"Have you ever wondered, “What if my state suddenly imploded because of how much debt it has?” No? Are you sure? You’re not constantly considering if your state has the worst state finances?
Well, that’s okay.
You’re here now.
You’re about to be serenaded with the exact information you never wondered in your life but now desperately must know – what is the state of my state’s finances? Is it the worst in the Union? How’s my state’s budget? Is it balanced? (Spoiler alert: it’s not) Did you know that state budgets can affect you personally? (Yes you, reading this in Kansas).
But lucky you in Kansas, you are not among those states who would affect their population the worst, because the ranking below works like so: take the total debts (or surplus) or money and monetary assets a state has at the end of its fiscal year and subtract what it was obligated to pay out. Then you divide that total debt obligation by the population of that state. So what you get is the average amount a taxpayer of the state they reside in would have to pay to help keep their state out of debt for that year.
This list focuses on those states in lots of debt, and continue to be in debt as they did not have enough money to meet their debts for the year. If they had strong-armed their population to pay up to meet their obligations, then each taxpayer would have to pay quite a large amount per person. This list is thus ranked by whatever random taxpayers in the states below would have had to pay in taxes to help balance their state’s budgets."