RANKED: The 50 US State Economies From Worst To Best

Captain america bathroomREUTERS/Carlo AllegriA man dressed as Captain America adjusts his mask after washing his hands in the bathroom at ComicCon in New York, 2013.

The U.S. economy is in pretty good shape. GDP is growing, unemployment is falling, and we’re seeing signs that wages may be on the rise.

However, the U.S. economic story is actually just an aggregation of 50 economic stories.

Previously, Business Insider examined ranked every state by how quickly the economies were growing. This time around, we calculated which states had the best economies outright.

We ranked each state on seven economic measures: the July unemployment rate; the change in non-farm payroll jobs from June to July 2014; the 2013 GDP per capita; the 2012 per capita consumption; the 2013 average annual wage; the 2013 exports per capita; and the 2012 government expenditures.

49. New Mexico

New Mexico has struggled to recover from the Great Recession, with labour conditions and demographics stagnant over the last few years. New Mexico had low scores on most of our metrics:

48: Arkansas

Arkansas is the home of Walmart, sitting proudly at the top of the Fortune 500 list. Unfortunately, Arkansas was among the ten worst states on three measures:

46: South Carolina

South Carolina's largest private sector industries are professional and business services, retail trade, and manufacturing. Here's how South Carolina did on our variables:

45: West Virginia

Coal is still a big part of West Virginia's economy. West Virginia faired poorly on a few of our metrics:

44: Kentucky

Healthcare giant Humana and KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut owner Yum! Brands call Kentucky home. Here's how Kentucky measured up:

42: Idaho

Idaho has had some difficulties in the last few years, including serious cuts to education funding by the state government. Here's Idaho's scores on our variables:

40: Florida

The home of Disney World and the Kennedy Space Center has mixed economic figures. Here's how Florida ranked:

38: Oklahoma

Forbes ranked Oklahoma City as the seventh best place in the U.S. for business and careers. Here are Oklahoma's stats:

37: Alabama

Agriculture and forestry are a huge part of Alabama's economy, making up almost 40% of state GDP. Here's how we ranked Alabama:

36: Rhode Island

Fans cheer as rock band Deer Tick performs at the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island. The three-day festival was founded in 1959.

We've noted before that Rhode Island faces unique challenges in the 21st century. Here are some of Rhode Island's metrics:

35: Ohio

Ohio may be poised for better economic times in the near future, with shale energy discoveries and a return of manufacturing to the U.S. Here's how Ohio measured up:

33: Indiana

Life sciences, the auto industry, and energy are three of the biggest sectors in Indiana's economy. Here's Indiana's score:

32: Arizona

The Economic and Business Research Center at the University of Arizona predicts in their second quarter 2014 economic outlook that 'with federal fiscal drag expected to dissipate in the near term, the door is open for faster state growth. How fast that growth turns out to be will depend in part on the strength of the housing recovery.' Here's how Arizona did on our variables:

31: Pennsylvania

The expansion of natural gas fracking in the Marcellus Shale formation has had mixed effects on Pennsylvania's economy and environment. Here's how Pennsylvania fared on our measures:

30: Missouri

The St. Louis Arch is lit at night by both park lights and street lights from downtown St. Louis.

Ten Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in Missouri, including chemical and agricultural giant Monsanto. Here's what's going on in Missouri:

28 (tie): Montana

Montana is a big wide-open place and agriculture is still the state's largest industry. Here's how Montana scored on our variables:

28 (tie): Maryland

With its proximity to Washington, D.C., technology, communications, and defence are all key areas in Maryland's economy. Maryland was a mixed bag on our indicators:

27: South Dakota

Agriculture and tourism are the two biggest industries in South Dakota. Here's the state's scorecard:

25. Kansas

Kansas' economy is driven by agriculture and manufacturing -- the state is a major producer of wheat, sorghum grains, wild hay and beef. Kansas is also a major producer of aeroplanes, which ads an annual economic impact of $7.1 billion -- or $US2,561 per capita. Here's how Kansas did in our variables:

23. North Carolina (TIE)

North Carolina's economy 'finally got moving'during the second half of 2013, according to a recent Wells Fargo report, because construction payrolls saw gains, and employment in manufacturing and government has 'improved'. Additionally, rapid growth is happening in North Carolina's business services sector. In our metrics...

