The United States of Success

Where you live might affect your financial freedom.

What do Alaska and California have in common? It’s certainly not the weather. It’s the money.

Those two states rank No. 8 and No. 7, respectively, on a new list that ranks each state by the financial success of their residents. Compiled by the website GoBankingRates, it studied seven distinct statistics to come up with its rankings – some more helpful than others.

For example, the top three stats were…

  • “the average income of the top 1 percent”
  • “the average income of the bottom 99 percent”
  • “the states’ poverty rates”

Less helpful was the last stat: “the number of billionaires.” GoBankingRates doesn’t explain why that matters to the rest of us.

The least successful state? Mississippi. “The bottom 99 percent has the lowest average income in the nation,” GoBankingRates’ study says.

The most successful state? Connecticut. “The average income of the top 1 percent in Connecticut is the highest in the nation,” the study says. “But even the bottom 99 percent in the state aren’t doing badly. The average income of this percentage of the population is still higher than incomes in most states.”

Of course, where you live doesn’t rule your life. “It would be unwise to assume that just because you live in any of the states that rank higher, you’ll automatically be rich or successful,” GoBankingRates says. “Or, if you live in a state that scored low, you have a smaller chance of being wealthy.”

Consolidated Credit President Gary Herman says surrounding circumstances matter, but not as much as personal traits.

“Your financial success can certainly be hamstrung by bad breaks, but in more than two decades in this business, I’ve learned that hard work, discipline and brains can get you out of most money problems,” he says. “Even when those breaks are really bad, there’s professional help available. It starts with a free debt analysis from a certified credit counseling agency – and Consolidated Credit can help you regardless of the state you live in.”

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