Yesterday, ahead of President Obama’s final State of the Union Address, Politico released its third annual analysis on “The States of our Union
.” For the third straight year, Politico ranked Minnesota one of the two strongest states in the nation.
Politico’s annual analysis is based on 15 separate categories that demonstrate the educational attainment, quality of life, and economic health of each of the 50 states. Ranking overall as the 2nd-strongest state in the nation, here is how Minnesota scored in each category, according to Politico.
Annual Per Capita Income – At $31,642, Minnesota’s per capita income is the 10th-highest in the nation. Median household income in Minnesota is $61,481, which is also the 10th-highest in the nation.
Percent Unemployed – At 3.5 percent, Minnesota’s statewide unemployment rate is the 7th-lowest in the nation. But communities of color and some other pockets of Minnesota’s workforce are still experiencing higher levels of unemployment.
Percent Below Poverty Level – Minnesota ranks 8th-lowest for the percent of those living below the poverty level. According to Politico’s analysis, 11.2 percent of Minnesotans are living below the poverty level – which is still far too many Minnesotans.
Homeownership Rate – With 71.7 percent of Minnesotans owning their own homes, Minnesota ranks 2nd in this category.
High School Graduation Rate – Minnesota ranks 2nd, only behind Alaska, for the percent of our students (92.6 percent) who graduate from high school.
Life Expectancy at Birth – Minnesotans live longer than almost anyone else in the country. With a life expectancy of 81.1 at birth, Minnesota ranks 2nd in the nation in this category. Hawaiians live just three months longer, on average, than Minnesotans.
Infant Mortality – Minnesota ranked 15th-lowest in the number of infant deaths per 1,000 births. Read what the Minnesota Department of Health is doing to improve the health of mothers and babies, and reduce the incidence of infant mortality in our state.
Obesity – Roughly 24.8 percent of Minnesotans are considered obese, ranking us the 9th-slimmest state in the nation. Read what the Minnesota Department of Health is doing to prevent and reduce obesity.
Wellbeing – Minnesota has a wellbeing score of 62.8, ranking us 9th in this category.
Average Math Scores in 8th Grade – Minnesota 8th Graders have the 6th-highest math scores in the country.
Average Reading Scores in 8th Grade – Minnesota 8th Graders have the 6th-highest reading scores in the country.
Income Inequality – According to the GINI Index, which measures the income distribution of a state’s residents, Minnesota ranks 13th in the country in income inequality. Given the economic disparities facing Minnesotans of color in particular, Governor Dayton and his administration are working hard to secure economic opportunity for all Minnesotans.
Violent Crime Rate – Minnesotans are the 10th-safest from violent crime, according to Politico’s analysis, and records provided by the FBI.
Jobs in Science, Engineering, and Math – Minnesota has the 7th-highest percentage of our workforce employed in jobs involving science, engineering, and math.
H.L. Mencken’s 1931 Rankings – As a benchmark, Politico lists the rankings of each individual state from a 1931 study by H.L. Mencken and Charles Angoff. According to that study, Minnesota was the 6th-strongest state in the nation in 1931.
To read Lt. Governor Smith’s reaction to the State of the Union, click here.