New Mexico has found itself among the states ranked as some of the least favorable places to live regarding money and financial well-being — joining other low rankings for the Land of Enchantment. According to a comprehensive analysis by GOBankingRates, factors such as crime rates, property and income taxes, unemployment, and overall cost of living were considered to determine the states where your money may not stretch as far as elsewhere in the country.
The study incorporated data from various trusted sources, ranging from NeighborhoodScout for crime statistics to ATTOM Data for property tax rates. Additionally, data from the U.S. Census American Community Survey, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and other reputable sources were included in the assessment.
Hawaii took the unenviable top spot as the worst state for financial well-being. Hawaii’s overall cost of living is a staggering 79 percent higher than the national average, with healthcare and grocery prices soaring 18 percent and 25.6 percent above the norm, respectively. Despite these challenges, Hawaii does boast the lowest average state property tax rate in the country and a relatively lower violent crime rate.
Often seen as a land of rugged beauty, Alaska holds the second position on this list. It has the second-highest violent crime rate in the nation, and its overall cost of living is 24.4 percent higher than the national average, with groceries and healthcare costs soaring 27.4 percent and 49.8 percent above average, respectively. However, Alaska does not impose an income tax, offering some financial relief.
Washington, D.C., while not a state but an influential territory, finds itself in the mix due to concerning statistics across various parameters. D.C. has the highest violent and property crime rates among all 50 states. It also imposes the third-highest average state income tax rate and reports the second-highest unemployment rate at 5.74 percent. Additionally, the cost of living in the nation’s capital is 48.7 percent above the national average.
California, another state with a high cost of living, houses the largest number of unemployed individuals at 1.6 million. It ranks in the top five for unemployment rates in the nation, with an overall cost of living 34.5 percent higher than the national average. The state also grapples with a relatively high debt-to-income ratio.
Unfortunately, New Mexico stands out for having one of the country’s highest violent crime rates and property crime rates. Additionally, it reports the third-highest poverty rate among all U.S. states. While its overall cost of living isn’t significantly above the national average, healthcare costs in New Mexico are nearly on par, at 99.6 percent.
The study also highlighted other states, including Maryland, Louisiana, New York, and South Carolina, for various economic challenges, such as high property tax rates, elevated income tax rates, high crime rates, and significant poverty levels.
While these rankings provide a snapshot of the financial landscape in each state, it’s essential to consider individual circumstances and preferences when evaluating the best places to live based on financial factors.