Maine gets ranked 42nd in fiscal health

Analysis by a research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University has placed Maine 42nd in the state for fiscal health, due largely to its poor ranking for short-term insolvency.


The overall ranking is based on 2013 audited financial reports for the states, assessing their ability to pay short-term and long-term obligations.

Maine ranked 50th for cash-on-hand based on the 2013 financial reports, but the state ranked much higher in regards to budget solvency and long-run solvency.

The state ranked 36th in researcher Eileen Norcross’ analysis of the state’s ability to weather further tax increases and in the middle of the pack in terms of its unfunded pension liability.

The analysis put the percentage of Maine’s pension liability covered by investment returns or payments into the pension system at 32 percent, compared with a 70 percent national average.

The state had a fairly low debt burden based on the 2013 figures, however, with a ratio of debt to state personal income of 1.8 percent. The national average was 4.0 percent for that period.

Maine had one of the lowest levels of state debt in the country based on those reports, with about $720 in debt per capita.

Nebraska had the lowest amount of per capita state government debt, at $16 per person, compared with highest-ranking Connecticut, which had $5,481 in debt per person.


Darren Fishell

About Darren Fishell

Darren is a Portland-based reporter for the Bangor Daily News writing about the Maine economy and business. He's interested in putting economic data in context and finding the stories behind the numbers.