Economy  
comments_image Comments

The 10 States With the Worst Economies In America

The global economic crash hurt everyone, but not equally; here are the states that are feeling the greatest economic pain.

Continued from previous page

 
 
Share
 
 
 

Unemployment rate: 12.9 percent

Share of unemployed out of work for more than 27 weeks: 46.1 percent

Per capita income: $41,321

Median household net worth, as a percentage of national average: 84 percent

Poverty rate (2008): 11.3 percent

Share of the population without health insurance: 20 percent

Foreclosure rate: 9.7 percent

3. West Virginia

West Virginia stands out for its low net worths – the accumulated legacy of long years of relative hardship – the second lowest average incomes in the U.S. and the sixth highest poverty rate.

Unemployment rate: 8.1 percent

Share of unemployed out of work for more than 27 weeks: 33.1 percent

Per capita income: $30,217

Median household net worth, as a percentage of national average: 52 percent

Poverty rate (2008): 17 percent

Share of the population without health insurance: 15 percent

Foreclosure rate: 2.1 percent

4. California

The Golden State has long been among the most prosperous states in the nation; if it were a country, its economy would be the world's 8th largest. But while it still accounts for around an eighth of the country's economic output, it had one of the biggest real estate bubbles, and has been hit hard by the downturn. That followed a decline in high-paying manufacturing jobs in the 2000s – California accounted for over 15 percent of the country's exported goods in 2000, but that fell to just over 11 percent in 2008. While Californians enjoy relatively high incomes, they are also badly overextended. With an average of $77,000 in household debt, its citizens lead the nation.

Unemployment rate: 12 percent

Share of unemployed out of work for more than 27 weeks: 46.1 percent

Per capita income: $46,488

Median household net worth, as a percentage of national average: 84 percent

Poverty rate (2008): 13.3 percent

Share of the population without health insurance: 19 percent

Foreclosure rate: 4.4 percent

5. Alabama

Alabama has a relatively low foreclosure rate and a share of the population without insurance that is below the national average. It belongs here because of Alabamans' relatively low household net worths, the sixth lowest per capita incomes in the country and a poverty rate among the top 10.

Unemployment rate: 10 percent

Share of unemployed out of work for more than 27 weeks: 46.5 percent

Per capita income: $32,245

Median household net worth, as a percentage of national average: 57 percent

Poverty rate (2008): 15.7 percent

Share of the population without health insurance: 14 percent

Foreclosure rate: 2.0 percent

6. Florida

Like Nevada, Florida saw a huge real estate bubble inflate and then burst just as revenues from tourism were tanking. The Sunshine State's foreclosure rate, at over one in eight properties, leads the country. Florida households are saddled with around $50,000 in debt, on average, and it trails only Texas and New Mexico for the largest share of its population without health insurance – no small feat for a state packed with Medicare-eligible retirees. Almost half of the state's unemployed have been out of work for 27 weeks or more. One of the bright spots is Florida's agricultural sector, which has benefited from high crop prices due to drought-driven food shortages around the world.

Unemployment rate: 10.7 percent

Share of unemployed out of work for more than 27 weeks: 49.5 percent

Per capita income: $35,815

Median household net worth, as a percentage of national average: 91 percent

 
See more stories tagged with: