Massachusetts is the most prosperous state in the United States | Best States


Massachusetts – which has topped the Legatum Index of the most prosperous states almost every year for the past decade – again this year topped the London-based think tank’s list. Connecticut and Minnesota retained their respective second and third places from 2020 in this year’s index.

New Hampshire, Utah and Vermont took the fourth to sixth positions in the 2021 report, against respectively the fifth, fourth and seventh places in the 2020 index. And the other best performing states of this year – Washington, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Colorado – all placed in the top 12 in last year’s report. The District of Columbia ranked fifth overall in the 2021 index.

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According to Shaun Flanagan, director of partnerships and impact at Legatum, Massachusetts’ strong performance this year is a testament to its ability to stay near the top of most metrics the think tank uses to gauge state prosperity.

“Massachusetts is performing well on almost every pillar,” he says. “It now ranks 35th in terms of the quality of the economy – which measures how well the state’s economy is equipped to generate wealth in a sustainable manner,” which he attributes in part to his high unemployment rate well in 2021.

Legatum assesses states based on their performance on 11 pillars – safety and security, personal freedom, governance, social capital, business environment, infrastructure, economic quality, living conditions, health, education and natural environment.

“One of the strengths of the index is that you can improve in one aspect, which is good. But if you improve more slowly than other states, you will decrease,” says Flanagan. And of Massachusetts’ performance this year, he points out that in addition to economic quality, “its (scores are ranked) in (the) top 10 out of 11 of the other pillars.”

Southeastern states, on the other hand, have generally tended to rank at the bottom of the prosperity index in this year’s rankings and in previous years.

Flanagan points out that Mississippi – which was considered the least prosperous state in the 2021 index – “has a pretty low performance ranking among all of the pillars. We recently worked with the Mississippi Policy Center, and they’re very keen to examine areas that may be barriers to improvement. “

While the United States was still ranked high in the last edition of Legatum’s global prosperity index – it ranked 18th out of 167 countries – factors such as widespread mass shootings and precarious mental health issues have hurt the country’s ranking in Legatum’s safety and security and health indicators.

“When we look at things like mass shootings, more than half of the states have seen a mass shooting every year since 2014,” Flanagan said. “I think there may be four that haven’t seen a mass shooting (since then).… Likewise, with mental health, more than half of the states have experienced deteriorating health. mental health before the pandemic. “

Internationally, Flanagan emphasizes that the usual top performers (Denmark and Norway in 2020) can expect good results in this year’s edition of the World Index. And he says that qualitatively, Massachusetts’ performance at the national level places it tied with Germany (10th place) in the world index, while that of Mississippi is comparable to Portugal (21st place).

“One of the things that we talk about in the world report is that there is almost a sense of entitlement that nations got where they got from people who really believed and invested in them,” Flanagan said. . “There is a danger that when you reach a certain level you will look away from the ball and stop working as hard as before. We notice that in the US as well as here in the UK – a polarization of the society.

“We need a rapprochement of society, and build bridges rather than walls,” he continues. “We have to remember who we are.”

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