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The Best-Run and Worst-Run States

6 of 12

Best-Run State: North Dakota

Debt per capita: $3,033 (20th lowest)

Budget deficit: None

Unemployment: 3.1% (the lowest)

Median household income: $53,585 (19th highest)

Pct. below poverty line: 11.2% (6th lowest)

North Dakota’s economic output has surged in the past few years, with GDP climbing 13.4% in 2012, well above the second-fastest growing state, Texas, whose GDP grew by 4.8% in 2012. The Peace Garden State has continued to reap the benefits of fracking in the oil-rich Bakken Shale formation, which accounted for about 90% of the state’s oil production in 2012. That year, nearly 10% of North Dakota’s total GDP was generated by the mining sector—which includes crude petroleum and natural gas extraction—more than five times the national rate. The state continued to have the nation’s lowest unemployment rate, at just 3.1% last year. Because of economic prosperity and the availability of jobs, North Dakota’s population grew the most in the country between 2010 and 2012, increasing by 3.7%. This may partly explain recent spikes in property values. Home values in North Dakota skyrocketed 33.4% between 2007 and 2012, by far the largest increase nationally.

(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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