News

Financial State of the States 2019

September 24, 2019

**To read the full report, please click here to download the PDF**

Truth in Accounting has released its tenth annual Financial State of the States report, a nationwide analysis of the most recent state government financial information. This comprehensive analysis of the 50 states’ finances includes the most up-to-date state finance and pension data, trends across the states, and key findings.

States have become more transparent over the last few years, thanks to the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles set by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, which now require governments to disclose pension and other post-employment (OPEB) benefits on their balance sheets. If these benefits have not been fully funded, they are considered liabilities, or debt, because they represent money owed to government employees in their retirement.

This year the study found that 40 states do not have enough money to pay all of their bills and in total the states have racked up $1.5 trillion in unfunded state debt. The study ranks the states according to their Taxpayer Burden or Surplus™, which is each taxpayer's share of state bills after available assets have been tapped. 

Here are the rankings (from best to worst): 

Click on the state’s name to learn more about the state’s financial condition on State Data Lab

  1. Alaska, $74,200 per taxpayer

  2. North Dakota, $30,700

  3. Wyoming, $20,800

  4. Utah, $5,300

  5. Idaho, $2,900

  6. Tennessee, $2,800

  7. South Dakota, $2,800

  8. Nebraska, $2,000

  9. Oregon, $1,600

  10. Iowa, $700

  11. Minnesota, -$200

  12. Virginia, -$1,200

  13. Oklahoma, -$1,200

  14. North Carolina, -$1,300

  15. Indiana, -$1,700

  16. Florida, -$1,800

  17. Montana, -$2,100

  18. Arkansas, -$2,300

  19. Arizona, -$2,500

  20. Nevada, -$3,100

  21. Wisconsin, -$3,200

  22. Georgia, -$3,500

  23. Missouri, -$4,300

  24. New Hampshire, -$5,000

  25. Ohio, -$6,600

  26. Kansas, -$7,000

  27. Colorado, -$7,200

  28. Washington, -$7,400

  29. Maine, -$7,400

  30. West Virginia, -$8,300

  31. Mississippi, -$10,000

  32. Alabama, -$12,000

  33. Texas, -$12,100

  34. New Mexico, -$13,300

  35. Rhode Island, -$13,900

  36. South Carolina, -$14,500

  37. Maryland, -$15,500

  38. Michigan, -$17,000

  39. Pennsylvania, -$17,100

  40. Louisiana, -$17,700

  41. Vermont, -$19,000

  42. New York, -$20,500

  43. California, -$21,800

  44. Kentucky, -$25,700

  45. Delaware, -$27,100

  46. Hawaii, -$31,200

  47. Massachusetts, -$31,200

  48. Connecticut, -$51,800

  49. Illinois, -$52,600

  50. New Jersey, -$65,100

 
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