Washington state

Washington has the best economy in the nation, survey says. See how it compares to others

Pat yourselves on the back, Washingtonians, you’ve got the strongest economy in the nation, according to a recent survey conducted by financial assistance website WalletHub.

In a survey of all 50 states plus Washington, D.C., the Evergreen State’s economy ranked No. 1 overall, surpassing Utah, Massachusetts, California and Colorado, respectively.

The five worst ranking states were Alaska (No. 51), Louisiana (No. 50), Mississippi (No. 49), Hawaii (No. 48) and West Virginia (No. 47).

WalletHub rates the states in three different categories: Economic activity, economic health and innovation potential.

Economic activity factors included GDP growth, exports per capita and startup activity.

Economic health factors included unemployment rate, median household income and the share of population in poverty.

Innovation potential included the share of jobs in high-tech industries, the share of STEM employment and the amount of entrepreneurial activity.

Washington’s tech sector, anchored by Amazon and Microsoft, propelled it the top of a number of rankings.

It took first place for economic activity, fourth for economic health and second for innovation potential. It was the only state besides Utah to earn a top 10 spot in each category.

The Evergreen State also boasted the highest GDP in the country, the fourth highest percentage of jobs in high-tech industries and tied for first, with California, Massachusetts and Oregon, for most independent inventor patents per capita.

But it wasn’t all good news in the survey.

Washington was tied with New Mexico for having the fourth highest unemployment rate in America; 4.6 percent of Washingtonians are unemployed, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s well above the national average of 3.8 percent.

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