Study Ranks Arizona In Bottom 10 Of Fiscally Successful States
Arizona ranks in the bottom 10 of all states for fiscal success, according to a new study by GoBankingRates.
Looking at factors like the number of billionaires, state poverty rates, and income disparity between each state’s top and bottom earners, the Grand Canyon State was ranked No. 42.
“Unfortunately a lot of these states also in the bottom: Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana because the median income is low,” said fiscal columnist and one of the study’s authors, Cameron Huddleston.
“They have so many marks against them. There's the low income, a large lower class and a smaller upper class. And Arizona's got a really descent number of wealthy individuals but because it's lower class population is larger, it pulls it down,” she said.
According to Washington think tank The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Arizona has the greatest income inequality, after New Mexico.
But Associate Professor Tom Rex of Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business said people need to take a step back and evaluate Arizona’s economy for themselves.
“My advice to people is to ignore the study, it doesn't have any relevance to you. It does have relevance saying that Arizona is a relatively poor state,” Rex said. “We have one of the highest poverty rates in the nation, we have one of the lowest average incomes in the nation so from a macro sense of you it's a real issue. But from a personal perspective that is simply not relevant.”
Arizona is home to nine billionaires and more than 100,000 millionaire households, yet one-third of its population is considered the lower class.
“Even though it ranked low on our list you can still be successful. There are plenty of successful people there,” Huddleston said. “But what pulled Arizona down in the rankings is there is a large lower class population, and there is a big gap in income inequality between the wealthy and lower class in the state.”
States that ranked in the top included Connecticut, Massachusetts, Alaska, New Jersey, and Maryland.