A hefty paycheck isn't the only factor that contributes to financial security. As we've written about before, the part of the country where you live is often just as important as the income you earn there. If you're looking for a new state to call home, consider relocating to one with a prosperous economy.
WalletHub recently ranked the 50 states and Washington, D.C., in three areas: economic health, economic activity, and innovation potential. They looked at a number of different criteria including GDP growth, startup activity, unemployment rate, and median household income. In the map above, you can see the states with the strongest economies in dark blue and the weakest economies in light gray.
Utah came out on top, with a total score of 71.55 out of 100. The state also ranked number one in highest non-farm payrolls change and most independent-inventor patents. Washington state, tied for first for most exports per capita, was ranked second overall. California, Massachusetts, and Colorado rounded out the top five.
On the bottom of the list, Mississippi received the lowest score of 31.86. Mississippi was placed 50th for GDP growth and dead last in median household income. Arkansas, West Virginia, Maine, and New Mexico also occupied bottom slots.
If you're looking for a place to start your professional life, high average salaries and cheap rents are only parts of the bigger picture. Moving to a state with a solid economy can help your career—and bank account—grow.
All images courtesy of WalletHub.