Washington ranks as 7th best state on 2021 Prosperity Index

Washington ranks No. 7 among the states on the 2021 Prosperity Index produced by the Legatum Institute.  (We hadn’t heard of it, either, but it has an impressive group of donors and advisors.) Here’s a little background on the index.

Drawing upon the Legatum Institute’s 14 years of producing a global Prosperity Index and informed by the expertise of 40 U.S. advisors from across academic, research institutions, and think tanks, we identified 215 indicators gathered from over 80 separate data sources that best measure the 48 policy focused elements within the 11 pillars and 3 domains to produce the United States Prosperity Index.

The comprehensive set of indicators, at a state and county level, provides a rich and policy-focused dataset, allowing the potential of all states (and all counties in the selected states) to be identified and understood. This enables much more targeted policy responses that can drive tangible improvements in prosperity.

Much more detail at the link.

US News reports,

While the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on most states’ economies, a new report by the Legatum Institute suggests that states with strong economies and other social indicators prior to the pandemic mostly continued to excel afterward.

Massachusetts – which has topped Legatum’s index of most prosperous states almost every year for the past decade – appeared at the top of the London-based think tank’s list again this year. Connecticut and Minnesota retained their respective second and third place posts from 2020 in this year’s index.

New Hampshire, Utah and Vermont took fourth through sixth positions in the 2021 report, compared to fifth, fourth, and seventh places, respectively, in the 2020 index. And this year’s remaining top performing states – Washington, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Colorado – all placed within the top 12 in last year’s report. The District of Columbia ranked fifth overall in the 2021 index.

More at the US News link, including a brief discussion of the global prosperity index.

Now, back to Washington’s performance. The group’s decision to use 11 “pillars” makes the following table a bit of a messy challenge to read. It requires some patience. Click here for the full rankings. 

For each state, there’s a 15-page profile. For Washington, click here. We’ve clipped the overall breakdown for the 3 domains and 11 pillars.

Washington’s three best rankings are in governance (4th), economic quality (5th), and education (9th). 

As usual, we caution about reading too much into this; the indicators are often more important than the final rankings. Nonetheless, there’s quite a lot of good information in the report. We recommend surfing through it.