Report: Illinois Among Worst States For Government, Economy

CHICAGO (CBS) — The state of Illinois has one of the worst governments and economies in the country, according to ratings by U.S. News and World Report.

Overall, the quality of government ranks No. 47. Even worse, the state’s fiscal stability ranks dead last, hurt by a ballooning pension liability and worsening credit rating.

Overall, the state economy ranks No. 44, and receives especially poor marks for GDP growth, overall employment and job growth. The state was also hurt by one of the highest prison overcrowding problems in the country (48th out of 50).

U.S. News measured a variety of social and economic indicators and placed Illinois No. 29 overall. The state earned a solid rating for infrastructure (10th), and was singled out for high public transit usage and overall Internet quality.

Next door in Indiana, the Hoosier state’s government ranked the best in the nation, earning praise for fiscal stability–the state boasts a reserve fund of more than $2 billion–and budget transparency.

Hoosiers also enjoy one of the best cost of living ratings and rates No. 5 nationally in housing affordability.

Overall the state ranks No. 22, hurt most by low marks for health care access and poor heath outcomes. The state does poorly in areas of mental health, obesity and smoking.

U.S. News analyzed seven categories in its report.

Illinois ranked 32nd in health care; 20th in education; 29th in crime and corrections; 10th in infrastructure; 19th in opportunity, 44th in economy and 47th in government.

The No. 1 state in the nation? Massachusetts.

The worst? Louisiana.

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