Here's why Minnesota was named one of the 'best-run' states


Average household income numbers and a low poverty rate helped propel Minnesota to the top tier of a new ranking that looks at the nation's best-run states.

The list, done by 24/7 Wall Street, calculates a state's economic climate and standard of living. To do that, it looks at key financial numbers such as: employment, education, income levels, housing affordability and social and economic outcomes.

It also compares each state's budget management (so, who spends money effectively and who doesn't?) and long-term fiscal health projections.

Minnesota ranked fifth on the new list.

The has the ninth-highest median household income at $60,702, and the nation's seventh-lowest poverty rate. Minnesota also performed well in its home values, strong tax revenue and its highly educated workforce.

Who's the best?

Look west to catch a glimpse of the list's best.

North Dakota is 24/7 Wall St.'s best-run state for a third consecutive year. Much of its prosperity comes from the booming oil and gas extraction industry. North Dakota's 2.9 percent unemployment rate was the nation's lowest last year.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports more positives for North Dakota's ledger sheet. The story said that reported income by North Dakotans more than doubled since the start of the state's oil boom in 2006. Tax return filings have reached a record $30.4 billion. The number of state taxpayers jumped 37 percent, from 339,000 in 2006 to 466,000 in 2013.

North Dakota's average adjusted gross income for individuals actually dropped, falling from $74,221 in 2012 to $71,538 for last year. But that number remains far above the average adjusted gross income for North Dakotans on their 2006 returns, which was $43,300.

The worst-run state on the list this year is Illinois, plagued with shrinking revenues and high pension obligations.

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