ST. PAUL, MN – Ahead of Tuesday night’s State of the Union Address, POLITICO released a new report naming Minnesota the 2nd-Strongest State in the Union. This is the fourth time Minnesota has ranked among the top two strongest states in the nation in the POLITICO study.
“This ranking affirms what we already know: Minnesota is one of the very best states in the country,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “However, we have much more work to do to ensure that Minnesota is a place where everyone can succeed. I urge the Legislature to work with me this session to protect our fiscal stability, and defend the investments that have made Minnesota a national leader in education, health care, infrastructure, and economic opportunity for all.”
POLITICO’s annual analysis is based on 14 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 $70,218 which is also the 10th-highest in the nation.
Percent Unemployed – At 3.1 percent, Minnesota’s statewide unemployment rate is the 10th-lowest in the nation.
Percent Below Poverty Level – Minnesota ranks 5th-lowest for the percent of those living below the poverty level. According to POLITICO’s analysis, 9.9 percent of Minnesotans are living below the poverty level – which is still far too many Minnesotans.
Homeownership Rate – With 71.3 percent of Minnesotans owning their own homes, Minnesota ranks 3rd in this category.
High School Graduation Rate – Minnesota ranks 3rd for the percent of our students (92.9 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 80.9 at birth, Minnesota ranks 2nd in the nation in this category.
Infant Mortality – Minnesota ranked 15th-lowest in the number of infant deaths per 1,000 births.
Obesity – Roughly 27.8 percent of Minnesotans are considered obese, ranking us the 17th-slimmest state in the nation.
Wellbeing – Minnesota has a wellbeing score of 63.2, ranking us 8th in this category.
Average Math Scores in 8th Grade – Minnesota 8th Graders have the 2nd-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 9th–lowest 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 9th-safest from violent crime, according to POLITICO’s analysis, and records provided by the FBI.
Jobs in Science, Engineering, and Math – Minnesota has the 11th-highest percentage of our workforce employed in jobs involving science, engineering, and math.
H.L. Mencken’s 1931 Rankings – As a benchmark, POLITICO also 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.