1. North Dakota Debt per capita
: $3,282 (22nd lowest) Budget deficit
: None Unemployment
: 3.5% (the lowest) Median household income
: $51,704 (20th highest) Pct. below poverty line
: 12.2% (13th lowest)
For the first time, North Dakota ranks as the best- run state in the country. In recent years, North Dakota’s oil boom has transformed its economy. Last year, crude oil production rose 35%. As of August, 2012, it was the second-largest oil producer in the country. This was due to the use of hydraulic fracturing in the state’s Bakken shale formation. The oil and gas boom brought jobs to North Dakota, which had the nation’s lowest unemployment rate in 2011 at 3.5%, and economic growth. Between 2010 and 2011, North Dakota’s GDP jumped 7.6%, by far the largest increase in the nation. This growth has also increased home values, which rose a nation-leading 29% between 2006 and 2011. North Dakota and Montana are the only two states that have not reported a budget shortfall since fiscal 2009.
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: Interactive Tool of All 50 States States with the Most Unemployment Insurance Losses The 12 Companies Paying Americans the Least The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.