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Hawai‘i Ranks Among Bottom 6 States for Economic Outlook

April 16, 2019, 9:19 AM HST
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Hawai‘i ranks No. 23 for economic performance (1=best 50=worst) and No. 45 for economic outlook in the 12th Edition of Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index.

The Economic Performance Ranking is a backward-looking measure based on a state’s performance on three important variables: State Gross Domestic Product, Absolute Domestic Migration and Non-Farm Payroll Employment—all of which are highly influenced by state policy. This ranking details states’ individual performances over the past 10 years based on this economic data.

The Economic Outlook Ranking is a forecast based on a state’s current standing in 15 state policy variables. Each of these factors is influenced directly by state lawmakers through the legislative process. Generally speaking, states that spend less—especially on income transfer programs—and states that tax less—particularly on productive activities such as working or investing—experience higher growth rates than states that tax and spend more.

It’s the second year in a row that Hawai‘i ranks among the bottom six states for economic outlook.

The state has seen a steady fall in economic outlook stats since ranking 36th in 2014.

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Hawai‘i ranks highest, at No. 2, for debt service as share of revenue, 12th for property tax burden per $1,000 of personal income, 17th for state gross domestic product and 23rd for economic performance from 2007 to 2017.

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The state lost 51,993 residents over the past 10 years, ranking it 34th for domestic migration.

ALEC-Laffer State Economic Performance Rankings, 2007-2017 (1=best 50=worst)

A backward-looking measure based on the state’s performance (equal-weighted average) in the three important performance variables shown below. These variables are highly influenced by state policy.

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Economic Outlook Rank (1=best 50=worst)

A forward-looking forecast based on the state’s standing (equal-weighted average) in the 15 important state policy variables shown below. Data reflect state and local rates and revenues and any effect of federal deductibility.

ALEC-Laffer State Economic Outlook Rankings, 2019
Based upon equal-weighting of each state’s rank in 15 policy variables

Rank State

  • 1 Utah
  • 2 Idaho
  • 3 North Dakota
  • 4 Nevada
  • 5 Indiana
  • 6 North Carolina
  • 7 Tennessee
  • 8 Florida
  • 9 South Dakota
  • 10 Arizona
  • 11 Wyoming
  • 12 Michigan
  • 13 Oklahoma
  • 14 Virginia
  • 15 Texas
  • 16 New Hampshire
  • 17 Colorado
  • 18 Georgia
  • 19 Mississippi
  • 20 Wisconsin
  • 21 Alabama
  • 22 Missouri
  • 23 Arkansas
  • 24 Ohio
  • 25 Iowa
  • 26 Louisiana
  • 27 Kansas
  • 28 Massachusetts
  • 29 South Carolina
  • 30 New Mexico
  • 31 Alaska
  • 32 Kentucky
  • 33 Nebraska
  • 34 Maryland
  • 35 West Virginia
  • 36 Delaware
  • 37 Pennsylvania
  • 38 Montana
  • 39 Washington
  • 40 Minnesota
  • 41 Connecticut
  • 42 Rhode Island
  • 43 Maine
  • 44 Oregon
  • 45 Hawai‘i
  • 46 New Jersey
  • 47 California
  • 48 Illinois
  • 49 Vermont
  • 50 New York

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