Debt Bombs: Here Are The States With The Most Debt

According to a new report from Truth in Accounting, the most-indebted states include New Jersey, Illinois, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Delaware, Kentucky, California, and New York. 

Truth in Accounting published the Financial State of the States report, a regional analysis of the most recent state government financial data, on Tuesday, that is one of the most comprehensive studies of the economic conditions of all 50 states. The report includes the most up-to-date state finance and pension data, trends across the states, and key findings.

The report said all 50 states have had to become more transparent in their financial reporting over the last several years, thanks to the implementation of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles set by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board.

Researchers this year uncovered something truly shocking: "40 states do not have enough money to pay all of their bills and in total the states have racked up $1.5 trillion in unfunded state debt." 

Truth in Accounting ranks the states below according to their Taxpayer Burden or Surplus, which at the end of the day, it's what the taxpayer is on the hook for.

Here are the rankings (from less indebted to most indebted): 

  1. Alaska, $74,200 per taxpayer
  2. North Dakota, $30,700
  3. Wyoming, $20,800
  4. Utah, $5,300
  5. Idaho, $2,900
  6. Tennessee, $2,800
  7. South Dakota, $2,800
  8. Nebraska, $2,000
  9. Oregon, $1,600
  10. Iowa, $700
  11. Minnesota, -$200
  12. Virginia, -$1,200
  13. Oklahoma, -$1,200
  14. North Carolina, -$1,300
  15. Indiana, -$1,700
  16. Florida, -$1,800
  17. Montana, -$2,100
  18. Arkansas, -$2,300
  19. Arizona, -$2,500
  20. Nevada, -$3,100
  21. Wisconsin, -$3,200
  22. Georgia, -$3,500
  23. Missouri, -$4,300
  24. New Hampshire, -$5,000
  25. Ohio, -$6,600
  26. Kansas, -$7,000
  27. Colorado, -$7,200
  28. Washington, -$7,400
  29. Maine, -$7,400
  30. West Virginia, -$8,300
  31. Mississippi, -$10,000
  32. Alabama, -$12,000
  33. Texas, -$12,100
  34. New Mexico, -$13,300
  35. Rhode Island, -$13,900
  36. South Carolina, -$14,500
  37. Maryland, -$15,500
  38. Michigan, -$17,000
  39. Pennsylvania, -$17,100
  40. Louisiana, -$17,700
  41. Vermont, -$19,000
  42. New York, -$20,500
  43. California, -$21,800
  44. Kentucky, -$25,700
  45. Delaware, -$27,100
  46. Hawaii, -$31,200
  47. Massachusetts, -$31,200
  48. Connecticut, -$51,800
  49. Illinois, -$52,600
  50. New Jersey, -$65,100

And what was social media's response to the new report?

One user said: "Look at who has controlled the State Legislatures in all the high debt States - in nearly every case it has been the Democrats, and for many years. Governors come and go - it is the Legislature that really decides if a State will be wild spending or not." 

Another said: "I live in Illinois. Lifelong Illinoisan. Yes I know it sucks. My 5 year plan is to leave the state before it collapses financially any home value plummets. Property taxes, sales taxes and income taxes are insane over here. DO NOT MOVE HERE." 

The biggest take away from the report, as explained by one social media user above, is that when the next recession strikes, the most indebted states will collapse.