(WalletHub) — Louisiana was ranked as the least independent state in the nation this week by WalletHub.com.
WalletHub compared the 50 states based on five sources of dependency: consumer finances, the government, the job market, international trade and personal vices. The personal-finance website released a report this week on 2021’s Most & Least Independent States. The report gauges each state’s self-reliance despite the pandemic.
“We broke down these categories into 39 key indicators of independence in order to determine which states are most self-sustaining,” stated the website.
According to the report, Louisiana was the least independent state, followed by Kentucky and Mississippi. The Pelican State ranked dead last in the ‘personal vices’ and ‘consumer finances’ categories, and came in third-to-last in the International trade dependency category.
Utah is the most independent state, followed by Colorado and Nebraska. Utah also had the lowest percentage of adult binge drinkers.
Kansas was the least dependent on the federal government, while Wyoming had the lowest percentage of households receiving public assistance. South Dakota had the lowest percentage of adult drug users.
New Mexico was the most federally dependent, while Rhode Island had the highest percentage of households receiving public assistance.
“The federal government’s ability to tax the entire nation allows it to redistribute funds to the states in most need,” said Dr. J. Wesley Leckrone, a political science professor at Widener University. “This creates a national minimum level of services and safety net across all states and helps increase spending in states that lack tax capacity to raise their own revenue.”