                   HSA      GI          CR             M     P/P       Score

1 Idaho 0 0 0.33 0.75 0 1.08
2 Utah 0 0 0.33 1.15 0 1.48
3 Iowa 0 0 0.33 1.25 0 1.58
4 Michigan 0 0 0.33 1.3 0 1.63
4 Ohio 0 0 0.33 1.3 0 1.63
6 Alaska 0 0 0.33 1.4 0 1.73
7 South Carolina 0 0 0.33 1.45 0 1.78
8 South Dakota 0 0 0.33 1.55 0 1.88
9 Pennsylvania 0 0 0 1.9 0 1.9
10 Nebraska 0 0 0.33 1.6 0 1.93
10 Wyoming 0 0 0.33 1.6 0 1.93
12 Dist. Of Columbia 1 0 0 0.95 0 1.95
13 Kentucky 0 0 0.33 1.65 0 1.98
14 North Dakota 0 0 0.33 1.7 0 2.03
15 Oklahoma 0 0 0.33 1.8 0 2.13
16 Kansas 0 0 0.33 1.85 0 2.18
17 West Virginia 0 0 0.33 1.9 0 2.23
18 Missouri 0 0 0.33 1.95 0 2.28
18 Alabama 1 0 0.33 0.95 0 2.28
20 Illinois 0 0 0.33 2 0 2.33
20 Montana 0 0 0.33 2 0 2.33
20 Tennessee 0 0 0.33 2 0 2.33
23 Arkansas 0 0 0.33 2.05 0 2.38
23 Georgia 0 0 0.33 2.05 0 2.38
25 Oregon 0 0 0.66 1.8 0 2.46
26 Louisiana 0 1 0.33 2.15 0 2.48
27 Delaware 0 0 0.33 1.25 0 2.58
28 Virginia 0 1 0 2.75 0 2.75
29 Arizona 0 1 0.33 1.45 0 2.78
29 Mississippi 0 0 0.33 1.45 0 2.78
31 New Mexico 0 0 0.33 2.55 0 2.88
32 Nevada 0 0 0.33 2.6 0 2.93
33 Texas 0 0 0.33 2.7 0 3.03
33 Wisconsin 1 1 0.33 1.7 0 3.03
35 Hawaii 0 0 0 1.15 1 3.15
36 Indiana 1 0 0.33 1.85 0 3.18
37 Minnesota 0 1 0.33 3.2 0 3.53
38 New Hampshire 0 1 0.66 1.95 0 3.61
39 North Carolina 0 1 0.33 2.35 0 3.68
39 Rhode Island 0 1 0.33 2.35 0 3.68
41 Florida 0 0 0.33 2.4 0 3.73
42 New York 0 0 1 2.75 0 3.75
43 New Jersey 1 1 0.66 2.1 0 3.76
44 Colorado 0 0 0.33 2.45 0 3.78
45 Maryland 0 0 0.66 3.15 0 3.81
46 California 1 1 0.33 2.5 0 3.83
47 Vermont 0 1 0.66 1.35 1 4.01
48 Connecticut 0 1 0.66 2.55 0 4.21
49 Maine 0 1 0.66 2.65 0 4.31
49 Washington 0 1 0.66 2.65 0 4.31
51 Massachusetts 0 0.66 2.15 1 4.81

Source:  The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council’s Small Business Policy Series Analysis #33 February 2009
HSA-Health Saving Account Deductions, GI- Guaranteed Issue for Self Employed, CR-Community Rating Mandate, M- Number of Mandates
P/P- Play to Pay Mandate

States will be looking to attract businesses to grow and relocate in the current economic climate in order to drive job opportunities and tax revenue.  They are reviewing how to increase incentives. Reducing State health care mandates will make it more attractive for employers to hire.

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Best and Worst States for Health

American Health does a ranking every year of states utilizing a methodology that looks at 22 measures of health determinants and outcomes.  It then ranks the states.

The Best and Worst States for Health in 2008 are:

Best States for Health

1.  Vermont
2.  Hawaii
3.  New Hampshire
4.  Minnesota
5.  Utah


Worst States for Health

50.  Louisiana
49.  Mississippi
48.  South Carolina
47.  Tennessee
46.  Texas

According to American Health Vermont has been ranked Best for the 2nd straight year.  Positive factors included high rate of high school graduation, a low violent crime rate, a low percentage of children in poverty, high per capita public health funding, ready access to primary care, low geographic disparity of mortality rates within the state and a low premature death rate. Two challenges are low immunization coverage with 79.8 percent of children ages 19 to 35 months receiving complete immunizations and a high prevalence of binge drinking at 17.3 percent of the population.

Louisiana
, the Worst State, fell to 50 from 49 in 2008. It has been rated in the bottom 2 states for all years since 1990.  It ranks in the bottom five states on 10 of the 22 measures including a high prevalence of obesity, a high percentage of children in poverty, a high rate of uninsured population, a high incidence of infectious disease, a low rate of high school graduation and many preventable hospitalizations.

The state you live can have an important role in your health.

For the full listing and more info go to their site at American Health Rankings

Should You live in a low income State? Livability Rankings

Low Income States Consistently Rated Worst States for Livability

We thought you might like to see a comparison of the Best and Worst States for Livability and the income rankings associated with each state.  Money may not buy happiness but the state you spend it in just might.

Best States for Livability and their Income Ranks

1.      New Hampshire                       $41,512          8
2.      Utah                                        $31,189         45
3.      Wyoming                                 $43,226          6
4.      Minnesota                                $41,034         11
5.      Iowa                                        $35,023         27

Worst States for Livability and their Income Ranks

50.     Mississippi                               $28,845          50
49.     South Carolina                         $31,013          47
48.     Kentucky                                  $31,111          46
47.     Tennessee                                $33,280          39
46.     Louisiana                                  $34,756          31
45.     West Virginia                           $29,537          49
Source:  U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis
CQ Press 2008 State Livability Rankings

                State income data is for 2007.

The highest income state, Connecticut at $54,117, has a livability ranking of 11. New Jersey, with an average state income of $49,194, has a livability rank of 7.  New York, rated 24th on livability, was rated 4th in income and California was 30th on livability and 7th on income.   It appears very low income states are low on livability yet high income does not insure being rated a Best State for livability.  Utah is a outlier in that it ranks 2 in livability yet has one of the lowest state incomes.

In about 60 days new data will be released on state income levels for 2008.  Also CQ press does a nice study of state livability each year. We will keep you posted when the new data is released.  Review top income states when they are released.  High income does not insure high livability.
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