23. Wisconsin (TIE)

In 2013, Wisconsin's economy 'grew at a moderate pace'. Manufacturing, agriculture, and healthcare drive Wisconsin's economy. Since 1910, Wisconsin has been the leading producer of cheese in the nation (mozzarella taking 33.4% of the market in 2013). In our metrics...

22. Utah

Major industries driving Utah's economy include tour sim, aerospace and defence, and health care. In 2013, Utah's employment grew faster than the U.S. average. Here's how the state did in our ranking:

21. Colorado

Colorado's economy is ahead of expectations for 2014, partially because of strong performances by the energy and tourism industries. Here's how the state did in our metrics:

20. Nebraska

Warren Buffett, aka the Oracle of Omaha

Nebraska has developed agriculture and manufacturing sectors. On the agriculture end, the state produces sorghum, corn, wheat, cattle, and hogs. On the manufacturing end, the state produces electronic and auto components, as well as oil and gas. The state's 2014 economic outlook is expected to be 'not as strong as 2013'. In our metrics...

18. Iowa

Iowa's economy saw a 'prosperous' year in 2013 following a downward trend in unemployment rate. Additionally, Iowa's financial sector alone added 1,700 jobs in 2013, while manufacturing and construction added 6,700 jobs. In our metrics...

16. Minnesota

Minnesota is a 'consistently solid performer, with a diverse economy and an unemployment rate that has typically remained well below the national average', according to a report by Wells Fargo. In our ranking...

15. Virginia

In 2013, Virginia's economy 'continued to limp along as federal fiscal tightening restrained growth in this government-dependent state', according to a Wells Fargo report. Virginia has a diverse economy with agriculture, coal, cement, an rail transport industries. According to our numbers...

13. New Jersey

New Jersey's economy is forecasted to grow by 1.5 per cent in 2014, and eventually by 3.4 per cent by 2015. In the last few years, the economy struggled because it was more affected by the housing crisis, and because of Hurricane Sandy. In our data...

12. Illinois

Illinois is expected to pick up speed in 2014 and 2015, but job gains are 'likely' to lag behind the national economy levels, according to a JP Morgan Chase report. Here's how the state did in our measurements...

11. California

Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook

California's economy is so huge that is surpasses both Russia and Italy's economies. The state has numerous, large industrial sectors, and saw a recent art boom in Los Angeles. Plus, of course, all the tech industries in the San Francisco area. In our metrics...

10. Wyoming

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Wyoming's economy is expected to accelerate in 2014, according to a Wells Fargo report. And the unemployment trends indicate that the economy is rebounding. According to our data...

9. Vermont

Vermont has seen the greatest growth in New England since the Great Recession. Vermont also continues to lead the U.S. maple syrup industry. In our data...

7. Connecticut

Average annual wages of Connecticut workers increased by 0.2% in the last year. However, forecasts suggest that the state will see slower growth in 2014 and 2015. Here's how Connecticut did according to our numbers:

6. Massachusetts

Massachusetts passed an $80 million economic development act that will improve training for Massachusetts's high-growth industries, and will provide 'incentives to create jobs and stimulate the economy.' The state's economy grew by $US424.4 billion from 2009 to 2013. According to our data...

5. Washington

Washington has many major companies including Microsoft, Starbucks, and Amazon. The state's job market is forecasted to expand, and the IT sector will be an important economic driver, according to a JP Morgan report. Our data shows that...

2. Texas

Cory Solomon of Prairie View, Texas flips a calf in the tie-down roping event, July 14, 2013.

Texas' economy continued to expand, especially in the oil and gas, and construction industries. Manufacturing and cuts in federal spending 'contributed to the state's job growth slowdown'. According to our data...

1. North Dakota

North Dakota's oil boom sped up the economy in the last few years -- and the trend is expected to continue because of the 'robust demand of energy'. Here's how North Dakota did in our measures...

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