Hawaii, New Jersey, and Alaska Lead Nation With Highest Debt Per Capita
Alexandria, VA – Today, State Budget Solutions (SBS), a non-partisan advocate for state budget reform, released a new study revealing that state government debt amounts to $13,425 for every American and $37,486 for every private sector worker in this country. The report found that the five worst states for debt per capita are Alaska, New Jersey, Connecticut, Hawaii and Illinois.
“Americans are sadly desensitized to the trillions of dollars in debt our states are facing. This report brings the debt closer to home by demonstrating that a newborn arrives already more than $13,000 in debt and that a family of four owes their state government $53,700,” said Bob Williams, President of State Budget Solutions. “It is the individuals and families who will ultimately bear this horrific financial burden if state governments do not get their budgets under control.”
The report is an extension of State Budget Solutions’ third annual State Debt Report, released in August showing that state governments face a crushing debt of more than $4.6 trillion. The analysis of debt per person looks at state debt per capita, per private sector employee, and the percentage of private sector gross state product (GSP). In each of the three categories, Hawaii, New Jersey, and Alaska are among states with the five largest debt figures. At the other end of the spectrum, Nebraska has the lowest total in each of the areas.
The largest per capita debt figure for all 50 states is Alaska, where each person’s share of their state’s debt stands at $31,141. New Jersey, Hawaii, Connecticut, and Illinois make up the top five states with the highest per capita share of the state debt.
Nebraska has the lowest total debt per capita at just $4,249 for each resident. Tennessee, Indiana, Florida, and Idaho round out the lowest five debt levels per capita.
Private sector workers are at increased risk as they are the ultimate tax base for reducing state debt. Using figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, State Budget Solutions determined that Hawaii has the largest debt per private sector worker at $83,815, followed by Alaska, New Jersey, Connecticut, and New Mexico. Nebraska again has the lowest total, with $9,829 in debt for each private sector employee. Indiana, Tennessee, North Dakota, and South Dakota follow.
State Budget Solutions also calculated state debt as a percentage of private sector GSP. Hawaii’s debt stands at 79.21 percent of its entire private sector GSP, the highest percentage of the 50 states. New Jersey is again right behind with its debt representing 59.69 percent of private sector GSP. Ohio, New Mexico, and Alaska constitute the rest of the top five. Nebraska, Tennessee, Indiana, North Dakota, and Virginia have the lowest debts as a percentage of private GSP.
“Voters deserve to know how much debt their elected officials are saddling them with before they go to voting booth, said Williams. “$13,425 per person is an unacceptable debt and immediate fiscal reform is desperately needed.”
To read the full study click here.
To read Bob Williams full bio click here
About State Budget Solutions
The State Budget Solutions is non-partisan, positive, pro-reform, proactive and anchored in fundamental-systemic solutions. State Budget Solutions is a project of Sunshine Review, a national, nonprofit pro-transparency organization. The goal is to successfully engage political journalists/bloggers, state officials and opinion leaders in a new way of thinking about state government and budgets, fundamental reforms, transparency and accountability. Sharing studies and articles, data sets, anecdotes, and compelling narrative about what is happening in state and local budgets, The State Budget Solutions presents and disseminates information about every aspect of coming fiscal and economic disasters and, more importantly, highlights fundamental reforms to avoid them.
Check out StateBudgetSolutions.org for more information.