With the new year comes the opportunity to stand back and look at your finances. A new report has been issued that says we in North Dakota might find it a little easier to reach our financial goal for the year.

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Savings

According to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis's third-quarter 2023 review, the country's GDP has expanded by 4.9%, bucking the projections of financial analysts who predicted an impending recession. Moreover, disposable personal income (DPI) per capita is rising. In light of this, Moneywise's personal finance specialists have examined which 50 states are most likely to see economic growth and meet their financial objectives by 2024. 

 

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They created an index by evaluating seven indicators of financial savviness and assigning a score of 100 to each state. The index takes into account various factors such as the average consumption as a percentage of personal income, the ratio of household debt to income, the homeownership rate, the rates of unemployment, personal bankruptcy, and unbanking, as well as the average monthly searches on Google for terms associated with investments and savings.

Here are the top 10 best-placed states:

  • Vermont ranks as the easiest state to save money, with an index score of 74.07 out of 100. The Green Mountain state has relatively high consumption rates, with residents spending 101.5% of their income, contributing to the state’s debt-to-income ratio of 1.32. This means the state’s average debt is 1.32 times its average income. However, this falls below the national average debt-to-income ratio of 1.36. Vermont also has the second-lowest unemployment rate at 1.80%, low personal bankruptcy rates, and high monthly average searches for terms related to savings and investments.  
  • Maine ranks second on the list with an index score of 73.58 out of 100. The cost of living is relatively high in Maine, with the average consumption as a percentage of personal income in the state coming in at 105.2%, as is the debt-to-income ratio, which is 1.50. However, Maine has the second-highest homeownership rate at 77%, and a relatively low unemployment rate, at 2.5%. Maine also has the second-lowest rate of unbanked people of any state, at 1.3%. This refers to adults who do not use or have access to traditional banking services such as credit cards and savings accounts.
  • Delaware has an index score of 72.19 out of 100, ranking the state in third place. The state has the lowest personal bankruptcy rate of any state, with only 20.52 out of every 100,000 residents declaring bankruptcy. The state also records the third-highest homeownership rates at 76.1% and relatively high monthly average searches for terms related to savings and investments, with 1,209 searches per 100,000 residents.
  • Massachusetts is in fourth place with an index score of 67.73 out of 100. The state’s average consumption as a percentage of its income is 93.2%, which means that, on average, residents spend slightly below their disposable personal income. The state also records the highest search interest for terms related to savings and investments, with 1,617 monthly searches on average.
  • New York ranks fifth scoring 66.53 out of 100. The Empire State ties with North Dakota and Kansas for having the lowest debt-to-income ratio at 0.40. The state also has the lowest homeownership rate at 54.2% and records the second-highest search interest for saving and investment terms with 1,603 searches per 100,000 residents.
  • New Hampshire ranks sixth with a score of 66.01 out of 100. The state has a household debt-to-income ratio of 1.50 and ties with Vermont for the second-lowest unemployment rate at 1.80%. 
  • Pennsylvania ranks seventh with an index score of 61.39 out of 100. The state’s average consumption as a percentage of personal income is 96.5%, and its debt-to-income ratio is 1.11.
  • West Virginia follows in eighth place with a score of 57.34 out of 100 and the highest homeownership rate of all 50 states at 77.9%.
  • Alaska ranks ninth with a score of 56.98 out of 100. The state has a debt-to-income ratio of 1.50 and the second-lowest personal bankruptcy rate at 22.49 for every 100,000 residents declaring bankruptcy. 
  • North Dakota scores 56.60 out of 100 and rounds out the top ten. The state has the fourth-lowest cost of living, as its consumption as a percentage of personal income is 83.1%. North Dakota is also tied with New York and Kansas for the lowest debt-to-income ratio at 0.40.

Are you curious as to which state might find it the hardest?

Mississippi ranks as the hardest state to save money, with a score of 35.72 out of 100. The state has the highest rate of ‘unbanked’ residents at 11.10%, as well as the lowest search interest for terms related to savings and investments, with 587 searches per 100,000 people each month. Mississippi also records the second-highest personal bankruptcy rate, with 258.8 out of every 100,000 residents declaring bankruptcy.

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Gallery Credit: Stacker

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