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New Mexico Worst Run State in Nation

Best and Worst Run States in America: A Survey of All 50

Thomas C. Frohlich, Michael B. Sauter, Evan Comen and Sam Stebbins
December 3, 2015 6:04 am EST

For each of the past six years, 24/7 Wall St. has attempted to answer this question by surveying various characteristics of each state. To determine how well states are managed, we examine key financial ratios, as well as social and economic outcomes. This year, North Dakota is the best-run state in the country for the fourth consecutive year, while New Mexico replaced Illinois as the worst-run state.

New Mexico Worst Run State in Nation

NM Gov. Susana Martinez (R)

WORST: New Mexico

  • Debt per capita: $3,468 (22nd highest)
  • Credit rating (S&P/Moody’s): AA+/Aaa
  • Unemployment rate: 6.8% (2nd highest)
  • Median household income: $44,803 (8th lowest)
  • Poverty rate: 21.3% (2nd highest)

New Mexico is the worst-run state in the country with some of the worst social and economic outcomes. Only a handful of states struggle with similar levels of extreme poverty as New Mexico. More than one in every 10 households in the state earns less than $10,000 each year, the second highest proportion after Mississippi. The state also struggles with one of the nation’s highest violent crime rates. Close to 600 violent crimes are reported each year per 100,000 state residents, one of the highest rates nationwide.

Like a number of other states towards the bottom of this list, more people left New Mexico than arrived from April of 2010 through the middle of last year. Only Illinois reported a larger net population decline over that period.

SOURCE: The Best and Worst Run States in America: A Survey of All 50, 24/7 Wall St.