The 15th edition of Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index is the latest in our annual series examining each state’s competitiveness and economic outlook. Used by lawmakers across the states since 2007, Rich States, Poor States is authored by Reagan Economist Dr. Arthur B. Laffer, FreedomWorks economist Stephen Moore and ALEC Chief Economist Jonathan Williams.
Utah has been ranked #1 for the past 15 years in a row. Utah has a strong track record of pro-taxpayer reforms in recent years, including the adoption of a flat personal income tax rate, pension reform for its previously endangered system, and the state’s innovative approach to property tax reform.
North Carolina has now achieved its best ranking to date, landing at 2nd overall for economic outlook. Since the passage of historic tax reform in 2013 when the state ranked 22nd, North Carolina has continued to lower taxes and foster economic growth.
The 15 economic policy variables used by the authors to rank the economic outlook of states have proven over time to be influential for state competitiveness and growth. This report shows that cutting taxes, paying down debt and maintaining free market policies have significantly helped states attract new residents.