Utah claims top ranking in Rich States, Poor States index for 7th consecutive year

SALT LAKE CITY – (April 16, 2014) For the seventh consecutive year, Utah has claimed the top ranking in the Rich States, Poor Stateseconomic index. Utah has held the top position in the highly regarded economic index every year since its creation in 2007.

“Utah’s ranking as the top state in Rich States, Poor States goes to show the importance of the work we have done to maximize the value of every taxpayer dollar rather than taking more dollars from every taxpayer,” said Gov. Gary R. Herbert. “We continually work to make Utah the most attractive destination for capital investment and job creation to benefit the people of our state.”

The Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index is published by the American Legislative Exchange Council. The rankings are based on each state’s current performance in 15 categories. ALEC says 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.”

Utah claimed the top spot in three of the 15 categories: Estate/Inheritance Tax Levied (Utah has none), State Minimum Wage (Utah is at $7.25, the federal minimum), and Right to Work (Utah is a right to work state). Overall, Utah finished ahead of second-place South Dakota. Indiana, North Dakota and Idaho round out the Top Five.

Utah also claimed the number-two spot for Economic Performance Rank when tallied from 2002-12. This is a backward-looking measure based on the state’s performance in State Gross Domestic Product, Absolute Domestic Migration (ADM) and Non-Farm Payroll Employment. Texas claimed the number one spot, in part due to its top ranking in ADM.

You can download a copy of the report here: