States with the best and worst economies in 2024

FILE - A general view of the Seattle Skyline and Mount Rainier from Kerry Park during the 2019 Rock'n'roll Seattle Marathon and 1/2 Marathon on June 9, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. ( Donald Miralle/Getty Images for Rock'n'Roll Marathon)

WalletHub released a new study which ranked the states that had the best economy and contributed the most to the country’s economic growth. 

The analysis released Monday compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on their economic activity, economic health, and innovation potential using 28 metrics, including change in GDP, unemployment rate and fiscal health, to determine which ones are pulling the most weight when it comes to moving the U.S. economy forward. 

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Here are the states with the best economies in the nation right now, according to WalletHub:

States economy rankings

Take a look at how states stacked up based on other factors, including median household income and unemployment rates. 

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Median annual household income

Top 5 states with the highest median income

  1. Virginia
  2. Utah
  3. Minnesota
  4. New Jersey
  5. Colorado

Top 5 states with the lowest median income

  1. Mississippi
  2. Louisiana
  3. New Mexico
  4. Maine
  5. West Virginia

Unemployment rate

Top 5 states with the lowest unemployment 

  1. North Dakota
  2. South Dakota
  3. Maryland
  4. Vermont
  5. Nebraska

Top 5 states with the highest unemployment

  1. Illinois
  2. New Jersey
  3. District of Columbia
  4. California
  5. Nevada

US states with the overall worst economies

On the other end of the spectrum, Louisiana, ranking 47th, struggles with high unemployment rates and low median household income, with minimal R&D investment hampering its economic growth prospects, WalletHub analyst Cassandra Happe told FOX Business. 

Meanwhile, Arkansas, in 48th place, faces high poverty rates and limited high-tech job opportunities, impacting both economic health and innovation potential. 

West Virginia was ranked 49th, which the study said was due to its declining labor force and low GDP growth, compounded by the lowest innovation potential in the country. 

Hawaii was listed as No. 50, and Mississippi came in last at No. 51 in the rankings. Happe said those two states are among those facing "significant economic challenges." 

The Aloha State, which relies heavily on tourism, is burdened with high state debt and a lack of growth in key economic areas, while Mississippi's struggles were attributed to its low median household income, high poverty rate, and minimal entrepreneurial activity. 

FOX Business contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.