2015 was a banner year for the U.S. economy, thanks to a strong dollar, job gains, lower oil prices, increased consumer spending, and general improvements in the housing and business sectors. And the International Labour Organization expects steady growth ahead despite a slowing global economy.
But within the U.S., state economies could still be either boom or bust. Illinois, for instance, is currently in a fiscal free fall, with no budget for the second year in a row — putting its schools and social programs in peril — and the highest unemployment rate in the Midwest. Meanwhile, California has blossomed into the seventh largest economy in the world, boasting a GDP of $2.3 trillion, which was comparable to Brazil’s $2.2 trillion, in 2014.
With such wide disparities in growth, WalletHub’s analysts compared the economic performance of the 50 states and the District of Columbia across three key dimensions: Economic Activity, Economic Health and Innovation Potential. Continue reading below for our findings, expert commentary and a full description of our methodology.
It might come as a surprise that Illinois isn’t at the bottom end of the totem. In fact, our state’s overall ranking was 29th. Here’s the breakdown:
Economy of Illinois (1=Best-Performing; 25=Avg.)
- 29th – GDP Growth
- 21st – % of Fast-Growing Firms
- 14th – Exports per Capita
- 23rd – Business Startup Activity
- 27th – % of Jobs in High-Tech Industries
- 18th – Annual Median Household Income
- 32nd – Nonfarm Payrolls Change
- 14th – Immigration of U.S. Knowledge Workers
- 22nd – State-Government Surplus/Deficit per Capita
- 48th – Unemployment Rate
For the full report, please visit this page on WalletHub.com.
SOURCE: WalletHub.com news release and website