How “free” is your state?

A recent study conducted by WalletHub identifies the most and least “independent” states based on health- and wealth-related dependencies in five categories: “consumer finances,” such as credit scores and emergency savings; “government,” or federal funding; “international trade,” such as jobs supported by exported goods; “job market,” such as employer-offered retirement savings and the unemployment rate; and “personal vices,” such as drug use and gambling.

The most independent state, according to the study, is Colorado, with the lowest unemployment rate; the second-highest share of households that have emergency savings; the second-lowest share of jobs supported by exported goods; the second-lowest share of GDP generated by exports; and the fourth-lowest share of households relying on food stamps and/or other assistance.

The least independent state is Louisiana, with the highest share of GDP generated by exports; the third-highest share of adults with gambling disorders; the third-lowest median credit score; the fourth-highest unemployment rate; and the fourth-highest share of jobs supported by exported goods.

The remaining four of the top five most independent states are:

  1. Utah
  • Highest Median Household Income
  • Highest Share of Households With Emergency Savings
  • Second-Lowest Share of Adult Binge Drinkers
  • Third-Lowest Share of Households Relying on Food Stamps and/or Other Assistance
  1. Minnesota
  • Highest Median Credit Score
  • Second-Highest Employer-Based Retirement Access/Participation
  • Second-Least Federally Dependent
  • Fourth-Highest Median Household Income
  1. New Hampshire
  • Lowest Unemployment Rate
  • Fourth-Highest Employer-Based Retirement Access/Participation
  1. Wisconsin
  • Highest Employer-Based Retirement Access/Participation
  • Third-Lowest Share of Adults With Gambling Disorders

The remaining four of the top five least independent states are:

  1. Kentucky
  • Most Federally Dependent
  • Fourth-Highest Share of GDP Generated by Exports
  1. Alaska
  • Highest Share of Jobs Supported by Exported Goods
  • Second-Highest Unemployment Rate
  • Third-Highest Share of Households Relying on Food Stamps and/or Other Assistance
  1. Mississippi
  • Highest Share of Adults With Gambling Disorders
  • Lowest Median Credit Score
  • Second-Most Federally Dependent
  • Fifth-Highest Share of Households Relying on Food Stamps and/or Other Assistance
  1. West Virginia
  • Second-Lowest Median Household Income
  • Second-Lowest Share of Households With Emergency Savings
  • Fifth-Most Federally Dependent
  1. South Carolina
  • Third-Highest Share of GDP Generated by Exports
  • Third-Lowest Median Credit Score

Source: WalletHub

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