Georgia economy ranked ninth best

Georgia's economy ranks as the ninth best among the states, according to the Washington, D.C.-based WalletHub.

The state has strengths – especially in areas like growth and wealth. But Georgia also has some weaknesses, in the prevalence of poverty and the number of people don't have high school diplomas.

WalletHub offers personal finance advice online, but also moonlights as a research company issuing rankings of American states and metro areas on various economic factors. In this case, it tried to determine “which states are pulling the most weight,” the company said.

The calculations are based mainly upon the last year's economic data — and much of the news has been good.

Job growth alone casts Georgia in a generally positive light. The population and workforce has grown solidly, job creation has been steady and many of the new jobs are good-paying corporate positions.

During the past year, Georgia's economy has added 67,100 jobs, growth of 1.5 percent.

Georgia’s unemployment rate is currently 4.3 percent, down from 4.9 percent a year ago and 10.6 percent in 2011.

Yet millions in Georgia are struggling, despite the strong averages. About 1.7 million people — roughly 16 percent of the state's population — are living below the poverty line, according to the Census Bureau.

The national poverty rate is 12.7 percent.

The result is that Georgia ranks 47th — near the bottom — in the share of its residents who have no health insurance, according to WalletHub. The state ranks 44th — again, among the worst — in the number of people in poverty.

Education is not a strong suit: Georgia ranks 40th among states in the share of adults who have at least a high school diplomas, according to the Census Bureau.

But when averaged out, Georgia had enough strengths to rank as the ninth-best economy, ahead of all other states in the Southeast. Georgia ranked three notches ahead of North Carolina.

Among all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, first place went to the state of Washington. Coming in dead last was Louisiana.

How Georgia compares to other states:

(Smaller number is better) 


Growth in work force: 3

Share of fast-growing firms: 7

Growth in personal income: 8

Growth in jobs: 10


Share of people uninsured: 47

Share of people in poverty: 44

Unemployment rate: 40

Quality of legal system: 40

Source: WalletHub

The nation's best economies:

1. Washington

2. Utah

3. Massachusetts

4. California

5. Colorado

6. District of Columbia

7. Idaho

8. Oregon

9. Georgia

10. Texas

Source: WalletHub