AlterNet has compiled a list of the 10 worst U.S. state economies by measures of unemployment, time out of work, per capita income, median net worth, poverty, access to health insurance and foreclosure. Mississippi tops the list. The others are Nevada, West Virginia, California, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, Michigan, Georgia and Kentucky. Tennessee, North Carolina and Arizona just missed making the list. —ARK
Mississippi didn’t make the top spot because of how it’s done since the crash – it’s always been a relatively poor state. It gets top billing because while they were the fifth richest Americans prior to the Civil War, Mississippians are now the poorest people in the United States, ranking last in average incomes and household net worth and leading the nation in poverty.
Unemployment rate: 10.4 percent (Nationwide: 9.1 percent)
Share of unemployed out of work for more than 27 weeks: 43.9 percent (Nationwide: 44.4 percent)
Per capita income: $29,345 (Nationwide: $42,449)
Median household net worth, as a percentage of national average: 40 percent
Poverty rate (2008): 21.2 (Nationwide: 9.7 percent)
Share of the population without health insurance (2008-2009): 18 percent (Nationwide: 17 percent)
Foreclosure rate: 3.0 percent (Nationwide: 4.3 percent)
Flickr / Shoshanah
A severe drought has devastated agricultural production in already poor Southern states, including Mississippi.