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GovBytes: Analysis of Best and Worst Run States

Government Technology reports that this week a Delaware firm, 24/7 Wall St, which focuses on producing online and financial news and opinions, released a study a ranking the best and worst run states in America. The report is titled, Best and Worst Run States in America – An Analysis of all 50. Government Technology reports:

The study, Best and Worst Run States in America — An Analysis of All 50, dissects a collection of data including each state’s debt per capita, the percentage of the state population without health insurance, the percentage of the population below the poverty line as well as unemployment rates and other statistical data. Washington, D.C., however, was not included in the study.

Comparing the states is a challenge, since every state is so different. The report was interesting to read as 24/7 dissects how they performed the analysis.

Comparing the 50 states can be a challenge because they are so different. Some states have abundant natural resources while others rely on service or innovation. State populations also can be more rural or more urban. Some had booming industries that are waning or that have disappeared altogether. Border states with large immigrant communities have populations that are growing rapidly. Many states in the Northeast are not growing at all. All of these factors affect the finances and the living conditions in a state.

So how did the states stack up? Wyoming came in as the best run state and California had the honor of coming in last. My home state of New York was ranked 34. Take a look at the report, it’s an interesting analysis of comparing states. Check out the full rankings here.

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Andrew Krzmarzick

I grew up in 3 of the top 5! Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa. No wonder I have a favorable view of government 😉

Digging into the methodology, I read this: “We considered hundreds of data sets and chose what we considered to be the 10 most important measurements of financial and government management.”

What were those, I wonder? What were their indicators of good government management?

That’s the secret sauce that brings value from this kind of ranking…and how the worst run can improve over time by replicating the success of their counterparts higher on the list.

Allison Primack

When I asked members of GovLoop’s Facebook what states they thought were the best and worst run, these were their guesses:

Best: Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Alaska

Worst: Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Wisconsin

Andy, I was also wondering what indicators they picked for good government management. As a Californian (#50) I am aware that there are issues, but didn’t realize that they were bad enough to call us the “worst” run state. It would be interesting to see if California could learn anything from Wyoming, especially since they are very different states.