Saturday, August 27, 2011

The 10 States With the Best Economies in America

August 26, 2011

The best local economy in the United States, by far, is the DC metropolitan area. Average incomes in the region top $150,000, more than triple the national average. The reason for Washington's affluence (or parts of Washington's affluence – the Capitol also has abundant poverty) is clear: while the rest of the economy is facing a crisis in demand as a result of high unemployment and stagnant wages in the private sector, the Capitol, in classic Keynesian style, is making up for it with plenty of public spending, which has skyrocketed since 9/11 – defense and homeland security contractors, and other firms providing goods and services to the government are flush.

It's the same model that got us out of the Great Depression, but in this age of austerity, Washington isn't spreading enough public dollars around to help those of us living in the 50 states. Even so, not all states have seen the same kind of economic pain since the Great Recession began. Here are 10 that are doing pretty well, with relatively low unemployment, fewer homes in foreclosure, decent wages and a large share of their populations enjoying health insurance. It's not a comprehensive analysis of the thousands of economic metrics one might examine, but it does provide a handy snapshot of some of the states that are weathering the storm fairly well.

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