Many people don’t have the means, courage or desire to leave their home state behind, but what if they did, where would they go? Where would I go? I planned this as a 2 or 3 part post.
How do you objectively determine a good place to live? Things I will look at will include average incomes, # of people leaving or coming to the state, cost of living, states fiscal solvency, crime rates, education, % middle class, % of income spent on housing, freedom index if I can find it, maybe gun laws. I hope to do this using only recent data. If you have ideas for something I should include, mention it and I will look into it. I am assuming that where there is people there are jobs, and where those jobs are median wages are attainable. I am also assuming one can be happy anywhere, because everything is relative.
I will remove states as I go and explain why I discard them. The first ones to remove, Hawaii and Alaska. I don’t like their geographical isolation and even though Alaska has great fundamentals, good budgets, personal freedoms, good wages and a good % of middle class, cheap land, and it’s beautiful. The cost of living is high, the winters are rough outside of of Juneau, and like I said, very isolated from the rest of the nation. But maybe that’s a good thing come to think about it.
D.C is also out, I don’t like outliers, they also have no congressional representation, they rank 13th in US cities with violent crime, too many lawyers and politicians. U.S overseas territories are also out, again geographical isolation, and cost of living.
Illinois and New Jersey are out, terrible budget problems, more taxes in the future. The places are run by people that can’t add. They ranked dead last on the list. Massachusetts, Connecticut and California are in danger.
Brady Campaigns list of states with the 10 strictest gun laws. All of these states score very low on fiscal solvency, under rank #40. I don’t want to eliminate too many states because of this metric because I don’t find the metric terribly important, but it is concerning to see these states again.
CaliforniaDifferent interpretation of constitution, voted gay marriage down, voted legal weed down. The citizenry is retarded and easily manipulated. New JerseyEliminated before
- New York
On to taxes, taxes is a very complicated subject, there’s a million kinds of taxes and while I was searching I noticed for the first time that localities can add state taxes ON TOP OF state taxes. This is the first time I’ve seen this because in MD, this is not allowed, but 38 of the 50 state do use locality taxes. Now this has become more complicated, taxes vary by state and locality within the state. California which has the highest state sales tax, is actually #8 when you factor in the average locality tax.
I also looked at Kiplinger’s report, they ranked Connecticut and New York as top 5 for worst taxes. Kiplinger takes into account all taxes: gas, property, sales, etc. So using their analysis seems better than only considering sales tax. That said New York and Connecticut are out, the taxes combined with the fiscal stance make me say nope!
Mississippi is out, too poor. Nearly 25% of the state is on some form of welfare. New Mexico and Louisiana are also dangerously poor.
So I’ve eliminated 8 states and all territories, time to see how much my metrics match up with the rest of America. According to Forbes Top 9 list of states “people are fleeing in 2014” I removed 5 in their top 9. California didn’t make it on to Forbes list, Hawaii and Alaska people aren’t leaving, they are probably great places to live once you’ve adapted, but I don’t see them as good destinations to move to. Perhaps Mississippian’s don’t have the means to leave in large numbers.
So far this is all low hanging fruit and I haven’t had to make any real decisions. I think weather is important, but if I eliminate all places that get 2 feet of snow, New England is gone completely. But seriously, who wants to shovel snow for the rest of their life if they don’t have to?