Economy Watch: Washington State Has Healthiest Economy

A recent WalletHub report ranked the 50 states based on economic health, which affects commercial property growth. Washington state took the top spot, followed by California, Utah and Massachusetts.

Source: WalletHub

Commercial property growth is partly a function of the health of state economies, with some states faring much better than others. Recently, economic data specialist WalletHub crunched an assortment of numbers generated by the states and published a ranking from best to worst, in terms of state economic health. Washington state came in first, followed by California, Utah and Massachusetts.

In order to determine which states are pulling the most weight, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 27 key indicators of economic performance. The data sets included GDP growth, unemployment, startup activity, median household income, share of jobs in high-tech industries, exports per capita, the educational attainment of recent immigrants, and more.

Small wonder that California did so well, since in 2016 it counted—if it were its own country—as the sixth largest economy in the world, with a GDP that’s comparable in size to the U.K. and even larger than that of France or India. Even so, some of the metrics describing California’s economic health, such as household income or population below the poverty level, dragged the state down enough for Washington to edge it out.

Some states that aren’t faring as well: Illinois, which is in a fiscal crisis with a record $14.5 billion in unpaid debt, as well as the second-highest unemployment rate in the Midwest . Nevertheless, the state was ranked No. 34 all together, with its economic health bringing it down, just behind Iowa and ahead of Tennessee. Illinois was also well ahead of the lowest states on the list: Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana and West Virginia (Nos. 46 to 50, respectively).