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Maine is Near the Bottom of New Report, ‘What are the Best + Worst Run States? ‘
Ever wonder just how efficient our state government is? It can be tough to figure, as there really aren’t too many tools out there that provide up-to-the-minute report cards on our local leaders.

But never fear: ’24/7 Wall Street’ just released its annual survey of the best and worst run states in America, all of which were graded on their financial health, standards of living, government services, as well as other criteria to discover the quality of each state’s overall management.

Coming in at the worst of the worst is California, with its high level of debt and unemployment, followed by Rhode Island, which has one of the nation’s highest debt-per-capita ratings.

North Dakota ranks as the best run state in the country—mostly because of the state’s booming oil business and lack of a budget deficit.

Where does Maine rank? Well, let’s just say we’re closer to the bottom than the top. Maine is ranked at #35.

  • Debt per capita: $4,542 (12th highest)
  • Budget deficit: 34.7% (5th largest)
  • Unemployment: 7.5% (tied-20th lowest)
  • Median household income: $46,033 (19th lowest)
  • Pct. below poverty line: 14.1% (23rd lowest)

According to the results:

In fiscal 2011, Maine had one of the nation’s largest budget shortfalls, equal to nearly 35% of its budget. The state is still slashing programs, including Medicaid, which accounted for the majority of the cuts in May’s budget-balancing bill. Maine’s residents do not earn as much as residents of other New England states. The state’s median household income was just $46,000, more than $15,000 below Massachusetts and Connecticut. Maine’s economic output has also lagged recently, with GDP contracting by 0.4% — a bigger decline than all but five states.

The 5 Best-Run States in America

  1. North Dakota
  2. Wyoming
  3. Nebraska
  4. Utah
  5. Iowa

The 5 Worst-Run States in America

  1. California
  2. Rhode Island
  3. Illinois
  4. Arizona
  5. New Jersey


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