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The Best-Run and Worst-Run States

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4th Worst-Run State: Rhode Island

Debt per capita: $8,721 (3rd highest)

Budget deficit: 6.9% (35th largest)

Unemployment: 10.4% (3rd highest)

Median household income: $54,554 (18th highest)

Pct. below poverty line: 13.7% (tied-20th lowest)

Rhode Island had more debt per resident than any other state except for Alaska and Massachusetts as of fiscal 2011. Although its budget shortfall was relatively small in fiscal 2012, the state currently faces unplanned expenses and may have to revise its budget, according to The Providence Journal. Moody’s cited the state’s eight consecutive years of budget gaps as part of its justification for its relatively poor credit rating. In an attempt to improve funding levels, the state reformed its pension program in 2011, turning its pensions into hybrids with 401(k)-like features, as well as suspending both cost-of-living adjustments and benefit increases. Still, as of last year, the state had funded just over 58% of its pension obligations, compared to a 72.4% average across all states.

(Photo: iStock)

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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