With Independence Day right around the corner and states having received an additional $195 billion in federal COVID-19 aid this year, the personal-finance website WalletHub Wednesday released its report on 2021’s most independent states and ranked Virginia as the nation’s fourth most independent state.
To determine the most self-sufficient states, WalletHub compared the 50 states based on five sources of dependency: consumer finances, the government, the job market, international trade, and personal vices. The website then broke down those categories into 39 key indicators of independence to determine which states are the most self-sustaining.
Virginia’s ranking among some of the key metrics with the lowest numbers being the best was as follows: 1. Median debt per income, 29; 2. Share of adults saving for children’s college education, 5; 3. Share of households receiving public assistance, 7; 4. Share of jobs supported by exported goods, 6; 5. Long-term unemployment rate, 28; and the share of current adult smokers, 12.
Among the 39 metrics WalletHub used were employer-based retirement access and participation; median household income, the poverty rate, the age dependency ratio (the ratio of dependent people younger than 15 and older than 64 to the working age population), the share of millennials living with their parents, the share of low-income households where no adults work; the share of ‘underwater’ mortgages, the homeownership rate, the foreclosure rate, the bankruptcy rate, the share of households receiving public assistance and SNAP food stamps, the share of occupied subsidized housing units, and the share of federal, state, and local government employees, and the share of households receiving public assistance and SNAP food stamps.
The three states ranked ahead of Virginia in the survey were Utah, Colorado, and Nebraska.
The states WalletHub ranked as the most dependent states among the 50 states were Mississippi, Kentucky, and Louisiana.