Study: NJ least solvent state in U.S.

New Jersey is the least fiscally solvent state in the nation, according to a new analysis by a researcher at a conservative, free market think tank.

The study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University looked a variety of publicly available fiscal measures and weighted them in importance: Cash, budget, long-run, and service-level solvencies, with each category comprised of sub-categories.

When the categories in the index were factored together, New Jersey came in last with a score of -2.81. (Pa. ranked 42nd). The Garden State came in last in two of the categories – budget and long-term solvency.

By comparison, Alaska was first overall with a score of 8.80.

Rounding out the bottom with New Jersey, in ascending order were: Connecticut (-2.48), Illinois (-2.42), Massachusetts (-2.23) and California (-2.01). The other top five, other than Alaska, tended to be sparsely populated in the west: South Dakota (2.79), North Dakota (2.75), Nebraska (2.53) and Wyoming (2.23).

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University is a nonprofit and receives no funding from the university. Instead, it receives finding from outside groups to provide market research for policy analysts, lobbyists and government officials. The report was written by Sarah Arnett and you can read it in full here.