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Utah is the state with the second best economy, after Washington

A new study ranking states based on their economic strength and performance placed Utah second, just behind Washington state.

The study, released by WalletHub, compared the economic activity, economic health and innovation potential of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The study attributed Utah’s strength to a high average annual household income, a low unemployment rate and robust business growth.

“The state’s average annual household income is the second highest in the country, after adjusting for the cost of living,” said the study, which shows a 6.8% growth in average income over two years observed.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income in Utah was $89,168 when adjusted for inflation in 2022, the most recent data available from the government agency shows. For families, the median was $102,177. The number is slightly higher than the number mentioned in the study.

According to the rankings, the average income is about $84,000, the amount Utahns keep after taxes.

“Utah’s economy is firing on all cylinders,” said WalletHub analyst Cassandra Happe. “A strong state economy does not guarantee success for state residents, but it does make financial success more attainable.”

The study also found that Utah has great potential for future business growth, with the fifth-highest growth rate in the number of businesses and the sixth-highest share of jobs in high-tech industries.

Other top-performing states in the survey include Massachusetts, which ranked third, followed by Texas and California.

Meanwhile, Washington State claimed the top spot thanks to its extremely high per capita investment in research and development, putting the country at the forefront of new technology. The state has the second-highest share of jobs in the high-tech industry.

But the leader in high-tech jobs? Utah.

On the other end of the spectrum, Mississippi ranked last in the survey, preceded by Hawaii and West Virginia. These states were hampered by factors such as low GDP growth, high unemployment rates and low innovation potential.

The study used measures such as GDP growth, unemployment rate, startup activity and share of jobs in high-tech industries to rank the states.

The full state rankings continue below.

States with the best economies in 2024

  1. Washington
  2. Utah
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Texas
  5. California
  6. Colorado
  7. Florida
  8. North Carolina
  9. District of Columbia
  10. Arizona
  11. Maryland
  12. Idaho
  13. Virginia
  14. Georgia
  15. Oregon
  16. Tennessee
  17. North Dakota
  18. New Hampshire
  19. Michigan
  20. Nebraska
  21. Kansas
  22. Wyoming
  23. South Carolina
  24. New Mexico
  25. Delaware
  26. Minnesota
  27. New York
  28. New Jersey
  29. Montana
  30. Vermont
  31. Connecticut
  32. Oklahoma
  33. Alabama
  34. Pennsylvania
  35. Nevada
  36. Missouri
  37. Alaska
  38. Indiana
  39. Illinois
  40. Wisconsin
  41. South Dakota
  42. Ohio
  43. Maine
  44. Iowa
  45. Rhode Island
  46. Kentucky
  47. Louisiana
  48. Arkansas
  49. West Virginia
  50. Hawaii
  51. Mississippi
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