Alexandria, VA – Today, State Budget Solutions (SBS), a nonprofit organization advocating for fundamental reform of state budgets, released a new report revealing that the total state debt averages $13,754 for every American and $38,721 for each of the private sector workers in this country. The report examined how total state debt is affected by state size factors, including population, private sector labor force, and private sector output and found that the five worst states for debt per capita are Alaska, New Jersey, Connecticut, Hawaii and Illinois.
“State Budget Solutions’ study looked at more than just the aggregate number. When state debt is broken down by various measures of size, population, number of private sector workers and output, it reveals the actual financial burden on each person. Everyone deserves to know how much their share of the state debt is and what their government is doing to remedy this growing crisis,” said Bob Williams, President of State Budget Solutions.
Several states make multiple appearances at the bottom of the three categories in this study, meaning they rank worst. These states include: Alaska, New Jersey, Hawaii, Connecticut, New Mexico, and Illinois. Alaska ranks worst in two categories: total state debt per capita at $39,373 per person and total state debt per private sector worker at $102,389 per worker. Hawaii’s debt is 71.39 percent of its total private output, putting it last in the total debt as a percentage of GSP for private industries category.
The three states that possess the largest state debts, compiled in this year’s annual state deficit report, California, New York, and Texas, have the largest populations, number of private sector workers, and private sector outputs, but none break the bottom rankings in any category in this report.
Nebraska, Tennessee, Indiana and South Dakota are the highest-ranking states for state debt levels adjusted for the size of the population, private workforce and private sector output.
“State Budget Solutions hopes that this study will be a reality check for legislators and the public alike. This level of debt is an unacceptable amount to put on the American people,” said Williams.
To read the full report click here