July 4th Report: Utah Most Independent State, Kentucky Ranks 50th

The White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park, Utah. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

On the day that Americans celebrate freedom from British rule a new analysis reveals which states are the most independent and their citizens the most self-reliant. Utah is at the top of the list while Kentucky came in last at 50th.

The personal finance website Wallethub conducted the study at a time when the national holiday comes amid the coronavirus outbreak and its devastation to the U.S. economy:

WalletHub compared the 50 states based on five sources of dependency: consumer finances, the government, the job market, international trade and personal vices. We broke down these categories into 39 key indicators of independence in order to determine which states are most self-sustaining.

Rounding out the Top Ten are Virginia, Colorado, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Kansas, South Dakota, Idaho and Nebraska.

The ten states that are the least independent, from 41 to 49, are Tennessee, New Mexico, Indiana, Alabama, West Virginia, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alaska and Louisiana.

Other highlights of the study include:

• The states and the people who live in them that are the least dependent on the federal government are, from one to five, Kansas, Utah, Delaware, New Jersey, and Illinois.

• States most dependent of the government, from one to five, are Kentucky, Montana, West Virginia, Mississippi and New Mexico.

• States with the lowest percentage of households receiving public assistance and food stamps, from one to five, are Wyoming, Utah, Kansas, North Dakota, and Nebraska.

• States with the highest percentage of household receiving public assistance and food stamps are Maine, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, and Oregon.

• States with the lowest unemployment rate, from one to five, are North Dakota, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Idaho, and Kansas.

• States with the highest unemployment rate, from one to five, are West Virginia, Arizona, New Mexico, Louisiana, and Nevada.

• Minnesota residents have the highest median credit score, followed by North Carolina, South Carolina, Hawaii, Vermont, and Washington.

• States with the lowest median credit score, from one to five, are Georgia, Nevada, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

• Hawaii is the state with the highest percentage of households with rainy day and emergency funds, followed by New York, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Illinois.

• Households with the least emergency funds are Indiana, Idaho, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Oklahoma.

• The states with the highest median income, adjusted for cost of living, from one to five, are Virginia, Utah, Minnesota, New Jersey and Maryland.

• The states with the lowest median income, from one to five, are Louisiana, New Mexico, Maine, West Virginia, and New York.

• The states with the highest percentage of adult drug users, from one to five, are Washington, Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Vermont.

• The states with the lowest percentage of adult drug users, from one to five, are Utah, Texas, South Dakota, Virginia and Mississippi.

Nevada has the highest percentage of adults with a gambling disorder and Michigan the lowest percentage.

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