Idaho ranks in the middle of the pack when it comes to how well the state is run.
The financial news website 24/7 Wall St.
used many sets of data in compiling the rankings. In their article
, the authors wrote that they "reviewed hundreds of data sets from dozens of sources. We looked at each state’s debt, revenue, expenditure and deficit to determine how well it is managed fiscally. We reviewed taxes, exports and GDP growth, including a breakdown by sector, to identify how each state is managing its resources. We looked at poverty, income, unemployment, high school graduation, violent crime and foreclosure rates to measure if residents are prospering."
Idaho's ranking came in at number 22. The authors cite Idaho's health care problem as the reason the state wasn't ranked higher. Idaho has one of the higher rates in the nation of citizens without health insurance, 16.5%. The authors were concerned about that number since the state also has one of the nation's highest doctor shortages. They also pointed to the cuts Idaho made to Medicaid and other programs that promote health.
On the positive side the authors said Idaho was conservatively budgeted with one of the smallest budget shortfalls in the country for fiscal year 2011.
Ranked number two on the list was Wyoming. This is actually one place lower than last year. The authors attribute the slip to a contracting economy. In 2011 the state's GDP decreased by 1.2% which was the highest of any state. Still, Wyoming residents have low debt, the state has the 7th lowest unemployment and the 6th lowest percentage of people living below the poverty line. It's tax structure, the authors point out, is favorable for business.
Utah came in ranked at number four. While the Beehive state had a relatively high budget deficit in fiscal year 2011 the state's leaders have committed to keep tax rates where they are and not increase debt. The authors liked this solution.
In this ranking Montana checked in at number 18. Bucking the national trend, Montana has seen home prices increase between 2006 and 2011 which has strengthened the real estate market. People in Montana are also paying their mortgages with foreclosure rates at some of the lowest in the nation.