Illinois’ economic health is among the worst in the nation, a new report finds

While it certainly doesn’t feel like the economy is booming when you’re staring blankly at the grocery store and thinking back to the days of cheap bread, the U.S. Commerce Department says the economy will grow faster than expected in 2023.

But what about the Illinois economy? Is the state’s economy growing along with the rest of the country? A new report says no.

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To determine the best state economies, WalletHub, a personal finance website, compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia along three key dimensions:

  • Economic activity
  • Economic health
  • Innovation is possible

WalletHub’s researchers broke down those three main categories into 28 different metrics, each ranging from one to 100 to help push the economy forward. Each category can score a maximum stat score of 33.3 points out of 100, indicating the highest economic performance.

Change in GDP from 2022 to 2023 and number of firms are the most heavily weighted metrics in the ranking. Deloitte FAST 500 list. A full list of metrics can be found on the study website, along with an interactive map.

Illinois falls

Illinois scored 38.50, good enough for 39th place. The breakdown of scores comes from the state’s ranking in three categories.

  • Economic activity: 28 of 51
  • Economic health: 51 out of 51
  • Innovation potential: 26 out of 51

The Prairie State ranks worst among all states in economic health and below average in the other two categories.

The report weighed economic health based on the state’s unemployment rate, share of the population in poverty, changes in nonfarm wage employment, changes in the civilian labor force and median household income.

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Other factors played a smaller role in the score, including the number of uninsured people in the state. However, uninsured coverage is slowly declining in Illinois from 7% in 2021 to 6.6% in 2022.

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Top 10 Best State Economies

  1. Washington, 71.10 per 100
  2. Utah, 62 out of 100
  3. Massachusetts, 61.52 per 100
  4. Texas, 60.08 per 100
  5. California, 59.63 per 100
  6. Colorado, 58.89 out of 100
  7. Florida, 55.75 per 100
  8. North Carolina, 55.08 per 100
  9. District of Columbia, 54.15 per 100
  10. Arizona, 53.69 per 100

Top 5 Worst State Economies

47. Louisiana, 32.60 per 100

48. Arkansas, 31.77 per 100

49. West Virginia, 31.13 per 100

50. Hawaii, 29.79 per 100

51 Mississippi, 26.67 per 100

Claire Grant writes about business, growth and development and other news topics for The State Journal-Register. She can be reached at [email protected]; And on X (formerly known as Twitter): @Claire_Granted

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