Best, worst states to live: Where Michigan ranks

North Dakota takes top spot of best place

Published On: Nov 27 2012 10:54:09 AM EST

If you've ever been frustrated with how Michigan runs its financial affairs, it looks like you have good reason to be concerned. Each year, the website 24/7 Wall St. conducts a survey of the 50 states to see which are considered the best run, and which are the worst.

The website admits it's difficult to determine how well each state is managed. However, it came up with a formula that looks at each state’s debt, revenue, expenditure and deficit to determine how well it is managed fiscally. The site reviewed taxes, exports, and GDP growth, including a breakdown by sector, to identify how each state is managing its resources. It also considered poverty, income, unemployment, high school graduation, violent crime and foreclosure rates to measure if residents are prospering. 

First and Last

According to this year's survey North Dakota is the best run state for the first time. California is the worst run for the second year in a row.

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North Dakota has some great things going for its citizens. Unemployment was just 3.5% in 2011, the lowest in the nation. It's now the country's second largest oil producer, a boom that has fueled its success on many fronts. Plus, North Dakota and Montana (#18) are the only two states to avoid budget shortfalls since the economy fell off a cliff.

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At the other end of the spectrum, California continues to linger in last place. It's unemployment rate was 11.7% in 2011. It has high levels of debt, and one of the highest tax burdens on residents on the country. 

Where's Michigan? 

Our home state of Michigan ranks #31. Some of the issues that keep Michigan in the bottom half: 10.3% unemployment (though the job outlook has improved) and 1 in 45 homes are in foreclosure.

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Read more: The Best and Worst Run States in America: A Survey of All 50 - 24/7 Wall St.