Study finds Florida among most independent states in the nation

by | Jun 29, 2022

 

Florida is one of the most independent states, according to a study released by WalletHub.

With Independence Day just days away, WalletHub released a report on 2022’s Most Independent States. To determine the most self-sufficient states, the personal finance website compared the 50 states across 39 metrics, which measure how dependent Americans are on the government and other people for finances, their jobs and personal vices.

Florida landed at No. 6 on the list, setting the bar high in several key metrics. The analysis found that Florida boasts the fourth-highest share of federal, state and local government employees. The Sunshine State also netted the 8th best share of jobs supported by exported goods, and ranked 13th in median debt per income and government dependency.

“Florida is the sixth most independent state. Its financial independence is seen in the low age dependency ratio – which is the ratio of dependents younger than 15 and older than 64 on the working age population, as well as the low percentage of seriously underwater mortgages, just 1.35%,” said WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez.

“The government independence is demonstrated by the low share of federal-, state-, and local-government employees, less than 12%, and by the fact that tax freedom day comes after the first 93 days of the year, which is the third shortest time period in the country. Tax freedom day is the day when the state’s taxpayers have collectively earned enough money to pay their federal, state and local taxes for the whole year,” she continued.

Florida posted an overall score of 60.31, trailing the top state by less than six points. Analysts noted that the state also drew high marks for having the lowest unemployment rate and a healthy job creation index.

“The state’s strong job market is another thing that contributed to the overall ranking. Florida has the lowest unemployment rate nationwide, a high job creation index, and a low share of jobs supported by exported goods, less than 2%,” Gonzales added. “Vice dependency is another area in which Florida is among the most independent. It has a low share of adult binge drinkers — just 15%, the second lowest share of adults with gambling disorders — 1.1%, and a small share of smart device users.”

Utah took the top spot on the list, leading the way with the highest percentage of residents with rainy day and emergency funds. Utah also boasted one of the highest median incomes, when adjusted for the cost of living, and is one of the states that rely the least on support from the federal government, according to the report.

The other states to round out the top five were Colorado, Massachusetts, Virginia and Nebraska.

Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alaska and South Carolina held the bottom five positions on WalletHub’s list.

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