3. Nebraska Debt per capita
: $1,279 (2nd lowest) Budget deficit
: 9.7% (34th largest) Unemployment
: 4.4% (2nd lowest) Median household income
: $50,296 (22nd highest) Pct. below poverty line
: 13.1% (tied-15th lowest)
Last year, Nebraska had the second-lowest unemployment rate in the nation at 4.4%. In Lincoln, the state capital, the unemployment rate was 4%, lower than all metropolitan areas in the country, except Bismarck and Fargo in North Dakota. Although far from the nation’s wealthiest state — median income was slightly lower than the U.S. median of $50,502 — Nebraska’s economy is strong relative to the rest of the U.S. The state is one of the leading agricultural producers, with the sector accounting for 8.3% of the state’s GDP last year. The state also had the second-lowest debt per capita in the country in fiscal 2010, at $1,279, compared to an average of $3,614 for states nationwide.
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