Press Release

2016 State Economic Competitiveness Index Reveals National Pro-Growth Trend

For Ninth Year in a Row, Utah Takes Top Rank for Best Economic Outlook Followed by North Carolina, North Dakota, Wyoming and Arizona; New York, Vermont, New Jersey, Connecticut and California rank last

Arlington, VA (April 12, 2016) — Utah again earns the top spot for states with the best economic outlook, followed by North Carolina, North Dakota and Wyoming, according to the newest edition of Rich States, Poor States released today by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

2016 RSPS Ranking Map 300dpi

The report also revealed many states significantly improved or fell in the rankings. Tennessee was the biggest winner in the rankings this year, climbing ten spots to seventh place. Florida gained seven spots in the rankings, while New Hampshire and Oklahoma improved by six spots. On the other hand, Georgia was the biggest loser this year, dropping twelve spots in the rankings to nineteenth place. Alaska fell by eleven spots, while Idaho and Kansas lost nine spots.

The fifteen economic policy variables used by the authors to rank the economic outlook of states have shown over time to be among the most influential drivers of state growth. The top ten and bottom ten states for 2016 are:

                    Overall Economic Outlook for 2016

Top Ten                            Bottom Ten
1. Utah
2. North Carolina
3. North Dakota
4. Wyoming
5. Arizona
6. Indiana
7. Tennessee
8. Florida
9. Wisconsin
10. Oklahoma
41. Oregon
42. Hawaii
43. Illinois
44. Delaware
45. Minnesota
46. California
47. Connecticut
48. New Jersey
49. Vermont
50. New York

 

“2015 was another banner year for tax cuts in many statehouses around the country,” said Jonathan Williams, co-author of the report and vice president of the ALEC Center for State Fiscal Reform. “As states compete with each other for much-needed human and financial capital, there is a clear trend in favor of taxpayer-friendly, market-oriented reforms.”

Rich States, Poor States examines the latest movements in state economic growth. The data ranks the 2016 economic outlook of states using fifteen equally weighted policy variables, including various tax rates, regulatory burdens and labor policies. The ninth edition examines trends over the last few decades that have helped or hurt states’ economies.

Used by state lawmakers across America since 2008, Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index, is authored by economist Dr. Arthur B. Laffer; Stephen Moore, distinguished visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation; and Jonathan Williams, vice president of the ALEC Center for State Fiscal Reform.

To download a copy of Rich States, Poor States and to see individual state data, visit www.alec.org/rsps.


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